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!
4 thoughts on “New Painting: Weaver’s Reverie”
Such a beautiful, serene painting Heather! I just watched the episode of Tudor Monastery Farm last night that demonstrates loom weaving, and the intricacies of the loom blow me away. I didn’t know anything about tape weaving till now! It’s incredible to me how much time and energy our ancestors put into every detail of their world – it makes me feel an urgency to try to pick these things up myself, before they’re lost! But, baby steps, I suppose. 😂
I feel the same (and you know I love that show!!!) thousands of years of human ingenuity are in danger of being lost, I feel like I have to do my humble bit to keep things going!
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Gosh, I never heard of tape weaving but it makes sense how important it was. This new painting is beautiful and quite interesting!! I love all the colors and Kristin’s website is fascinating as well. If I had a big loom to learn on, I would probably want to make rugs or possibly table runners or pretty scarves. Simple sounds just about my style too. In Ireland, when I visited an old weaving location, the weaver explained how the loom was set up before you get started. It was complicated to me but practice makes perfect and I guess I could learn too. The end results are just gorgeous!!
And YES! here is to a more normal second half of 2021!!
Oh how amazing to see traditional weaving in Ireland! I’d love to see that. And yes, tape weaving was so important, and used for so many things! So glad you like the painting 😀