Praxis Expands with New Digital Weaving Lab

After four years in operation in the Waterloo Arts District, Praxis Fiber Workshop, a community textile studio, will expand to include digital weaving equipment. In October, 2018, our organization purchased the double family home adjacent to the back parking lot of Praxis on East 152nd Street. With renovations complete, the upstairs two-bedroom apartment will house our artist-in-residence program and the downstairs will house the computer-assisted looms and other digital textile equipment.

Opening in June, 2019, the concept for the digital lab is simple. Classes in digital dobby and jacquard weaving will be offered three times per year. For the remaining nine months, the looms will be available to rent on an individual basis. Rental includes 24/7 access to the digital lab and technical assistance during business hours. Full membership to Praxis Fiber Workshop including access to print tables, dye lab and private studio space can be added a la carte.

When taking a beginning weaving class at Praxis, students are introduced to the handloom. This manual loom is controlled by pedals the weaver sets up in a specific pattern. The pedals tell the loom which yarns to move to create a specific pattern in the cloth. Computer-assisted looms are similar, however here, the computer tells the looms which yarns to move. With this equipment, weavers can create complex cloth in a fraction of the time.

This expansion is a unique plan for a community textile organization in the United States. Currently, there are no locations in this country where an artist can rent individual time on a digital loom without taking a class. This gives artists that have had access to the equipment during their education a place to continue their work. It also gives experienced weavers an opportunity to easily expand their practice.

Cleveland is a pivotal location for the national art community and it is our goal to connect to the larger art markets in this country and abroad. The benefits of artists visiting and exhibiting in Cleveland from other cities (while providing artist exchange experiences with Cleveland-based artists in their respective cities) is invaluable. These tools correspond with an innovation in our field that is essential for the growth of textile art. Praxis will now be contributing in a significant way towards this movement forward.

Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration at 5:00pm on Friday, June 7.


Praxis Digital Weaving Lab, 439 East 152nd Street

Praxis Fiber Workshop

15301 Waterloo Road

Cleveland, Ohio 44110