Ruben Torres is an Oregon based artisan whose Etsy shop is called A Sailor Who Weaves. He really is a sailor - a chief engineer - who enjoys card weaving his friendship bracelets.  He finds it relaxing to make them while at sea.

Ruben, who comes from a family of artists in Colombia, says he doesn't mind the teasing from his shipmates.  I can't see why they should do so as sailors have long done crafts like knotting, wood carving and scrimshaw work (see this past featured designer) to pass the time away. Besides, his work is lovely!

Card or tablet weaving is an ancient technique going back to at least the Iron Age.  It was and is still used to make narrow trim for belts straps and to embellish clothing. Think of it as weaving but without the loom.  A very inexpensive way to weave!  Not to mention convenient especially in small shipboard quarters!

There is a shuttle.  The warp threads are held on several cardboard pieces with holes in them. These tablets are used to raise certain threads according to patterns. In the past, these card or tablets were made from wood, stone, leather, metal, bone and so on.  But some modern card weavers use playing cards! 

Watch Marni Niles' quick video on how she does card weaving.  It certainly makes you appreciate Ruben's work all the more!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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