John in His Dotage, by John Marshall
Gofun face and hands, glass eyes,
shirt and jeans from John’s old clothing,
and shoes from John’s childhood. 24” tall.
How to Make Your Own Set of Harite
Harite are actually rather easy to construct and once you have one under your
belt you will be able to make any size you may need.
The principal is simple: Small needles pierce your fabric to grab hold of it.
When the clamp is closed, the needle will penetrate the corresponding hole in
the mated bar. When great tension is applied in stretching and suspending your
yardage, this arrangement will keep the needles from bending and prevent the
fabric from escaping the clamp.
First determine the width of fabric you are likely to use most often. For our
purposes, I will suppose it to be 36” wide silk. Notice in the image above that the needles do not reach all the way
to the ends of the bars. The distance between the two end needles will need to
be a minimum of 36” to accommodate your fabric width. To this 36” add another 2” to each end for a bar that measures 40” in all.
You’ll need two matching wood pieces of clear molding, 40” x 1” x 3/8”. Clear grain and lightweight will be your best bet. Work with what you can
find, the wood dimensions (other than minimum length) are rather arbitrary.
Measure 2” in from one end and pencil a dot every 3/8”, about 1/4” in from one edge, and stop 2” before you reach the far end. Find some very sharp 5/8” long, needle-like brads. Hammer the brads through the molding at the dots. It
may help to use a drill press to drill a pilot hole first, just be sure to
choose a drill bit that is narrower than your brad. The brads should poke
through the molding about 1/4”.
Gently line up the piece of molding with the brads to the piece with no brads.
Press so that the brads leave indentations on the new length of molding. Select
a drill bit considerably larger than your brad in thickness, say 3/16”, and using a drill press, drill a hole at each indentation, about 3/8” deep into the wood.
Next you will need at least five hinges, 1” long by 3/8”. Mate the two lengths of molding. Use the hinges to wed the two lengths by
attaching them to the side away from the brads. The first one should be
centered, the next two about four inches in from the ends, and the next two
about twelve inches in from the ends. You should now be able to open and close
your harite with ease.
With your harite closed shut, drill a 5/16” hole through the mated pair, centered 1/2” in from each end. This is the hole through which your rope will pass. Choose a
rope about 1/4” thick and one that will hold up to a lot of use. Look carefully at the image
above and take note of the direction the rope is traveling when it is threaded
through the holes–one is poking up through the hole, and the other is poking down. The rope should
be about 1.5 times the length of the harite, so 60” for this set. Tie off the ends with a good knot to keep the rope from pulling
You will need to prepare two sets of harite for each length of cloth.