Date of this Version
Published in Textile Society of America 2014 Biennial Symposium Proceedings: New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future, Los Angeles, California, September 10–14, 2014,
The development of the Single Thread Control Loom (TC-1) resulted from my fascination with ancient Chinese silk fabrics featuring detailed motifs of flowers, dragons and clouds. I wanted to be able to weave designs of similar complexity and remember to my disappointment that my introduction to weaving provided no connection to the silks I admired. I realized then that what I wanted to explore would be very difficult and time consuming to achieve on a shaft loom. But I had no idea how this interest would affect the trajectory of my life and career goals.
In 1984 as a young faculty at the National College of Art & Design in Oslo, I observed how some of our most talented students were experiencing the same frustrations that I had as a new weaver. At that same time professional hand-weavers became aware of how industry had transitioned into using electronic jacquard looms. This technology was prohibitively expensive for individual artists/designers, but a few artists got a taste of using electronic jacquard technology through art and industry collaborations.
In 1990 the Norwegian Ministry of Education issued an invitation for research proposals for projects related to Information Technology, emphasizing their particular interest in supporting projects addressing females and/or traditional crafts. My application for a feasibility study for “Every Weavers’ Dream” was funded. At this point I had no idea how to carry out a “feasibility study” or how to get a prototype built! I experienced a steep learning curve, and the most exciting and challenging 2 years of my life!
My “Dream” has generated the production of the TC-1s and now TC-2s; tools that have enabled artists and designers to create stunning textiles, explore their artistic language in new ways, and expand our understanding of the potential of textiles in the 21st century.