shuttles in a circleI am in love. With shuttles. I love the weight of a well-crafted shuttle in my hand, the clean lines, the harmonious proportions, the smooth feel of wood or bone or ivory.

I love the way a perfectly made shuttle follows the natural curve of my palm and points toward the thread as if enticing me to move it back and forth around the smooth cotton. Back and forth in a rhythmic motion to lull me into blissful forgetfulness.

I love the way the shuttle chants to me its click click click click as the quivering cotton wraps its soft cord around and around and around her inmost shaft.


Okay, I’m back. But just look at this beauty:

racoon wooden shuttleThis is my first handmade shuttle, by Dave of Grizzly Mountain Arts, and to this day is one of my favorites. I found Dave on eBay in 2000 or 2001 I think, way back when he wasn’t yet well known, and his prices hadn’t yet gone up!

I’ve purchased several of his shuttles over the years, and yes, the prices rose for each one [cough, cough], and each has been well worth it.

This 3″ shuttle is hand carved out of a single piece of solid oak, sanded to a smooth finish and sealed for a polished look and feel. Best of all it features a cute little raccoon peaking out of a hole in his tree-house home. Look at those pouty eyes. How could you say no to this little guy?

I think raccoons are adorable; that is, the cute ones like the stuffed raccoon I used to carry around as a child, not the rabid ones that have been breaking into my mom’s house for the last few months and tearing up her kitchen.

Back to the shuttle. The ends come to a nice point, with one end a bit longer for a useful pick, and are none too inclined to poke me. The tips come together well and, if anything are a bit tighter than I would prefer as it takes a strong pull to get the thread through.

From the moment I first put my fingers around this little beauty, I swore off cheap plastic shuttles forever. I still recommend them for beginners, as they are perfectly functional and an inexpensive way to get started in the craft, but I’m now a convert to handmade wooden, ivory, bone, horn, etc. What do I love about this firm wood shuttle? Well, it’s a sensual thing…