Frida’s Flowers: A Still Life. Dealing with Long Exposed Warps

I’ve begun to weave the piece described in my previous post, “Wool Transparency Warp Testing with Frida Hansen Flowers.” In my Frida Hansen still life, there are areas of quite long floats. How did Frida handle this situation? She sometimes wove in small motifs to provide a bit of anchor for larger open spaces. This detail from Hansen’s Høisommer [High Summer] shows patterns of dots woven in to provide some stability and avoid long, loose warps.

Farther down in the same transparency are leafy tendrils, woven eccentrically (at an angle to the warp), along with dots (berries?). Note that it’s not easy to keep just two passes of yarn together on the open warps.

Here is a photo of the whole transparency, Høisommer [High Summer], from the Norwegian Digital Library. Better yet, you could travel to see it in person at the Stavanger Art Museum. I especially like the pineapple in this piece, one of the pieces of fruit in the center.

Back to Frida’s Flowers: A Still Life

So the question is – how I handle the longest unwoven warps the area surrounding the vase in my still life?

Anniken Thue’s catalog of Frida Hansen’s works includes a photo of the preliminary sketch for Cupids (titled Sommer in the catalog, #88). Do you see the tracery around the “vase” in the center of this photo?

Now you can see how the fine tracery is executed in the piece woven by Frida Hansen’s daughter, Elisa M. Levy. In this photo, the vine-like elements look like they are all one color.

This transparency was part of an exhibit called Typisk Norsk? [Typical Norwegian?] at the Vigeland Museum in 2005, and this photo is from the exhibition catalog. Interestingly, now you can see that the small berry-like dots are a different color.

I hope my idea turns out well…

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