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Justin Squizzero loves exploring the frontiers of technology, seeing how he can tune a piece of equipment to produce a complex textile. The technology that fascinates him reached its peak before the 20th century. Weaving on an old loom doesn’t mean trying to turn back time, though—it means choosing the most refined technology to create the handwoven fabrics that he envisions. If a modern tool is better than the historic one (like the laser cutter that produced the small metal rings called mails, which were needed to to convert his loom from weaving coverlets to damask), that would be one thing. For all the supposed advances in technology in the last several hundred years, though, the best tool for weaving fine linen damask is still the one invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard more than 200 years ago.
Justin Squizzero sits at his jacquard loom in the Burroughs Garret. Photo courtesy of Justin Squizzero
Studying with Norman Kennedy and Kate Smith at the Marshfield School of Weaving helped Justin deepen his understanding of and fascination with the tools and techniques of 18th- and 19th-century weaving. What began as a winter occupation between summers working in museums led to beginning a business as a traditional handweaver, becoming a regular teacher in School’s unique curriculum, and most recently taking on the role as its Director.
In Justin’s weaving practice, discovery and ingenuity are as vital looking to the past as to the future.
This episode is brought to you by:
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