What Happens When You Pull Warps?
By Laura Lawrence
This was certainly not a question I pondered before
signing up for the one-day pulled-warp tapestry workshop at Convergence
2002. When I saw the title, though, I was intrigued. So I registered,
not having a clue what to
I received the generic pre-Convergence workshop
supply/equipment lists. I don't know why, but the statement that
multi-harness looms would be available for rent made me think that my
$8 canvas stretcher-bar loom would
be too humble. Also, since I had formed opinions of
what pulled warp tapestry might be, I was afraid my continuous
figure-eight warp would not work. Ah, Laura! You should know by now
that tapestry artists are resourceful, and simple is always better. (I
won't bore you by going into how I learned that an $8 loom would have
been better than the $50-plus-shipping one I got days before leaving
Susan Iverson was the instructor. She introduced
the technique by showing slides of work I had never imagined, including
much of her own. This lecture/slide presentation
was the most effective slide show I've seen. In
this case, each picture was worth a thousand words, and Susan's
commentary doubled that value. Besides explaining
the technique and what it produces, she told us something that gave me
hope as a late-blooming artist. After learning the technique, it lay
dormant in Susan's battery of tools for well over a decade before
emerging as a signature for much of her work.
So, what exactly is pulled warp tapestry? My
description is basic at best. I do not presume to inform anyone who
already knows. But since this is a "personal experience"
essay, I'll give you my take on it. By leaving large blank spaces of
various shapes and at various intervals while weaving, and then closing
the resulting gaps in the weft by pulling the warps, the tapestry can
become three-dimensional and/or irregular in form.