Hi there, friends– and how are you this Wednesday morning? I am happy to share with you that I just finished a new painting, “Weaver’s Reverie” and now have it available in my etsy shop (there will be prints too, of course, in a bit!)
The inspiration from this piece came from a photo I saw taken by living history photographer Robert Clay. He’d taken a photo of a young woman at Historic Brattonsville, sitting at a tape loom in an amazing brick weaving house. It immediately sparked an idea for a painting and he was kind enough to agree! You can see this photo and more of his stunning work on his instagram and his website.
I love weaving– well, I am a great appreciator of weaving and very poor weaver, haha. No– maybe that’s not right– I’m a beginning, baby weaver, and I haven’t devoted enough time to in the past year to really improve. I had ‘high hopes’ in 2020 (bless our hearts, didn’t we all?!) that I was going to delve into Scandinavian crafts, among them rug weaving. Instead, I found myself thrown into being a first grade teacher for several months when the world shut down for the pandemic, and just trying to navigate a new normal with absolutely everyone at home. 2020 was exhausting, wasn’t it? Hoping 2021 is the year to sit down more at the loom, although I better hurry! It’s already July!
In this painting, the girl is sitting down at a tape loom. ‘Tape’ to the 18th and 19th century person was long woven bands that you’d use for a myriad of things— everything from your apron strings (can you tell she has woven tape tying on her apron?) and tying your clothing securely in place, to being used for a variety of household utilities in ways you might use string (holding back a curtain, covering a pot or jar with a cloth, etc.)
A bit of a lost art, tape weaving is making a comeback, especially with living history interpreters and at living history sites. My friend Kristin offers her own handmade tape and kits for ways to use it on her website.
As for me, my weaving interests are more in making rag rugs— probably the most simple of all simple things to weave! It’s a great way to use up old cloth– like worn out bedsheets– and turn them into something useable again. Our ancestors were constantly repurposing and reusing, and finding inventive ways to get utility out of things before they just fell into shreds. That’s definitely something we could all take up again and use to our own modern benefit!
Well, better star the day and plan out what I’m going to make next! Will it be painted? Knitted? Stitched? Woven? It’ll just depend on my mood 😉 I hope you like this new piece, and I will be back soon to share what’s new in the studio!