Report from the San Diego Workshop: Milky Way Inspiration

Frida Hansen’s work can inspire in so many ways – technique, bold color use, images, and inventiveness, to name a few. When Gail Thompson attended the San Diego wool open warp transparent tapestry workshop, it was not a Frida Hansen transparency she was channeling while learning the technique. Instead, Gail found inspiration in Frida Hansen’s monumental art tapestry, Melkeveien [Milky Way, 1898].

Frida Hansen. Melkeveien, 1898. Photo: Robbie LaFleur

The shades of blue captivated Gail, and she matched them with yarn she owned. At about the point noted in the photo below, she thought of adding Frida’s stars, too.

Gail asked about any close-up photos I might have of Melekeveien; I only had these two from my viewing of the Frida Hansen retrospective in Stavanger in 2015. (Why didn’t I take more!? I need to go to the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg to take more photos.)

Melkeveien details. Photos: Robbie LaFleur

Gail sent a photo of her completed study, a Milky Way homage, a few days after the class. Stars! When she sketched her pattern initially, Gail saw a face, a portrait. I’ll bet you can too.

The joy of teaching this workshop is sharing images and ideas and samples and my modest experience. It’s like lighting a match, starting a swirl of creativity and fun.

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