Fall 2007 Vol 33 No 3

A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today

©2006 American Tapestry Alliance

Note: Tapestry Topics Online has been trimmed down in order to present color images with selected excerpts from the printed version, available to members by mail. For the full articles refer to the printed Fall 2007 issue. < Back     Page > 1 2 3 4 5

Addendum to Tapestry Topics, "Then and Now" summer issue, v.33 no.2
A Look Into ATA's History: 1993-1996 By Marti Fleischer


Letter from the Co-directors


ATA's recent Silver Anniversary Celebration provided an opportunity to immerse ourselves in tapestry talk with friends and strangers whose language we immediately understood. In San Jose old friendships were renewed and new ones initiated. We viewed the ATB6 exhibition and listened to the speakers and panel members give insight into the history of ATA and contemporary tapestry. Our founder Jim Brown referred to us as his "tapestry family." Jim charmed us with his gracious manner and his visions for the future of both our organization and medium. ...Networking continued ...with studio tours in the San Francisco Bay area. The Larochettes, Christine Laffer, Jan Moore, and Tricia Goldberg generously opened their homes and studios to our curious eyes. Seeing how they each set up their looms, yarn storage and work-space was fascinating.


To see the ATA's Silver Anniversary Celebration and Tour photos, go to page 4 & 5


bellow: Jim Brown studies "Poissons" by Jean Lurçat at Christine Laffer's studio


Diminishing Distances
The Tapestry List by Lany Eila



For this issue, we decided to ask members to contribute images that deal with idea of connections and spanning distances. They follow this article. Thank you to our contributors: Nicki Bair, Larissa Senatorova, Kathy Perkins, Linda Rees, and Linda Wallace. In The Tapestry List, Lany Eila talks about using the technology of the internet to make worldwide connections with other tapestry artists.


The Tapestry List
by Lany Eila

Kathe Todd-Hooker, ...was inspired to start the Tapestry List after meeting with other tapestry weavers at Convergence in 1996. ...Currently, membership ranges between 250 and 350 people... Although English-speaking countries are most strongly represented, people from all over the world have joined.... Subscribers receive the emails posted by members, either individually or in digests, or access the posts online. The List …also allows members to post photos and articles at the host website.

And what do tapestry weavers talk about? Much of the List discussion is practical, asking for and giving advice about looms, bobbins, yarns, warp/weft setts, weaving techniques, suppliers, the design of a studio, insurance, lighting, and mounting, photographing and pricing tapestries. Some of the discussion is networking, letting each other know about classes, publications, items for sale, shows, new web sites and blogs, opportunities for entering exhibits, and the activities of regional groups. The list has also included many diverse and engaging discussions, about color, creative block, what is art, what is tapestry, the creative muse, jacquard, hands, faces, copyrights, teaching children, blogs, weaving in series, national variations in techniques. Travelers have been able to learn where to find contemporary and historic tapestry in many cities and countries. The international nature of the group has allowed people to find translations for non-English tapestry words. Occasionally we read sad news of illness or death of a tapestry weaver; more often we read of the happy completion of a tapestry.

Persons who wish to join the list may contact Kathe Todd-Hooker at spider472@comcast.net.



Nicki Bair

Here is one of a series of tapestries I did reflecting that the concept that celestial navigation, like weaving, is a connection with the past. It portrays what an old mariner would have seen when looking through a sextant at celestial twilight . He would be using celestial navigation to determine his position at sea by shooting the lower limb of the moon. On the left - the sextant has shifted the image of the moon to be' kissing' the horizon. On the right the actual sky is seen not impacted by the mirror. This determines the altitude.

There is something quite comforting knowing that, like the sailors of yesterday, we can determine where we are; without the need of GPS. All that is needed is a compass to determine the bearing, a sextant to establish the altitude and that special moment in time when both the horizon and the stars are visible called celestial twilight.

below: Nicki Bair "Shooting the Lower Limb,"
10" x 10

below: Nicki Bair, "Moon Over Death Valley," 10" x 10",
is one of a series of tapestries I did between 2005-2007 reflecting the concept that celestial navigation.


below: Cecilia Blomberg, "June 4th," 35" x 51" ATB6 entry


Larissa Senatorova

The connection between New York City areas through the bridges conveys communication, and contact points between land and water, even between each other as a people in life and work

below: Larissa Senatorova,
"Across the Water Through the Bridges,"
35" x 27", 1994

below: Kathy Perkins, "The Messengers."
40" x 33", 1999


Linda Rees

While sketching an opened book, I saw an interesting wing shape and liked the thought of the content moving beyond the pages to the reader.


below: Linda Rees, "Words in Flight," 10" x 13", 2001 Photo by Ellen Rees

Linda Wallace

Having seen an exhibit of work by Sue Lawty, I started visiting her blog site frequently. Through that connection, I began looking at structure as something worth celebrating rather than merely an obstacle as I highlighted imagery.

below: Linda Wallace, "Enigma." 10" x 10", 2006




Teaching Tapestry in North America
By Archie Brennan


I moved to North America in 1983 to work on small tapestries with no intention of doing any teaching, only to weave non-commissioned pieces… . I was looking for a quiet corner to devote my time entirely to designing, weaving and drawing. Only when asked, and to help my income, did I start teaching workshops and began to get a picture of the extent and nature of tapestry weaving here.

Slowly I formed an idea of the kind of contribution I could make that might have wider value. If we, Susan Martin Maffei and I, could teach essentially at a grass roots level, then a broad basic knowledge would be planted as a resource for the more established practitioners in North America.. . . We have since been delighted to meet the emerging individuals who began at basics and are now producing quality tapestries, fully aware that they are every bit a product of the efforts of other colleagues and friends in Canada and the U.S.A. and above all the result of their own passion and commitment to the medium.



below: Archie Brennan, "Flamenco," 30" x 21", 2005.
below: Archie Brennan, "Madonna 2," 16" x 11", 2006
A reconstruction from a 14th cent wooden sculpture

After 20 Years, Reflections on Teaching
By Susan Martin Maffei


It is hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since I taught my first class in tapestry at the Scheuer Studio in NYC... ....Archie and I teamed up at the beginning of 1990 and have been teaching more or less as a team since then. We were fortunate to have traveled to many places around the world and discovered pockets of talented people everywhere, anxious to learn more about tapestry.

below: A Brennan and Maffei Workshop in Nova Scotia
below: A Brennan and Maffei Workshop at Penland:


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