TC2 installation & workshop at China Academy of Art

Showing Fabric Designs in Workshop


Vibeke Vestby and colleague Helle Ekaas were in China in November 2017: The purpose was…

1) to install the TC2 loom they had just acquired at China Art Academy (CCA)

2) to teach a workshop. Vibeke tells us more about their experiences…

The university had invited outstanding professors from 10 other universities around China (in pics below), so our challenge was to infuse and inspire a group of 30 people – ranging from students to merited professionals. Additional challenges were that not everybody were fluent in English!

We had two weeks to convince the participants about the potential of the TC2. I think the many pictures will speak for themselves. 🙂 The photos below show the participants learning how to make the warp, wind it on the loom, and do the threading. They also learnt how to debug the loom, and how to do general maintenance.



Professor Assadour Markarov, originally from Bulgaria, is in charge of  the new Digital Textile Art study at CAA. Our friendship goes back to 1992, when we met in Lausanne: He was exhibiting at the biannual, and we were both attending the ETN conference timed to coincide with the exhibition opening! Assadour has always been 100 % updated on the international textile art scene, and observed how textile art expressions gradually transformed, partly due to the growth of digital jacquard technology.

When his university founded the digital textile art laboratory, they had made their proper preparations: The equipment, the space, the resources, the workshop – all to ensure a successful startup! The space is AMAZING: 2 huge, high-ceiling-ed rooms, each with one long side covered with windows from floor to ceiling! The rooms are equipped with air conditioner and air de-humidifier, and the space for the loom was selected to be near the back wall – so that the vacuum pump could be parked in the hallway behind the studio. I have hardly ever come to a better equipped studio: They have all required weaving tools, ranging from bobbin winders, various types of shuttles, pirns, a warping mill, reed hooks and a super vacuum cleaner! The computer at the loom has a big Wacom touch screen 🙂



CAA had also invited the American textile artist Lia Cook, now retired Professor from California College of Arts (CCA), and a TC-customer for the past 17 years!  Lia arrived towards the end of the TC2 workshop, and lifted the participants focus from technical details to the big questions about art and finding your own path! Lia inspired everybody with her presentations and involved conversations!

All the students were well versed in Tapestry Weaving. But the jacquard concept was new to the majority. Many had a background in textile sculpture, photography, music and multi-media. Below is a collection of photos of weavings from the 2-week long workshop and the following weeks!



One student chose to weave a photo of Jeff Koon’s sculpture “Jeff Koons and La Cicciolina.” A great learning experience: Left shows the first trial and to the right, a picture of the final piece. This student had not woven before!!


I kept getting photos of exciting new textiles coming off the TC2 loom! All participants demonstrated that they are now able to weave a motif of their own choice, and select good technical solutions. They must have had excellent instructors  😉