While studying the tapestries in my friend Carol Johnson’s extensive weaving collection, and reading several books about Swedish tapestry, I was captivated by the flowers in many historical Swedish flamskvav, particularly the tulips. (Read more about those tapestries in this article from the Norwegian Textile Letter, “Dipping into Carol Johnson’s Tapestry Collection.”) I decided to sample one on my small copper pipe loom. It was mostly successful…one edge could have been a bit more rounded, but it was still sweet. But then what should I add? I hadn’t planned. Here is one of the floral tapestries in Carol’s collection.
Many of the historical Swedish pieces have birds or animals (I am going to weave one of those wonderful red lions soon). An article I recently read was “Lions, Stars and Pomegranates from Southern Sweden,” by Viveka Hansen. Add fruit, maybe? At this time, I was visiting my friend Ann at her cabin in northern MN, and I brought her a t-shirt with Andy Warhol bananas. I am a avid Andy Warhol fan. I considered adding a chicken and a banana, but there wasn’t enough space on the warp for the chicken, so I added another blue flower, similar to one on an old Swedish tapestry.
My piece is small, 5″ x 9″. Other than the dark brown, which is Harrisville Highland, I used some wonderful natural-dyed wool I purchased at the Textile Center Garage Sale. I have a grocery-bag sized stash of small samples, meticulously documented–perfect for tapestry.