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Article: Blind centenarian weaves by feel

November 25, 2019

LINCOLN TIMES-NEWS

Lincoln County’s Home Newspaper in North Carolina

Blind centenarian weaves by feel

MICHELLE T. BERNARD Senior Staff Writer

Sep 23, 2019 

Instead of the sound of an electric motor running, there’s a steady thwack of fabric being beaten back by the beater as Oscar Winston Norris operates the antique Leclerc loom that sits in the window of House of Awards and Engraving in downtown Lincolnton. As he throws the weft right to left through the warp, he operates the treadles under the loom to make the warp go up or down to lock in each pass of the weft. It’s a quick but steady movement that’s almost mesmerizing to watch. It doesn’t take more than a few hours for Norris to complete a throw rug using this human-powered loom, yet it’s an art that’s all but lost today. 

This may seem confusing to someone who’s never woven textiles by hand but for Norris, who’s been operating a hand loom for almost six decades, it’s second nature. What makes Norris’ weaving particularly fascinating is that he’s 101 years old – he’ll be 102 next Wednesday – and he’s totally blind. He learned to weave to help his wife, Isabel, who was completely blind as well. The Leclerc loom belonged to his wife.

Click here for full article: https://www.lincolntimesnews.com/arts_and_entertainment/blind-centenarian-weaves-by-feel/article_54d97948-dde7-11e9-ad7b-5741ab7a3801.html  

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