Textile Center of Minnesota Member Show 2020

The annual member show at the Textile Center of Minnesota is always amazing, and this year it is particularly large, 120 entries. The opening is this week, Thursday, January 9, 5:30-7. My piece is “Roots,” the potato plant piece I wove in 2019 using Frida Hansen’s transparency tapestry technique.

The Textile Center sent out a questionnaire to the exhibiting artists. They were only going to feature the first 20 entries, so I’m not sure I made that cut. They also said if you were featured last year, you were not eligible for this year. I don’t think I responded last year. But here’s what I responded now:

Describe the inspiration for your piece.
On a fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation in Stavanger, Norway, I studied the transparency tapestry technique of Frida Hansen. Her Art Nouveau weaving often featured roses and exotic birds from the gardens of her youth. But for my first larger piece? The exotic “gardens” of my childhood in northwestern Minnesota were potato fields.

Give a brief narrative of the timeline and process of creating your piece.
I completed many small samples of Frida Hansen’s open warp tapestry technique while I was in Norway in May, 2019, testing warp and weft yarns. Back in Minnesota I adapted a botanical potato drawing to suit the technique, and then spent much of the month of July in front of my Swedish Glimakra tapestry loom. In traditional tapestry technique, where the warp threads are completely covered, the weaver beats down the yarn when building shapes. Beats! It was a new experience, and almost amusing, to PLACE and TAP yarn in place in the technique that leaves some of the warp exposed.
Name the one thing that aids your artistic process the most.
One? Inspiration from the work of centuries of often unknown tapestry weavers.
How would your best friend describe your style?
Always evolving.
What’s your favorite part about creating?
Stepping AWAY from the loom to observe a portion of a weaving just completed, that “Look, it worked!” moment. Of course, that doesn’t always happen, and then you muster up as much zen-like acceptance of the inevitably of ripping out and reweaving.

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