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Pfakofen – the answer…

Bruce’s comment about the multi-spouted pot being maybe used as a lamp (thank you, Bruce!) was, it seems, not the first one. There’s a German article about special forms, though, that comes to the conclusion that these multi-spout pots generally do not work well as a lamp. (See “Lampen im Barbaricum”, p. 222, in Armbruester, Tanya, and Morten Hegewisch. Studien zur Archäologie Europas, edited by Joachim Henning, Achim Leube and Felix Biermann, vol. 11, Bonn 2010).

So… the spouty pot is probably not a lamp. Though it may have been used for some kind of drinking games, the one in Pfakofen was found in context with a spindle whorl, and there were cochineal lice inside the pot – placing it nicely in a textile work context.

When we were in Eindhoven with the first Textile Forum, there was also one of these pots replicated – and Viktoria Holmqvist mentioned that she’d always wanted to try one as a warping helper for tablet weaving. And so she did – with very good success.

It works like this: You thread the yarn ends through the spouts into the pot and out the middle hole, and then thread your tablets with them.

Then you place the balls of yarn into bowls or similar containers, so they don’t roll about the floor like crazy, and you can start warping.

The trick is to pull upwards – if you do that, you will get a really smooth, evenly-tensioned flow of yarn from your spouty pot. I’ve tried this with a 5 m stretch between the warp end posts, and it still worked nicely, provided you pulled up (or as up as possible); for an even longer warp, I’d set a zigzag course instead of a straight line for warping, and then more length would not be an issue at all.

I’ve made quite a few warps, and pulling up is always a good idea, but using the pot makes things just… smoother, more evenly tensioned, and much, much more fun.

Bonus feature: It looks like dancing.

Second bonus feature: I now have a 5 metre warp with 20 tablets to play with…

This entry was posted in all the gory details, tablet weaving, textile techniques and tools. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pfakofen – the answer…

  1. Traci Eaton says:

    Sweeeet, I love that it is like dancing, I find weaving to be that way especially if I am back strapping. I don’t know if I will find/use a spouty pot to help me with the next long warp but some variation on the theme looks good to me.

    • Katrin says:

      I’ve tried substituting the spouty pot with cups and going through the handles with the threads, but it did not work well…

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