For Xmas I wanted to make a friend a cat-themed weaving shuttle on the MakerSpace laser cutter on the Trotec laser cutter. However, I was having a lot of problems with the digital file, and couldn’t get the item printed as planned in time. However I still really like the design, and wanted to give it a try.
Like the other laser cutter projects I’ve shown in the past (click the laser cutter tag to read them) I started by designing the shuttles and the kitty that would be engraved into them in Adobe Illustrator. I got the overall shape of the shuttle from a shuttle I own for tablet weaving, and the kitty design is based off the Celtic-style illustration on the Irish Archeology page about the 9th Century poem Pangur Bán. The illustration is not period (or if it is, it’s not cited) but it was just something that suited my needs and I thought would be cute for a weaving shuttle (what with kitties loving to play with all the strings…)
I cut the shuttles on the laser cutter in 1/4″ Baltic Birch, then once they were cut and engraved, sanded them with power tools at home. On one of them I used my Dremel to carve out a valley in the back for more yarn/thread to fit into, but I didn’t really care for the very rough result given how smooth the rest of the piece is, so I didn’t repeat this in the other shuttles.
I cut the shuttles out in two sizes, the larger one is approximately 19cm/8″ and the smaller one is approximately 15cm/6″. I’m not really sure which size will work better – since I haven’t even started learning how to tablet weave yet! If you’re a weaver (either inkle, tablet, tapestry, box, backstrap, etc) please let me know in the comments which size you find useful for your shuttles.
Then I stained each with a mix of Mahogany and Tudor wood stains (see my post about my recent lantern project to find out why….) and then finished them with clear varnish.
Want to see what else I’m making?
If you want to see more of my work-in-progress photos, come follow me on Instagram! If you want to see more finished projects, please either subscribe to my blog, or follow me on my Dawn’s Dress Diary Facebook page, where each of my blog posts gets published so you can see when new posts come out.