A Weaver's Greatest Critic

  Checkerboard Twill Rug by Tom Knisely.

imageplaceholder Sara Bixler
Contributor, Weaving Today

There are very few times where I am asked to review one of Tom’s works. It can get to be quite incestuous as he’s my father and I can be rather partial to his works. But for those who know us best, you would know that we can be each other’s greatest critic. Typically the criticism is solicited and all very positive, but we greatly appreciate the strengths and opinions the other has to offer.

I’ve grown up my entire life observing my father’s obsession for historic textiles, especially here in the Northeast during the colonial period. This admiration for what I would could call traditional textiles usually translated into educating others and creating reproductions in homage. But I have to admit, I admire far more some of his more recent pieces where he’s taken the roots of those historical or ethnic pieces and created very respectful and tasteful modern twists.

  The Chief's Rug by Tom Knisely.

This collection features a selection of these wonderful pieces, each highlighting his mastery of varying weave structures and the ability to clearly educate the reader of the unique characteristics that define the project. Although this collection primarily focuses on his love of rug weaving, he will introduce the reader to a variety of weave structures and how they can be applied to rugs specifically. These structures include some expected such as warp and weft faced applications in his “Tribute to Cranbrook” rep weave rug, as well as the homage to Navajo weavers with his weft faced “Chief Rug” on a 4-harness loom. But also some non-traditional rugs structures such as double faced (reversible) rag rugs and even overshot applications.

I was pleased to find that Interweave had rounded out the collection by throwing in some bonus articles for the readers at all levels. The first on how to make a shaft switching device for the more advance weavers and a fantastic article on planning for fringe or hems on your rugs, something many weavers don’t necessarily “plan” for but simply make a choice once the project is complete. In each article, Tom masterfully and clearly walks you through each step, giving you the confidence to master each new project with ease. This is a fantastic collection suited for all levels and interests within our weaving community, and can easily give my stamp of approval!

Happy Weaving,

Sara ("Tom's Biggest Critic")

Post a Comment