Frida Hansen Workshop in San Diego: Part One

Our enthusiastic workshop students met in the Zuest Family Spinners Cottage at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum – motto: In rust we trust. It was a new building in a quiet setting in Vista, California, surrounded by acres of old engines and vehicles.

There was a Minneapolis steam engine on the grounds.

On Saturday morning I gave a talk to the San Diego Creative Weavers Guild at a different venue, Blatchford Rug Cleaning Company. It was only the second time I have given a talk in person since 2019. I gave a talk on Frida Hansen in September at Peter Pap’s rug studio in New Hampshire. In both post-covid venues I found myself surrounded by antique rugs, wonderful settings for textile talks. But more importantly, there were actual people there who would chuckle at my jokes, ask questions, and make eye contact.

Inspiring venues for a textile lover.

As with the first workshop I taught in Frida Hansen’s wool open warp transparency technique, I learned so much from my students’ projects. It’s a change from my solitary weaving and investigation of Frida Hansen’s wool transparency technique. It felt like a burst of creativity, experimenting, and problem-solving was underway, with many people at their looms.

Frida Hansen wove flowers through her whole career. Through her work you learn that there are no rules for weaving a rose “correctly.” Look at these variations in shape and colors.

So it makes sense that most students in my transparency workshop opt for designs with flowers. Three students in the San Diego class chose to practice Hansen’s technique with a rose pattern I first wove as a sample. It’s so fun to see the varied effects with different warp colors as the background.

Robyn Sendelbach chose a neutral tan background and opted to add a bar border in white along the sides, one of many geometric border styles found on Frida Hansen transparencies.

Virginia Parks also chose a light warp, gray, but her rose petals will veer from pink. See the beginning border in orange.

With Rocia Guillen’s rose sample, we’ll see the effect of a deep blue warp.

Elizabeth Michel came with a pattern she abstracted from a photo of flowers. She created a wonderful design that works well with the weaving technique, with an eye to the positive and negative space and overlapping shapes to avoid overly long floats.

Karen Willman adapted a portion of Frida Hansen’s Wild Roses design.

Details from Frida Hansen’s transparent tapestry

Karen chose to keep a soft palette, with the same white petals, but different colors surrounding the blossoms.

More student design choices in part two….

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