A Bright Danskbrogd Hanging with a Sad Intention

In memorial to Jacob Wetterling.

When I took my recent danskbrogd piece off the loom, I was was not completely happy, from a design vantage point. I finished it and put it on the wall in my studio and have been consulting it as I weave my current piece.  Today I took the piece to better light, and felt ready to take a photograph.



I wanted this piece to be more perfect, because of its serious purpose to me, as a memorial to Jacob Wetterling, and to my feelings about the discovery of his body this fall, 27 years after his disappearance.

For me, not knowing the fate of Jacob Wetterling was real and close to my emotions for years.  He was abducted at the time my own children were young. I can’t imagine the distress of his parents and family, through the years, and now, as the horrible facts of his death were revealed.

He was eleven. He continued to have only eleven years, and my children grew.  My daughter is married.  My son Joe brought Cora to my life. Their lives are rich.

These two bands represent the past, Jacob with a red/orange diamond for each year of his life. The other band represents the ages of my children when Jacob was abducted; they were four and seven.


Near the top of the piece, Jacob’s eleven diamonds are repeated. The 32 dark-brown crosses represent the current age of my daughter Margaret, and the 34 light-brown crosses are for my son Joe’s age.


The case of Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance is solved.  There is some resolution. For a while this fall, I think the whole state of Minnesota felt like one family, united in horror and in support of Jacob’s family. His strong parents have done wonderful, positive things in his memory, including founding the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.  Still, sadness will remain in the hearts of everyone who followed his story.




  1. Robbie–very interesting post. Last week, as I absolutely forced myself to finish a table runner, dragging my heels as it got closer to my deadline. Well, that’s not 100% accurate. I was just trying to get the dang thing off the loom so that I could weave something else. I liked it and the overall concept, but I could not force myself to weave it. The night before inauguration day, I finally finished. I leaned over to cut it off and had a real epiphany. It was my grief. I had been weaving my grief that whole time, so I brought that over to Sue Hensel’s Gallery for the Acts of Resistance event instead of something else I had made long ago. What a fall we have had.

    1. If only the acts of resistance could end now…… Still, perhaps we should challenge ourselves in the coming months to weave a piece of pure light and positive energy.

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