“How long did that take to make?” For this one, the fifth in the danskbrogd series, how about five months? It didn’t take five months of weaving, yet it lived on the loom for that time period. Started in May, it lingered over the summer while I chose other projects: travel to Norway, working with the “Traditional Norwegian Weaving: American Reboot” exhibit at Norway House,” and weaving many tapestry samples for my Norwegian Billedvev workshop at Vesterheim in September.
Oh — and spending time with my daughter and then baby Fitz, born 10/6/2017, was a fine excuse to miss studio time.
I like to compose in pattern bands at the loom, but I was not pleased with my initial choices for the series of bands at the bottom of the piece; the balance wasn’t quite right. I didn’t like a band of diamonds I wove, and if I cut that off, there was not enough “weight” under the row of nuclear missiles.
So I decided that I would use a portion of this section for the TOP of the weaving, wove the large X, and then rewove a bottom section. I started by examining what I had woven, made decisions about what I would rather have, and made sketches to remember.
Summer passed, and I returned and wove an improved bottom section.
I love getting back into my studio routine. Each day I watch the PBS News Hour from the night before, listen to the New York Times Daily podcast and the BBC Late Juction show, and follow up with a variety of other news podcasts.
And why the missiles? They are symbols of our contemporary life and concerns. Textile artist, author, and historian Annemor Sundbø was the first person who really taught me about the meaning of symbols in traditional Norwegian knitting and weaving patterns. In past centuries women wove protective or religious symbols into their work, symbols that appear to us merely as pattern background or bold graphics. So I use the traditional patterns as graphic elements, but often add symbols that today’s viewers would recognize, and perhaps seem incongruous in an traditional weave structure.