Weaving is recognized as one of the oldest crafts, dating as far back as 6000 BC. Beginning as a product of necessity, weaving looms were used to create clothing, bedding, and other textiles of a protective nature. This applied art developed into a means of expression, tapestries woven for posterity, for pleasure, for interaction.
When I began weaving four years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I had been intrigued by the craft, and was looking to experiment in a new medium. My journey began when we tore down the half pipe skate ramp in my backyard. Using a four foot scrap of weathered plywood and about 200 nails, I had built myself a machine! Yes, it was warped, full of splinters and even kind of smelly, but it was mine. The design of the loom has not overcomplicated itself, and I was intrigued to use a method that had been utilized throughout time, and all over the globe.
After creating a few weaves, I began to learn, to understand. I adapted my design, and with the help of my father, built a new, improved frame loom. Something with an adjustable stand, something… easy to transport. Through trial and error, I have developed several variations of a standing loom since then, with designs for myself, Hawthorne Elementary, and for JAM Art and Supplies.
Two years ago, we began bringing the JAM loom with us to our booth at summer festivals. We attended events throughout the Sioux Empire, such as: the 605 Summer Classic, Jazzfest, the Farmer’s Market, That Sounds Decent, as well as the Sidewalk Arts Festival. Bringing this loom provided us a way to interact with the crowd, an icebreaker as well as a means to sharing our Creative Reuse mission with young and old alike.
Weaving is a popular means of community building across the country. Using a shared loom is a means of creating your own image and story. The viewer is provided with an actualized representation of problem solving, threads and materials interacting in a self-sustained chaos. Our community weaves represent Sioux Falls, and each participant that helped create the piece.
Each weave that was created was made from donated material, and gave purpose to some otherwise overlooked materials. Our weaves contain everything from yarn, fabric scraps, fake flowers, men’s neckwear, to old sweaters and jewelry. To date, JAM has created 11 large-scale weaves in the past two years, all made from the helping hands of our community. There is pride in production, and we are just beaming.
Please, join JAM on November 9th at Remedy Brewing Company for an all-ages get-together and fundraiser. Drink fine local craft beer, listen to live music, learn how to weave, and take a chance or 5 or 10 at winning one of our beautiful, community-crafted weavings!
Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20.
You can pre-purchase raffle tickets at JAM anytime before the event, but make sure you join us the night of because we’re giving away a JAM VIP Membership, and you must be present to win. JAM VIP Memberships are a $250 value that includes one complimentary in-house event, a tshirt, bumper sticker, and 25% off every purchase made in our store!