From 1883 to 1885, Vincent van Gogh lived and worked in Nuenenin southern Belgium in the Provence of Brabant. Some 440 weavers were employed in Nuenen when Van Gogh lived there. He became fascinated by these poverty stricken artisans and during 1883 and 1884 he spent time drawing and painting handweavers. Continue reading Vincent Van Gogh’s Weavers Series
This past weekend I introduced three weavers to the small but beautiful group of weave structures that produce lacy fabric. They also learned how to create weaver-manipuated lace such as leno and Brooks bouquet and used hemstitiching variations to make lines of openwork in their fabric. Enjoy these photos that provide a glimpse of the class at work and the weaving underway.
As an interesting aside, those of us who enjoy lace weaves such as Bronson lace, Swedish lace, huckaback and canvas weave might be surprised to learn that only handweavers typically consider these woven structures as lace at all. Textile experts and historians hold that “real” lace is either needle lace, made by single thread embroidering over a foundation of threads, or bobbin lace, which is made from many threads, each hung on a pendant-shaped bobbin, moved around, under and over each other.
But certainly a lacy cloth can be created using other methods including knitting, crochet, knotting, tatting and, of course, weaving.
Click on any of the photos to look at a slide show of these pictures full-size.
The biographies of bygone handweavers who kept the art of weaving alive when it had largely been laid aside or who took it to new heights provide not only interesting reading but are motivating in ways quite different from contemporary weaving. Without their drive and dedication to the preservation and development of weaving, I might have never been exposed to the craft that has become so integral to my life.
Here are four of my favorite biographies of handweavers. Continue reading Biographies of Inspiring Handweavers