Winter 2007 Vol 33 No 4

A Quarterly Review of Tapestry Art Today

©2007 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 Winter 2007 issue. < Back     Page > 1 2 3 4

Rebirth and Tradition

By Ibolya Hegyi

I graduated in 1978 from the Budapest Academy of Applied Arts… During my time there, I studied in the Department of Tapestry under Noémi Ferenczy, the greatest figure in Hungarian tapestry art in the 20th century. The principle underlying the training there was... drawing, painting and theoretical subjects alongside traditional weaving. Efforts for renewal, represented by the experimental textile movement… peaked during my time at the Academy. The presence of the traditional and the exploratory approaches in Hungary prompted some artists... to re-think the genre radically…I conducted experiments with systems of diffuse, perpendicular and cross-striped surfaces and also with different tonal values. These experiments led to a new type of weaving and a new type of picture, one that resembled the individuality and complexity of the freehand sketch. I use this technique all the time in my works recalling the backdrops and landscapes found on classic tapestries. I did so in "Weather Report" which attempts to capture the metamorphosis of water. While moving further and further away from the demand for concrete depiction, I am deeply interested in the possible move of the tapestry into the surrounding space.

below: Ibolya Hegyi, "Weather Report”, 400 x 50 cm (158" x 20"), 2004; silk, wool, cotton, flax and metallic yarns

…The genre will, primarily on account of the traditional values of quality, longevity and uniqueness, now discover its place and function not just in museums but once more in living spaces, having already learned the lessons from the discourse that is rethinking the city–space–art problem. Reflecting on this discourse, I placed a model of my latest work, "Timeshape," a tapestry installation shaped like a Möbius strip, in the apse of the 13th-century church in the western Hungarian village of Rum as a space-time–experiment.

below: Ibolya Hegyi, "Timeshape", 200x 50 cm (72" x 20"), 2007; silk, wool, cotton and metallic yarns

Weaving Southwest

By Rachel Brown

I came to New Mexico from the East coast in 1951. I had majored in art at college and continued further studies at the Art Students League and Cooper Union in painting, drawing and architecture. I was not introduced to weaving until my husband and I moved to Taos with our 3 young kids... I wound my first warp on the drawer knobs of my bureau. Of course, I had to unscrew the knobs to get the warp off and the threads were not in any order when I went to thread the loom. What a mess! My introduction to tapestry weaving was haphazard also. Joan was making unusual tapestries from her handspun and hand-dyed yarn using eccentric weft techniques, and I was studying Amsden’s book on Navajo weaving. I combined the two styles and came up with my own technique. I had never heard of cartoons, and I approached tapestry as I would approach an abstract painting. …I like to weave in this way because you come up with forms and designs that are more organic and better related to the medium... Personally, I do not want a “subject” influencing my spontaneous work. I wait until I have finished a piece and then name it some appropriate title. I only name it so I can refer to it later and numbers do not work for me.

below: Rachel Brown, "Mirage", three natural Churro white wools and other natural wools
below: Rachel Brown, "Seven Samurai", natural white wool and hand dyed wools

Weaving With Paper and Foils

By Carolyn Price Dyer

Weaving tapestry with a variety of papers and foils is where I work "in a wider circle."…Warps are as unobtrusive as possible and generally of cotton.In 1954, while at Mills College, in Oakland, CA, the Jean Lurçat tapestry exhibit in San Francisco suggested a way to focus my aptitudes and interests. …It was while traveling in Western China in 1984 that I began to experiment with paper as weft. …I have now turned sheets of newspaper, wrapping paper, grocery bags and art papers into cordage to weave as weft… Paper's "commonness" makes it user friendly and full of surprises, especially the newspapers from Asia. My work has become larger and is more quickly finished.

…Abstraction of landscape and the heavens, birds, gardens and trees are found throughout my five-decade career. I have drawn deeply from my modernist roots, and have at the same time been swept along in the excitement of late 20th century alternative materials and means of presentation. Shall I wear it, walk on it, fence a field with it, build books of woven paper, or share passions?

Below: Carolyn Price Dyer, "Three Crows in the Produce Department” & ”Two Crows in the Produce Department",
18" x 18" x 1" each, 2004. Photographed at the "Gordon House" Silverton, OR with Carolyn.

Right:Carolyn Price Dyer, "Crow on the Moon”, 72" x 18", 2006;
handspun paper and cotton warp

Below:Carolyn Price Dyer, "Three Crows in the Produce Department",
18" x 18" x 1", 2004; handspun paper and cotton warp

Left:Carolyn Price Dyer, "Crow on the Moon", detail

Below: Carolyn Price Dyer, "Crow on the Moon”, in progress

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