My seven-year-old granddaughter Cora, far away in Vermont, is a great fan of unicorns. Coralie is also a textile fan. She thinks I can accomplish anything with a needle and thread (or a sewing machine or loom). Last fall, when she came to Minnesota, and we were in my studio, she asked earnestly, “Grandma, would you make me a tapestry?” Well, of course.
I thought of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, but also my favorite Norwegian billedvev horses. Why not combine them? I added a horn to a Norwegian-style horse after checking the French tapestry unicorn. Like, where does the horn exactly sit on the head?
The background of the French tapestry series includes a background of millefleurs, tiny flowers. For mine, I chose to include a few flowers taken from old Norwegian tapestries.
I warped up my small copper pipe loom, and planned to take as my “travel tapestry” when I taught my Norwegian Billedvev workshop in Denver. It would have started yesterday. I was so sad to cancel. Instead the unicorn has become my sit on the couch and watch the Sopranos tapestry. I’m sure I will finish the tapestry before the Sopranos; we still have more than a whole season left.
Would you like to see a really wonderful unicorn tapestry? Go to the website of Finnish genius tapestry weaver Aino Kajaniemi, and scroll through her “works” section to see a sweet girl holding the horn of a unicorn.
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