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A Year observed: Weaving (mine) and Walking (Fitz’s)

This is the time of year to assess what has happened in twelve short months, and give thanks for my family and friends and all of the rich opportunities and experiences I’ve had. I have a new grandson, my best boy Fitzgerald, and he spent two days per week with me while my daughter Margaret was teaching.  I didn’t even know that “Grandma-care” is a thing, a common word. So this year it makes sense that my textile recap will weave in the excitement of a growing grandchild.

One of several danskbrogd pieces in my X series was on the loom at the beginning of 2018, and Fitz was on the floor, three months old.

My missile piece, completed in late 2017, was part of the annual Textile Center of Minnesota member show in January. It was also accepted into the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition in the summer, which was a BIG DEAL to me.

Throughout January I made many embellished things, in preparation for my North House class on Scandinavian embellishments in February.

In February and March I worked furiously on a piece for a show at the Textile Center of Minnesota, “Artists in the Kitchen: 50 works of art by women artists inspired by 50 women chefs & restaurateurs.” My piece was inspired by Ashlee Olds, creator of Sweet Science Ice Cream. Fitz came to the studio for warping.

In March Fitz enjoyed a trip to the home of Carol Johnson, to choose many Scandinavian weavings for an exhibit at the Weavers Guild, A Passionate Pursuit: Scandinavian Weavings from the Collection of Carol Johnson. In connection with the exhibit I gave a lecture on Norwegian and Swedish tapestry, “Scandinavian Tapestry Treasures.”

In early summer (and again in the fall) I was immersed in Norwegian skillbragd, when our Scandinavian Weavers Study Group, with the expert organization of Lisa Torvik, set up a group warp on a Glimakra loom at the Weavers Guild. See the article on our experience, with many more photos, in the Norwegian Textile Letter, “Playing at the Loom Together: The Scandinavian Weavers Study Group Tackles Skillbragd.”

Meanwhile, it’s now July, and Fitz is not the first grandchild to discover the drawers of thread treasures.

In September I taught two four-day workshops in at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Billedvev: Norwegian Tapestry Techniques–such rich and amazing experiences for me.

Simple boxes packed for class
Fitz at a favorite park at the end of August

My Toika was taken up for several months as I struggled with a danskbrogd moose image.

My tapestry projects were all small-scale; a New Year’s resolution is to embark on a piece of an ambitious size. I also have an ambitious project, made of many pieces, in the works.

At the end of this year, Fitz is walking and climbing. And I am thankful for my husband, kids, and all of the other grandchildren!  This year has included challenges as well, but I realize I am so blessed in my friends, in Weavers Guild and Scandinavian Weaving Study Group members who are so generous and fun, and all of the students I have encountered this year. I am thankful for all of the readers and supporters of the Norwegian Textile Letter. I am excited about 2019, with a trip to Scandinavia to study Frida Hansen’s transparency technique, with the help of a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation. (Read more here.) Happy New Year!

Fitz on the move on the day of mounting the current show at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, “Under Foot: Rugs from the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.”


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