What can the idling hands of an artisan bring to fruition? This piece, a weight for a manual looming machine, begs such a question. Carved in broad strokes from dense, heavy wood, it is an unassuming object that fits well in the hand and secures thread at its head. Like a supporting actor, it existed to serve the greater purpose of the machine to which it was attached; the star product was the loom’s weavings. And yet, this piece is carefree and loose, exuding an ease and confidence that the meticulous patterns of even masterful weavings could never replicate.
Its shape is simple and uncomplicated, easy to make. The artisan likely troubled little over its construction. In a few swift carvings, the weight could have been made to fulfill its functional purpose, fitting comfortably into the busy hands of master weavers for many years to come. By the time that its loom’s technology had passed on into obsolescence, its surface had become smooth from use and age. Now it stands as a relic, an object that contains upon its surface the trace of touch and labor from a distant time.
It has such a quiet appeal to the eye, the hand, even the heart. Like a product of nature, perhaps a ripe eggplant gleaming on a summer vine, its smooth and curved form is organic and uncomplicated. As an object, it exists with ease, and smoothly breathes its own life. To hold it is to breathe with ease as well.