Loom Evolution

The sculpture 1055113200 was build on a rigid heddle loom designed and built by the team specifically to accommodate receipt weaving at large scale. We used a rapid prototyping approach, finding quick and accessible ways to test our ideas, and allowing the loom to evolve along with our plans for the sculpture.

early loom prototype

The earliest version was built with cardboard and painters tape on a lab table. This prototype allowed us to understand how the receipt paper and yarn should be spaced, facilitated a proof of concept, and helped us understand how the materials would behave.

cardboard loom

This later version is built out of re-used cardboard. In this version, we were able to make samples more quickly, get a sense of proportion, and better understand the ergonomics of working at the loom. This version includes a laser-cut heddle (the wooden panel in the photo above). In earlier versions, the heddle was hand-cut out of foamcore, allowing us to quickly test and refine it’s design.

From our faster prototypes, we were able to craft our final design to be efficient, easier to use, and sturdy enough for extensive use. It was build in pine with more detailed functional parts designed by students in Illustrator and SolidWorks and laser cut in the Cable Maker Space. As we went, the loom continued to be adjusted, augmented and built onto to make it increasingly comfortable and functional. With this project finished, the heddle and warp guides can be replaced so that the loom can weave a wide variety of traditional and experimental materials.