Looms are symbols of artistic skill, cultural maintenance and universal female traditions. This loom was originally made at Merbeka Displaced Persons Camp, Germany, for Latvian weaver Elga Kivicka. It was made from timber found in the camp or retrieved from nearby bomb sites. Brought to Australia by Karlis Gulbergs, the loom was purchased by Anna Apinis in 1970. It is similar to the loom Anna brought to Australia, on which her daughter Anita learned to weave. In the foreground is an unplying machine, made for Anna by Ervins in Parkes Holding Centre in 1950. As suitable weaving materials were difficult to find in post-war Australia, Ervins designed and used this unplying machine, made from cans, scrap metal and wood, to unply balls of wools to make weaving threads for Anna. The machine is still useful today, to obtain colours not readily available in commercial weaving threads.
Kivicka Loom at the Immigration Museum
Anita demonstrates her weaving techniques. The unplying machine can be seen at the front of a countermarch floor loom.
Copyright: Museum Victoria,
Photographer: Benjamin Healley