He had signed up for it, then in only his third year in the prison, because he thought that a loom might offer him something in the way of a weapon or a tool for escape. The loom when it came was meant to be bolted to the floor and wall; its moving parts were titanium steel, and the entire device had its own hidden sensors that told invisible, probably far distant observers when a piece was fatigued and needed repair or replacement. Any attempt on his part to disassemble the loom would have set off alarms in the prison and on Moonbase, millions of klicks away.
So he had stared at it for a year. The Powers (so he thought of them, the faces that appeared on skene, the masters of his universe) offered to have it taken away; he said he would like to think about it some more.
He read about weaving, spinning, fabrics. He ordered some artificial wools, superior to the real thing in color, texture, and durability. It had taken him two more years to master the loom, five years more after that before he could say that his weavings were really good, but after that he took a peculiar pride in his work. (It was, of course, part of his pathology that he felt pride at all, just as it was part of his pathology that he wanted to be the best weaver in the Outposts. As he certainly was. Nobody else in the Outposts wanted to be the best at anything: being best was something that the Founders had left back on earth.) And then came the hobby of reenacting and its need for recreated fabrics. Fabrics made in the three-dimensional printer looked thin, drapey, shiny, even though they were warm or cold as needed, stretchy or tight as wanted. They were not, of course, fabrics at all; they were plastic sheeting. Reenactors hated them.
So then came the Sven Sakarno weavings. He became famous all over again: first time, as a sociopath; second time, as an artist.