Due to the advent of the great tapestry workshops of France, such as the Gobelins workshop of the Gobelins family, or the ateliers of Aubusson started by Mary of Hungary and their export of great tapestry works abroad, Belgium gained a significant historic role in the ancestry of European tapestry. And, in-as-much as tapestry forms an important part of our national heritage, it also holds an integral place in Belgian modernity and our contemporary life.
An association, "Domaine de la lice," was instated in 1981, and currently brings together around forty tapestry artists living in Belgium. ... The group includes three categories: the cartoon designers who create the cartoons.. . . the tapestry weavers, who only weave . . . in accordance with the cartoonist; and the creative tapestry weavers, (the largest number of members) who fully create the project and materialize the weaving.
At present the artists of "Domaine de la Lice" continue to create their works in this field with enthusiasm, and in this way they preserve the know-how of this historic and original art, which is of such importance for the history and prestige of our country and our city. (I added this sentence to make the pictures more understandable since some are of cartoons.
Work by members of the Domaine de la lice
below: Anne de Bodt, "1234"
below: Paola Cicuttini "Controverso"
below: Nora Chalmet (creative tapestry weaver) "De klank"
below: Robert Degenève (cartoon designer) tapestry untitled
Distance Learning Participants
Juanita Crowson Christine Laffer, mentor
I have no training in the creative arts. I started basket weaving to make gifts for a church bazaar. After a few years I found an article on forming vessels on a floor loom and decided that working with fabric and yarn was more interesting than baskets. Our fiber guild had a workshop in tapestry and from there I was hooked.
I am looking at life through eyes of a weaver and seeing more interest in nature. The hardest part for me is deciding on color to get the effect that I want because tapestry is best viewed from a distance. I do not have any difficulty finding the words to explain my problems to the mentor. Christine can spot every little detail that I have woven, good and bad. I am getting answers for what I need to know, and she has also explained other ways to do things that I can use in the future.
Bellow: Juanita Crowson, "Magnolia Leaves," 11" x 8", 2007. Framed with an eccentric mat.
Ronda Karliukson -- Michael Rohde, mentor
I began weaving seven years ago on a remote island where I was living a primitive lifestyle. ...Through a series of personal tragedies that led me off the island, I ended up in the Kootenays, a rugged, inland mountainous area of British Columbia, Canada, where I am living today. ...Having access to the internet opened up a new world for me and was where I discovered ATA. ...Being dedicated to weaving has meant not having resources to attend workshops. I spend much of my day weaving and for the most part I do not get paid for it. This has made it very difficult for me to make connections with weavers who I feel could sharpen my talents. For this reason the long distance education program has been a valuable resource.
My work is landscape tapestry. The five years I spent on the island continues to define who I am and the weaving I do today. Through that experience I am very drawn to the natural world, its beauty, rhythm, and what is says about our God who created it. What I learned from Michael were the answers to questions I needed to know to continue to develop my own style, like how to make natural wool white. For me this is important because the moon is an integral part of my landscapes.
below: Ronda Karliukson, "Moon Reflections, "27" x 34", 2007.
Weft hand-dyed with nature's colors.
Before applying for the job to weave on a Unicorn Tapestry as part of the restoration project at Stirling Castle in Scotland, I had never heard of the castle and had only a vague notion about West Dean Tapestry Studio in England, where others in the series would be woven. King James IV had a Palace built in 1542 at the Castle to impress his new queen, Marie de Guise, and the courts of Europe. …According to inventories, a set of Unicorn tapestries was among the hundred tapestries that hung on its walls.
The goal of the project is to recreate the glory of 1542 in the Palace. ...Working in a castle sounded very exciting and to work on the recreation of the tapestries, which I had seen many, many years ago at The Cloisters, sounded like the ultimate challenge.
...The piece that I have been involved with, “Unicorn Is Captured and Brought to the Castle," . . .[was] completed and cut down from the loom on June 26th with great fanfare. We are now sewing missed slits as well as reinforcing long slits from the back. The tapestry will be officially unveiled in the Royal Chapel at the end of September.
bellow: Cecilia Blomberg, The cutting down event at Stirling Castle,
with (left to right) Mieko Konaka, Louise Martin and me.
I seek a sense of mystery in my own work. The play of light is important, but there has to be some content too, something there to hold the viewer, to make you wonder or entice you to step into it. It can be absurd or it can be serene, but not just pretty.
bellow: Cecilia Blomberg, Detail from recently completed Grays Harbor College Tapestry in Aberdeen, Washington.
below: Cecilia Blomberg, "June 4th," 35" x 51" ATB6 entry