This is difficult. I never review a product or almost never.
The Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival got the topic "Review a favorite product", though (what idiot chose that one and called it simple on top of that, oh yeah, it was me), so now I have to choose a favorite product first and then I have to talk about it.
My problem? I never thought about even having such a favorite. Sure, I always get my copper wire from the same manufacturer which obviously means it's my favorite copper wire, I mostly have one brand of crochet hooks in two sets, I usually stick to the same kind of thread or seed and cylinder beads. Even some of my tools - not expensive then - are still the same as ten years ago.
I have been wearing the same style of jeans and sneakers, even socks for decades. I'm a very loyal customer, if I like something and if I'm not getting disappointed with the quality, I'll stick with what I know. Boring, possibly, but hassle-free. This goes for things that are not high on my priority list. I never aspired to be a trendsetter. If I could get my favorite shirt in different colors for decades to come, that would be perfect.
That doesn't mean, however, I don't try out anything new at all in my life. As you know I love experimenting with new ideas, techniques and designs. I'm even game to try a new recipe (if I don't have to cook myself ;-)).
Then it suddenly came to me. I have a bunch of bead looms. I'm quite happy with my smaller ones most of the time (Peak Dale Bead Loom, I have the Giant, Long and Ultimate, and I have one that I put together from the side parts of an Ultimate with the dowels and springs of a Basic) although the Giant and Ultimate could have more space between the two thread separators for my personal taste and kind of work, but for larger panels, for my portraits or other special pieces I always turn to my JaLa loom.
I own this one thanks to a dear friend, so it's special to me in more than one way.
Unfortunately JaLa Looms are not made anymore, so I can only make your mouth water now, but not tell you where to get one. Believe me, had I known that before I would have sold my cats to get another one (not just because of the price, but postage and possible tax/custom fees from overseas for a piece of that weight). Okay, I wouldn't have done that of course, but I would definitely have saved up for another one.
Mine is the model 0818 which means a workspace of 8" and a track length of 18", it holds about 128 warps. There was also the longer 0836, both lengths came in the wider 1218 and 1236 as well which hold about 190 warps, and the fix length loom 0612f for 90 warps. Sleds and tracks were also available individually.
Let me show you this little beauty. Makes me feel like a proud mom (don't mind the table and its scratches, it's where cat meds were and are given)! ;-)
The sleds move on the tracks, so you can adjust the exact length you need for your project. This is the setting for my fan wall portraits.
With these wooden bars you can adjust the tension after warping the loom. You just need to loosen the bar using an Allen key on the screws.
This is the loom from the back. There is some cork on there to avoid scratching surfaces (that is pretty hilarous looking at my table) and to give the loom some grip. At least that is what I think. I don't work at a table myself, you know. I sit on my bed or in my TV chair, have the knees up and the loom against my legs. For me that is the perfect position.
Here you see one of the differences between the JaLa and the Peak Dale. I don't think I have to add anything to that.
Just have a look at the perfectly beautiful construction and finish of this sled. It's so smooth that it doesn't snag any threads if I have a blanket over my legs for example when looming.
This is the JaLa in comparison with the Peak Dale Giant.
Again, I'm happy with my Peak Dale looms for what they cost. They may look very flimsy compared to the JaLa, but it's a bit like with cars. You can get from A to B with a Mini or a Rolls Royce and both can satisfy you in very different ways, comfort or price for example. The Peak Dales do their job, no doubt, and I do use them a lot. They are not adjustable, though, sometimes I catch my working thread on the nuts and screws, they have springs instead of the rod, the components don't stand a chance compared to those of the JaLa.
The JaLa is the Rolls Royce. It's sturdy and well-thought-out in its details. On top of that it's beautiful.
Back in 2014 when I got this loom I had already posted a picture here and from my few sentences you could tell the same excitement and happiness that I still feel now after having worked with it so much.
It may sound strange to you, but I still get that same feeling when I rest the weight of this loom against my legs, ready to start something new.
Maybe you know now why I don't write reviews. I'm not good talking about technical stuff and I sound silly if I bring emotions into this.
As mentioned before, this is a blog carnival, though. Maybe someone else will be better at this than I am. I'll add the links as I get them. Have a look!
Jewelry Art by Dawn