Fiber Artist Noreen Crone-Findlay’s latest book, The Woven Bag: 30+ Projects from Small Looms (Writers Digest Guides) has officially been released! Noreen was gracious enough to talk about the her latest endeavor and explain her thoughts behind this great project!
ALVB: How did you get the idea for this book?
NCF: I have been in love with small looms for decades! I have been designing for small looms and self publishing my designs on my website www.crone-findlay.com for many years.
I love weaving bags, and about 10 years ago, I self published a book of designs for bags woven on the potholder loom. It was very popular and I then began designing more and more bags, thinking that I would self publish more books of bag designs.
But, when I approached my publisher, Krause Books/F&W Media, a few years ago, they were receptive to this book. And, so it began.
ALVB: When did you start working on it?
NCF: It takes several years to go from initial concept to the final, finished book being in the hands of the readers. Many people have to work very hard.
I have to create all the designs, do the drawings and illustrations, write the patterns, weave the bags (sometimes over and over, as I refine the design), and then send off everything to my editor.
She has to work on editing all the text, creating the plan of the book, establishing where sidebars, etc. go, and a million other details. Then, when all my deadlines are met, and the book has moved along, the photographer, editor and I , spend several VERY intense days together, photographing all the ‘how to’s’ for the book. The editor then works with the book designer, and establish what look will suit the bags best of all. And, the marketing department is meeting with them, too…. The editor and book designer work with the photographers and graphic designer to get illustrations translated, and to do the photo shoot for the ‘beauty shots’ for the book. It goes on and on… there are sooooooooooo many stages that the book goes through before it gets to the printer…. it takes time!
ALVB: Are there projects that a beginner weaver can do?
NCF: Oh, absolutely! I wanted to create a book that would be full of projects that would be inviting to people who have never woven before, all the way to more advanced techniques. It was important to me that there be lots of great tutorials in the book, so that it would be inspiring and useful and be the source of a great deal of pleasure for weavers of all levels!
ALVB: If someone has never tried weaving before, what advice do you have for them?
NCF: Buy this book! You’ll be inspired to try all kinds of fun new techniques, and be guided step by step through all manner of weaving pleasures!
ALVB: Do you have a favorite project in the book?
NCF: Oh, my….. that’s a really hard question. Hmmmmm…. nope…. I can’t pick one over the others…. they are all in there for a reason.
ALVB: If someone can only purchase one type of loom, what would you suggest?
NCF: Look at the projects in the book, and see which loom your favorites are woven on. The projects that sing to you the most will lead you to your first loom. The looms are so reasonably priced that you will be able to buy more than one. You can do soooooooo much with small looms! Just because the looms are small does NOT mean that your projects will have to be. The bags are created in modules on the small looms (with virtually NO loom waste! Yay!) and then are assembled. Small looms also are wonderfully portable, so you can weave ‘on the go’- which is wonderful. I weave in restaurants, in the car, in airports, wherever, whenever!
Small loom weaving is pure delight!
ALVB: Anything else you would like to add?
NCF: One is that it’s really important to me to have a very strong ‘eco’ component to the book, so having projects that are all about upcycling, was essential to me.
Also, the bags can be made on more than just one kind of loom- there is a lot of ‘inter-changeability’ in the book, so I didn’t want to give people the impression that a specific bag can only be made on a certain loom. The Woven Bag is all about creativity, and delight!