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Customer Stories

Dixie Hamilton

Tell us a little about yourself: I am retired. I live in the beautiful country of Costa Rica, in a small pueblo high in the mountains, surrounded by coffee fields. For looming inspirations I have only to look out the window at the coffee fields, the volcano in the background, and all the astonishingly gorgeous flowers. In the past, I engaged in various careers including, school teacher, college professor, paralegal, and business owner.

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them? I began sewing at the age of five and also learned to embroidery and crochet as a child. As a young adult, my sewing interest turned to quilting, which has now been a passion for many years. I taught quilting before I retired. I learned to knit as an adult, which I continue to do. My interest in beading came through beading on my small quilts and then I began to make jewelry. I enrolled in several jewelry classes on, where I discovered Claudia’s class on beaded tapestries and cuffs.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you? My mother sewed, crocheted, and knitted. My primary inspiration was my Aunt, who was the one who taught me to sew, crochet, and quilt.

What type of weaving do you do? (Bead? Tapestry? Mixed-Media? Etc.?) I am a novice weaver and want to try it all.

What got you into weaving? I had decided that, even though I have enough uncompleted quilting, knitting, and crochet projects to last for my lifetime, that I wanted to learn something new. I have severe degenerative arthritis and my projects have had to evolve to meet the challenges I face. For example, I now quilt by machine, rather than by hand. I love making jewelry, especially off-loom bead weaving, which has now become a challenge. The Mirrix Loom has been a miracle for me, allowing me to create things I never could have done otherwise. I am now addicted to weaving and other projects are falling by the wayside!

How long have you been weaving? About six months.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom? So far my weaving has been confined to Infinity Bracelets, beaded and tapestry cuffs, and beaded bracelets.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future? Larger beaded items.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom? I first saw it in the Craftsy class. I researched other looms on the internet and found that the Mirrix was the perfect loom for me. I am so glad I made that decision.

Do you have a website, Etsy page or social media site you’d like to share? Not yet. I’m working on that. I am an active member of the Mirrix Looms group on Facebook.

Tina Bird

Visit Tina’s website:– blog, tips & tricks, gallery – It’s under so much construction that visitors should wear a hard hat, but it’s getting there!

 Tell us a little about yourself: I started my professional life as an astronomer, but the federal budget cuts in the mid-1990s meant jobs were harder and harder to find. So I took advantage of the non-astronomy skills I learned along the way, and went into computer and network administration. In 2000, I moved to Silicon Valley to work at a computer security start-up. In 2008, I got married, and my husband and I moved to Austin, Texas, where he’d been hired to work at an online gaming company.

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them? All of them! What usually happens is that I’ll get an idea for a piece of jewelry or a picture in my head, out of the blue, and then I have to figure out what I need to learn to actually create it. My first love was sewing, everything from bathing suits to wedding dresses. I love knitting lace, but that’s not the most practical hobby for someone who lives in Texas. I do a lot of off-loom beading, especially beaded beads and bezels for found objects. I dabble in Precious Metal Clay and wirework when the mood strikes, but I’m a novice in those areas.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you? Nearly everything in my life has been inspired by someone in my family. Growing up, my mother sewed clothes for my sister and I. My grandmothers on both sides of my family crocheted – one of my most treasured possessions is the afghan my paternal grandmother, Eve, gave me when I was the first of her grandchildren to get married. [Luckily for me, I didn’t have to give it back when I got divorced.] My grandmother Eve was also a dedicated rock hound. She took me to all kinds of rock shops when I was a kid. She loved to make jewelry for her family, not very fancy by today’s standards, but still the things that set me on my current path. She was also fascinated by astronomy and the space program – that’s what I studied in college, and there are a lot of moons and stars in my jewelry designs.

What type of weaving do you do? I weave beads! I know that someday I’m going to get swept away by weaving fabric, because it combines so many things that I already love. That’s going to be a life-changing event. For now I’m making small tapestries and bracelets, and loving every bead of it. My family laughs at me because I’ve made so much jewelry that I can’t possibly wear it all. Some of it gets turned into presents, and sooner or later I’ll probably try to sell some of it. I finally figured out the other day why I haven’t been more interested in making money from my work. My “big” projects tend to be very biographical – I can look at a necklace or bracelet and tell you where I was when I made it, where the beads came from, who was with me, all kinds of unexpected emotional symbolism. This discovery about myself is what got me back into loom weaving. My mother died five years ago, and since then I’ve been struggling to find ways to express all the varying emotions I’ve been experiencing (because I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t!). At first I thought writing would be all it took, but I found that the words I was trying to use just weren’t “big” enough for what I was trying to express. Whereas if I spent a month or two designing a pattern for my loom and then weaving it, finishing it, framing it, anyone who saw it would (I hope) immediately see the depth of my feelings for the subject. You don’t spend a hundred hours on a subject that has no meaning to you.

How long have you been weaving? This also goes back to Mom. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. I showed her how to string necklaces. She loved all the wonderful beads. She loved to make personalized presents for her family and friends. The two of us registered to take a loom weaving class at the local bead store – this would have been June 2009. Mom couldn’t go; she was in the hospital, at the beginning of what would turn out to be her last couple of months. But she insisted that I go, and so I did. I was immediately in love, mostly because loom weaving gave me so much more potential for selfexpression than off-loom stitches that are less representational. [Well, beaded beads do a good job of representing my inner geek, but that’s a different story.] It’s taken me a while to really get up to speed with loom weaving, mostly because I wanted to create patterns from photographs, and that’s not easy to learn. But from the beginning I was making pieces inspired by ancient Egypt, by the many cats in my extended family, really by just about anything that caught my eye. I’ve got no talent in terms of sketching or drawing, but for some reason if I’m staring at a blank sheet of graph paper, rather than a blank sheet of paper, I can make bead patterns.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom? I started out with several books of needlepoint patterns, and a lot of ancient Egypt in my head. My first few pieces were panels for notebook covers, a Tarot deck case, bookmarks – little things that weren’t too intimidating. But my goal was always to be able to do larger pieces taken from my own photography, pieces that would be meaningful for me and my family. I’m currently finishing my largest piece yet, a tapestry of my cat Squib who died earlier this year. It’s very therapeutic; I almost feel like she’s here with me (probably because before she died, she was always curled up next to my desk when I was working). This portrait expresses her importance in my life in a non-verbal way that nonetheless is accessible to nearly everyone who sees it. A labor of love.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future? Christmas presents! I have several other pictures of Squib – 2014 is my year of the cat — but I’m also working on designs which will eventually be gifts to family members. For instance, my aunt and uncle own a bookstore which is housed in a historic building in South Bend, IN (where I was born). It’s a lovely building and will make a lovely tapestry. My favorite photographic subjects are old buildings, and flowers, so I see a lot of old buildings and flowers – and cats — in my future weaving. I also want to work out a few different fonts so I can bead quotes or bits of poems or whatever without having to come up with a new lettering scheme every time.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom? There are a lot of bead looms out there. And like most other weavers (I assume), I started out with a small, inexpensive one. It was just enough to make me realize that I needed a loom which was more flexible in terms of size and type of weaving. The Mirrix looms let me create tapestries over a wide range of sizes – from bracelets to epics – without having to lock myself into any particular size or style. The Mirrix looms are expensive relative to the rest of the market, but it’s just like any other tool – you get what you pay for. I have two looms now, the Big Sister and the Lani, and I’ll be using them for the rest of my life. I don’t see that kind of solid construction and longevity in most other commercial looms. It’s easy to set up the Mirrix for a lot of different styles of weaving, and to make adjustments while you’re working on a piece. I am a better weaver, because my loom is a well-designed, solid tool that adapts to what I need during the whole course of a project. Another huge issue for me is ease of use, in terms of the actual weaving. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which mostly affects my hands and wrists. It’s easy to make small changes in the positioning of the Mirrix as I work, which is the best way to keep my hands from feeling strained. I’ve used my old loom once or twice since I got my Big Sister from Mirrix. It just made my hands hurt. (The downside is that other parts of my body – particularly the one I sit on – get abused, because I lose track of time so easily when I’m weaving. Although I haven’t done it much yet, I’m looking forward to mixing my yarn stash and my bead stash together. I’ve got an awful lot of yarn that’s not being made into sweaters, now that I live in Texas. I have no idea what I’ll make, yet, but the tapestries I see being made by other Mirrix users are very inspirational.

Richard "Ric" Harber

beaded bracelet

beaded bracelet

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies  are you interested in and how did you get interested in them? Over the years, I have dabbled in a variety of crafts…..the dabbling settled on leatherwork as my main avocation.  Growing up, I did some leatherwork just growing up on a dairy and horse farm. I got a bit more serious with it while I was teaching economics at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The 20 some years following that, I would come back to leatherwork when I could, i.e., could get supplies, while overseas. When I retired in 2006, I found a ready source of materials and returned to leatherwork with a vengeance, leading to my opening a storefront just over two years ago. The leatherwork eventually brought me to beading and my Mirrix looms.

What type of weaving do you do? (Bead? Tapestry? Mixed-Media? Etc.?)  So far, I have only done bead weaving, but the tapestry and mixed-media looks interesting and may be calling to me.

What got you into weaving? As mentioned above, my main craft is leatherwork. I kept seeing beadwork combined with leather and loved the look and figured “I could do that”.

How long have you been weaving? About a year to 18 months.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom? I have done woven beads for use on hatbands and bracelets/cuffs and one piece that I call a necklace, but I’m not really sure if it is or not.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future? Who knows!

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom? When I had that thought…”I could do that”….I started doing research on how to do beads and settled on the use of a loom. Research regarding looms, led me to Mirrix…the obvious quality and fantastic reviews of the Mirrix Looms convinced me to make my first purchase (a Little Guy) then later my second (a Lani). I haven’t regretted the purchases….except for the eye strain ( :) )

Visit “Ric’s Leather” on the web here and on Facebook here.

Charles Gee

tapestry by Charles Geetapestry by Charles Gee

tapestry by Charles Gee

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them?I retired in 2006 and had hoped to get into my fully equiped woodworking shop, but fate in the form of Asthma intervened some years earlier and I had turned to fabric art as a possible solution to keeping my hands busy and my mind occupied. I started off with crochet, then living in the remote boondocks started to spin my own yarns. However in time the wool caused the Asthma to attack again. I switched to cotton and now do my own plying and dyeing.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you?
My Father did all sorts of stuff made wooden puzzles, superb caligraphy and so on. My Mother knitted (and drove me nuts with the click, click of the pins) It did not inspire but I spent many years making and/or fixing machinery and then more years making items for the Tourist /Souvenir trade.
What type of weaving do you do(Bead? Tapestry? Mixed-Media? Etc.?)
I started off with Tapestry but was disappointed with the lack of control and the difficulty of getting clean outlines to say nothing of the numerous rules, and the weaving “police.” I wanted a style that would allow vertical and horizontal lines and the precise placement of a single ‘pixel’ of color. I slowly developed an interest in Soumack or Swedish Knotting and am slowly working my way through transl

ating the techniques of Formal Tapestry in to this way of working.

What got you into weaving?
I found that I was amassing a collection of yarn that needed to be used. I will not knit, I can crochet but the results are limited in many ways. Thus I started to weave cloth, Inkle weaving and so on. A bit of tapestry, then rugs in various Soumack styles and at last into Soumack Tapestry.

How long have you been weaving?
Hard to say probably since about 2005

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom?
I bought and cursed 4 looms (which shall remain nameless) 3 were expensive but not able to maintain or even reach a decent level of tension, one could but it was way too big for a small apartment. I knew that I wanted something with a strong sturdy metal top and bottom, made do with a copper pipe job but awkward and irritating. Then I found the Mirrix and life started to be a pleasure again. I started off with a simple over two under one weave/stitch all going the same way – working always from left to right. Mirrix kept it beautifully straight until I cut off the warp and it went to 30 degrees out of straight vertical. Lesson number one – always do a balanced weave left to right then right to left. Lesson two was that I could not get the gradation in color I wanted from DMC Embroidery floss. Solution dye my own cotton so six months later I had a wall covered with a hand built shelving unit and almost 1,000 skeins of cotton dyed to my own specifications personally.

The next challenge was to see if I could make a straight line and a graduated color field and the result is the “Scarlet Meander.” In that piece I had worked out how to deal with vertical slits. I wanted to see if I could use this approach to deal with both vertical and horizontal slits. I was very unhappy with the way traditional tapestry had to deal with horizontal and vertical lines. Thus I poked around for a design that would test my new technique to the limit. The piece entitled “Greek Sunrise” was completed recently and apart from some slight mishaps b

ecame a learning experience and a vindication of both Horizontal and vertical lines. Dealing with up to 50 changes of thread in a row was a challenge, slow and tedious as it was, the result was worth the effort. The next step in this process was to see if I could work from a cartoon and that piece is coming to completion. It is to be a small amulet bag worn around my neck to hold my hearing. The front and back of the bag is complete and I am working on the last few inches of the strap/sides.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future?
The next task is to draw a cartoon of overlapping circles in a full set of colors and in a range of sizes then to weave it and teach myself the technique of fudging a circle. After that exercise I will do something that captures the technique of traditional hachures. I may then do a protractor of 360 degrees in order to pin down the exact way to deal with various angles. Then on to my passion of the moment “Flowers” and the nuances of light and shade etc.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom?
There was but one reason: tension, tension, tension! Once I had it then I discovered the simplicity of warping a Mirrix and the great pleasure to be had from the warp spring system – never, ever again will I go back to the hit and miss (to not even mention the mess) of a traditional warp on a warping board or even with the single pin method of one of my former looms. All a source of frustration and needless complexity

Do you have a website, Etsy page or social media site you’d like to share?
I weave period – no time for messing around with these new and wondourous techniques and technology. I may in time do a blog as the start of a Book about the techniques I have discovered but the learning curve is far from complete

Debbie Santolla

tapestry by Deb Santolla
tapestry by Deb Santolla
tapestry by Deb Santolla

Tell us a little about yourself:
Retired Lab Tech.

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them?
Spinning and knitting. Always love to work and handle fiber.

What type of weaving do you do?

What got you into weaving?
Taught myself to weave in High School. And was given a weaving book as a gift and was fascinated with the process.

How long have you been weaving?
I’m 61 yrs. old and have been weaving off and on since High School.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom?
Many Tapestries. and samplers to explore different techniques.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future?
My sketchbook is filled with possibilities.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom?
I own 3 different size Mirrix looms. They are a very well built looms  and I feel they are a real workhorse of a loom. I’ve traveled toworkshops and they pack easily and are a very sturdy product. I’m very happy using this loom. And recommend it’s use for beginners and right up to seasoned weavers.

Do you have a website, Etsy page or social media site you’d like to share?

I’d like tell new weavers that The American Tapestry Alliance is an excellent organization to get help from Tapestry artists who will share their knowledge in a Mentoring program. Usually a 6 month commitment, I was paired with an artist in Australia who was very generous with sharing her knowledge. I will always be thankful for her help. Please enjoy the website. www.AMERICANTAPESTRYALLIANCE.ORG

Anne Gately

Anne GatelyAnne Gately

Tell us a little about yourself: I’ve been retired for over 20 years with plenty of time to explore and develop the things I love to do. I live near the ocean in Maine with my husband Arthur. One of my daughters lives in
Costa Rica and the other lives in New York so without family around I devote most of my time to sewing, quilting, beading and volunteer work. I am currently on the board of directors serving as treasurer of the York Art Association.

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them?
I always sewed my own clothes and the clothes
of my daughters. Quilting became my passion in 1978 which later developed into a passion for off loom beadwork, mainly Peyote, and that has developed into a passion for my Mirrix loom. I have made many pieces with my Mirrix using beads, but I am challenged when it comes to using fibers. However, I have never liked working with kits and enjoy experimenting on my own.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you?
I always had a natural interest in crafts and made my first sweater when I was nine years old and my first afghan
a few years later. During my working career and while raising my daughters I made theirs and my own clothes.
I dabbled in painting and pottery but it wasn’t until the resurgence in quilting in the 70’s that a passion other than sewing took hold.

What type of weaving do you do?
I work with beads almost exclusively. I have tried a few projects using a mixture of fiber and beads but am not
completely happy with the results. I need some help with technique and have purchased several books on the subject but I tend to do what comes easy to me.

What got you into weaving?
I belonged to the Bead Society of New England and wanted to learn everything I could about beading. I purchased a “Larry the Loom” after seeing Don Pierce’s work. I had no success at all with this loom and eventually sold it to a fellow beader at the Society. Shortly after I had purchased this loom I saw a demo of the Mirrix by Claudia at an event held by the New England Bead Society held in Concord, NH. I was intrigued but since I had already purchased “Larry”
I couldn’t buy it. Somehow the image of the Mirrix stuck in my mind and when I was ready to try loom weaving again I purchased the Mirrix.

How long have you been weaving?
I purchased my loom about 10 months ago.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom?
I’ve done many projects, pictures included. I’ve sold several pieces at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art
and at shows at York Art Association. I tend to like simple designs with a Native American look.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future?
I have developed some designs for necklaces, and hope to expand into using a combination of fiber and beads but I don’t want to work with kits. I’d like to learn technique and explore on my own.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom:
I don’t know much about looms. My only other experience was with “Larry” I’ve seen pictures of other looms in books and magazines but the Mirrix is by far the most attractive to look at. I love that is light in weight and that it’s made of smooth material. After the first go around with warping, it’s very easy to use. I’m taking it to my fiber arts group next month to do a demo. I wish I had purchased the loom that day in Concord, New Hampshire.

Do you have a website, Etsy page or social media site you’d like to share?
I am on facebook but I just look at it to keep track of my grandchildren. I sell as much as I want to at the Museum, the Art Center, and to friends without a web or media site and would not like to have to push myself to fill orders. I do like to look at the work others are doing and there are plenty of opportunities to do so on the net.

Valorie Clifton

Tell us a little about yourself:  I’m a confessed bead addict with a passion for both off-loom and loom-woven beadwork.  There’s just something about those perfect little orbs of glass that I can’t get enough of!  I currently design off-loom beadwoven jewelry.  I also teach beadweaving both privately and in a local bead shop, Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry, LLC in Milton, FL.

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them?  I learned to crochet when I was 7.  There began my obsession with all things related to yarns and fibers.  I remember staying up way past my bedtime and working on weaving or embroidery, crochet, cross-stitch, you name it!  In my teen years I began to work with small crochet cotton and I made countless doilies and scarves as gifts.  I also discovered the delights of bead looming in my teen years and I remember making hair barrettes and items on a handmade loom.  I also dabble in photography, painting, digital art and metalsmithing.  Most recently I’ve enjoyed coppersmithing, knitting on a loom and creating both off-loom and loomed beadwork.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you?   My mom is a great artist!  She paints and draws and recently has taken up beadwork.  My brother likes to work with wood: carving, wood burning and using a lathe.  I think we all share a creative gene.

What type of weaving do you do?  I’m enjoying learning tapestry weaving with my Mirrix.  I’ve been experimenting with different types of threads and I’ve been watching lots of video tutorials.  It’s such a breeze with the shedding device for my loom!  I have done bead weaving for quite a while and I’m learning to mix beads and fiber.

What got you into weaving?  I saw an artist weaving beads on a loom long, long ago on an old craft show.  I figured I could do it so I made my own loom and had a lot of fun with it!

How long have you been weaving?  I did a lot of looming during my teen years and I’m recently getting back into loom-work.  I have so many interests that I rarely stick with any one genre for a length of time.  I hop about from project to project.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom?   So far I’ve just been playing and experimenting.  I’ve recently warped my loom for both a beaded piece and for a tapestry piece.  I’ve woven with a few types of yarn and I have project ideas in mind.

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future?  I mainly plan to work on jewelry designs.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom?   I was excited about the shedding device, the warping bar and the adjustable tension.  I’ve tried so many looms and the Mirrix is so easy to warp!  I love the warping bar.  I also love the tension you can achieve with the Mirrix.  It’s effortless!  The shedding device is what sold me.  The ability to create tapestry with my Mirrix in addition to beadwork is a huge plus!

Do you have a website, Etsy page or social media site you’d like to share?

Lora Negrito

Lora Negrito

Lora Negrito

What arts, crafts and/or hobbies are you interested in and how did you get interested in them?
My Grandma taught me how to sew for 4-H competitions. I sew a little, but not so much now that the kids are grown. I have made jewelry, crocheted, paper crafts, cross-stitch, all kinds of things. I promised my husband that I would limit my hobbies since each one by themselves are expensive. Bead Weaving is my stress relief, which as a middle school teacher is greatly needed.

Did anyone in your family do any crafts? Which crafts? Did this inspire you?
I loved watching and helping my Grandma do all kinds of things growing up. She was so talented. We spent many happy hours creating together. I miss that.

What type of weaving do you do?
I make Bead-Woven Tapestries, preferably the larger pieces. I am drawn to the large, free-hanging tapestries of the past, as well as the fabric-feel of a loom-woven bead piece. To me, the cool aspect of a piece is the way that it feels and acts like fabric, though it is made of beads. I explain it to my students as “fabric made of beads.” I feel that the woven pieces are made to be touched; therefore, I prefer to not frame my pieces. The larger pieces that I do would cost a fortune to frame anyway.

What got you into weaving?
I was teaching sewing and jewelry making at a local craft store. I decided to teach the kids how to make a beaded bracelet on a loom. Once I got started, I was hooked. Now, I teach students how to bead loom in an after-school Bead-Weaving Class. I have 16 students now and a waiting list.

How long have you been weaving?
About 4-5 years now.

What projects have you done on a Mirrix Loom?
After a bracelet or two, I knew I had to find a loom that would allow me to do larger pieces. I started researching and came across the Mirrix site. I stopped looking. I begged for a Big Sister loom for Christmas. My husband and kids pitched in and got one for me. I have completed 4 projects on it, so far. The last one was my Lone Wolf piece, original photo by Tim Davis. This past Christmas, my husband surprised me with the Zeus!

What projects do you hope to do on a Mirrix Loom in the future?
I am warping the Zeus now for my next project. It will be 23″ x 43″, will have over 540,000 beads. It will have 561 warps. 90 Colors. It is the Dragon Queen, and I received permission from the talented artist to create it.

Why did you choose a Mirrix Loom?
I was impressed with the professional grade, sturdiness of it. I liked the fact that it was made by a small, American company. I have no doubt that either of my looms will last longer than I will.