I want to show as many people as possible how to weave on the Tractorloom around the United States and Canada!
I want to show as many people as possible how to weave on the Tractorloom around the United States and Canada! Read more
11 years ago, a fire was sparked inside me - I had a vision of sharing my deep love for the ancient traditions of cloth and agriculture by creating an interactive learning loom installed on a tractor! This would create a fun, inviting experience, connecting children and adults alike to the productivity potent in themselves, in agriculture, and in loom-craft.
I dedicated myself to birthing this vision.
I went ahead and built the tractorloom, engaging the participation of local metal workers, machinists, and farmers, and in doing so deepened my appreciation for the nature of natural materials, as well as the alchemical pro-creative power of human ingenuity and craftmanship. The character name, Womb-Furie, which came to me for personal reasons on that fated day 11 years ago, became ever more poignant to the project. The very fabrication of the tractorloom has awakened people's connection with 'common' materials as we transformed rickety metal parts into vibrant, safe, fascinating, and empowering interactive learning tools.
Once the tractorloom was built with the grant money I gratefully received from the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, I was itching to take this to the people!
Throughout 2012, I transported the tractorloom to farmer's markets and festivals around Upstate New York, teaching people how to weave. It has been all too fun and enriching to watch dozens of people come up and engage with the tractorloom! People grow smiles, grow trust in their creative capacities, and grow deeper connections to the agricultural events and markets that they came out to that day.
My dream is to take the tractorloom beyond the Finger Lakes and share this conceptual vehicle with as many people as possible! I plan to visit elementary and secondary schools, universitites with fiber programs, farmer's markets and other public spaces around the U.S. and Canada during a two month tour on the road - and I need your support to make this a reality!
I will offer a whirl on the tractorloom as a tool to invite dialogue about the history of fabric, the importance of nutrition, and our connection to the land, as well as the need to embrace alternative energies in order to learn how to sustainably power our lives through wind, solar, and grease. Through the money raised via Kickstarter, I will be able to integrate these alternative energy systems into the tractorloom's mechanics and transportability. Help me demonstrate as many healthy tools, techniques, and systems within this tour as possible!
It is vital that the tractorloom reaches students now! Youth need to be actively involved and engaged in their own education. The need for more hands-on learning experiences, like the kind the tractorloom can provide, is imperative for creating a healthy life and connection to source materials and ideas. When the tractorloom visits, students will learn to weave, see how the loom works, and, most importantly, gain a sense of the link between their own clothes and the ancient art of weaving. We will also discuss the history behind weaving as well as farming and how the two are connected! Ultimately, I believe that it is extremely important for students to be exposed to all that the tractorloom demonstrates because it makes history and culture alive and active for students.
It is truly awesome to witness the young and shy kids who hop onto the tractorloom transform. I see their initial hesitancy to participate, but after they hop up on the shiny red tractor, and have woven enough fabric to see the pattern they have created, their faces light up! Afterwards, they jump down smiling and appear more sure of themselves. Watching people willing to get out of their comfort zones and learn something new is helpful for all the spectators that happen to be at the events, myself included.
As of right now, this is the list of what I have and what I will need in order to make this tractorloom tour a great success!
What I have:
- a tractorloom
- knowledge about how to set up a loom and teach weaving to all ages
What I need:
- a diesel truck
- a trailer that is bigger than 6' X 7' X 9'
- veggie diesel conversion kit
- diesel fuel
- living expenses for a two month tour
- solar panel to charge tractorloom's battery
- vehicle insurance
- performance insurance
Donations are also greatly appreciated! If you have extra yarn and would like to have it become part of the tractorloom project, It would be an excellent addition to the fabrics that will be woven!
When the idea of the tractorloom came to me, I knew I needed to make an animated prototype. I decided to make a puppet animated version and have my womb-furie girl weaving on the tractorloom. This is the image that you will see on one of the many rewards you'll receive upon supporting this endeavor!
When I moved to rural Upstate New York, numerous tractor sitings rekindled my dreams of bringing the tractorloom into existence. I decided to apply for a grant from the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and was awarded funding to build the tractorloom!
Serendipitously, I met a metal sculptor named Benji Carr, check out his website! www.isfmetal.com, who had the mechanical and artistic knowledge to build the tractorloom!
Thanks to all who have watched the video and read about the project! I hope to see you in the fall!
Risks and challenges
These are my goals for the tractorloom tour of 2013:
To purchase a used diesel truck and have a local business install a veggie diesel conversion kit. However, If I am unable to find a diesel truck that is compatible with the conversion kits they have available, I will purchase a gas truck and continue the tour fueling the vehicle with the money I allocated for the conversion kit.
I am determined to reach as many students and people around the U.S.and Canada as possible within the two months of touring. I want to inspire people to experience the value of the hand crafted while learning how to weave on the loom.
I also hope that people may feel a sense of attachment to the land while sitting on top of the tractorloom since it will be outside and signifies a tractor which is usually used to prepare soil for growing vegetables.
By choosing to use alternative energy sources, I can also talk about the importance of being independent from gas and oiI. I can show people how easy it is to harness the sun and used grease to make the tractorloom and truck move.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)