Welcome back to the blog! A lot has been happening this summer both in the studio and on my trip to Sweden. I saw lots of great textiles, visited Växbo Lin, a linen weaving company making beautiful fabrics for linens and clothing. Ilso visited the Studija Naturals, a production weaving company in Latvia using mostly linen. They make linens, scarves, and fabulous clothing, all on traditional hand looms.
I saw two great exhibits, more than that, but two especially wonderful textile exhibits. One was called Re Rag Rug, where two women using recycled materials came up with 12 techniques other than loom weaving to create rugs. They crocheted, knit, stitched like quilts, braided, folded, sewed and dyed the materials. It is a fascinating exhibit extending the traditional rag rug idea to reuse materials for functional use.
The other exhibit was called Next Level Craft. Younger artists were asked to create an exhibit using traditional craft techniques; there were figures dressed in their finery, flowers, and animals. It was almost parade-like. It included an original music score, a video, and a continuous light show. Some flowers and other characters had fluorescent yarn accents. Birds were made of wire, roots were braided into eyeglasses, and an embroidered felted gown included a felted crown and crochet cape train. Some characters were all black; others were very colorful. There were beavers in blown glass with wooden tails, a little girl with felted rings on every finger, and a backpack and bikers cap made from naver bark. The whole exhibit was so festive and inspiring! Check out the pictures below.
The main reason I went to Sweden this summer was to participate in the Väv weaving conference in Umeå, in the northern part of Sweden. I studied weaving in Sweden in 1986 and was fortunate to see 8 of 11 of my classmates on this trip. The conference had a Sami theme, complete with a tent, fire, and reindeer skins; most exhibits were of traditional weaving. There was one contemporary weaver who made geometric double weave hangings with metal circles placed between the fabric layers to form a pattern. The logo for the conference was very bright–orange, red, lime green, black and blue–and many exhibits featured weavings inspired by the logo. I had a small booth at the conference and sold my books and few kits for table runners, and dish towels.
RE RAG RUG
Folded and sewn wool fabric
Braided with wool fabric
strips of knit fabric folded into squares and sewn together
crocheted with fabric strips
Re Rag Rug, sewn with sweater fabrics
NEXT LEVEL CRAFT Exhibit
1986 weaving class reunion
VÄV CONFERENCE, Umeå Sweden Sept 2014
Väv traditional weavings