TC2 Workshop Photo Diary: Lebanon September 2022

TC2 Workshop Photo Diary: Lebanon September 2022

The TC2 loom is so much more than being a product or a tool, it is also a common thread connecting weavers and textile enthusiasts across the world. It is a means of going new places, gathering new experiences and making new relationships. Over the years, the loom has traveled to newer settings and is being used for fascinating projects! And we thought it could be interesting to document the start of some of these new journeys of the loom, through a series: TC2 Workshop Photo Diary! Our representative Anita Michaluszko shares her experiences while conducting TC2 workshop in Lebanon!

Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut, Lebanon acquired a TC2 loom for their Fashion Department, which was established in 2013 in collaboration with the renowned fashion designer Elie Saab and the London College of Fashion. Their atelier is already equipped with an impressive number of machines for garment construction. Now the TC2 loom is adding new possibilities for fabric creation and a lot of room for creative exploration.

The training was attended by professors with different backgrounds ranging from design to pattern making to design theory as well as an engineer. Each of them contributing with their knowledge and figuring out what role the loom could play in their own practice. The training of three days was spread over a week.

On day one we embarked on the ambitious journey to prepare a warp for the entire width of the loom of 1320 threads. The planning was intense at times, but during the process, we only grew stronger as a team and closer together. Different tasks had to be executed simultaneously and this was only possible thanks to participants anticipating and helping each other out with their computer skills or textile knowledge.

Nisrine Al Awar, Lead Fashion Design LAB Supervisor, was hosting the workshop and supplying us with coffee out of her office while keeping everyone in a good mood with her everlasting smile. It has also been a luxury to have James Dagger, an engineer from Al Diyar (the company who organized bringing the loom to LAU) with us. His role was to understand the workings of the loom in order to be able to follow up on any technical issue in the future.

Guitta Melki, an experienced textile designer, shared her rich fabric archive with us. She has lived in the US, working for an interior textiles weaving company there. The technically advanced fabrics she’d created, using multiple warp and weft systems, are very impressing. She is teaching a textile design course within the fashion department and has lots of knowledge to share. On the last day, we could only weave a couple of test samples on a part of the warp, but everyone got the taste of it and was eager to continue!

Lebanese hospitality is truly heartwarming! Simon and Roger Laham from Al Diyar International Company (supplying laboratory and educational equipment) invited the group for a great dinner in a restaurant located on one of the hills surrounding Beirut. The introduction to Lebanese food, culture and the delicious food tasting and sharing during lunches resulted in me buying a Lebanese cuisine cookbook to bring home.

From left to right: Marleen Nachef, Nour El Asmar, Nisrine Al-Awar, Anita Michaluszko, Roger Laham, Simon Laham, Guitta Melki and James Dagger. Elie Mhanna is unfortunately missing on the picture.

Despite the massive explosion in the harbour in 2020, the city got back on its feet surprisingly quickly as expressed by the sculpture of a woman raising from the ruins. Next to Beirut, I had the chance to visit Byblos and Batroun up north on the coast. Lebanon has a lot to offer to visitors and I hope to be back soon. It would be also great to see what projects will emerge out of the TC2 there!

About the trainer:

Anita Michaluszko was introduced to TC2 weaving by Corrie van Eijk in Drachten, the Netherlands. Corrie has had a TC2 for many years, and during the Covid-19 shutdown we got a fantastic proof of the ‘TC2-family network’:  We had sold a loom to a university in the Netherlands, including on-site training. Except, crossing country borders was no longer permitted. We asked Corry if she knew somebody who could perhaps do the training, and she suggested Anita! Anita was willing, and a great collaboration started! She has now carried out TC2 installations in many different countries, and each time she has impressed us with her knowledge, energy and skills in teaching and communicating! She is on board the team 🙂

Anita states that the TC2 quickly became her favourite tool. She is an experimental Textile Designer working freelance for various companies as well as on independent projects exploring the technique of weaving and new technologies, such as “Augmented Weaving” (@augmentedweaving). The latest will be exhibited during the Dutch Design Week in October 2022. More on the project here.