Did Someone Say Tapestry?

Well our ABC Team has done it again! This quarter our Virtual Wednesday meet-ups will feature the study of tapestries. The recent presentation at our Guild meeting by guest presenter Sandra Sawatzky of her work The Black Gold Tapestry may have been the impetus for our ABC Team. This is going to make the fourth Wednesday of every month for the next 3 or 4 months very interesting.

Bonnie started us off by providing a tapestry definition. It is a pictoral narrative created with thread that can be woven or in the case of our interests, embroidered onto a background of canvas, linen or any other fabric that will support the stitching. Oxford dictionary defined it as “a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving colored weft threads or by embroidering on canvas. It is most commonly used as a wall hanging and references an intricate or complex combination of things or sequence of events.”

We will be concentrating on stitched tapestries, but to enhance our study, Bonnie shared several examples of some famous woven tapestries which included:

  • The Apocalypse Tapestry, woven in the 14th century (1377 – 1382) and depicts the story of the apocalypse in the biblical book of Revelations.
  • The Unicorn Tapestries, woven in wool and silk, consists of severn hangings that depict the hunt for the elusive unicorn.
  • The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, a 15th century tapestry (The Boar and Bear Hunt; 1425-1430) depicting individuals in the fashion of the day hunting for various animals.

The presentation then went on to highlight various stitched tapestries which included:

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking…”well I’m not going to do a huge tapestry in this quarter”. That’s why Anni brought us all back down to earth. She understood that a much smaller scope was what was needed. Anni asked us to consider that we could just as easily tell a story of an event on a much smaller scale. A scale that could easily fit an a piece of fabric no bigger than a 6-inch square, or something slightly larger. She presented embroiderers that told stories of everyday life, daily events, and what some might consider mundane. Here are some of links to those examples.

Thank you to the ABC Team for the extensive research and for providing a vast storehouse of inspiration. Can’t wait to see what happens next month when we once again visit during our Virtual Wednesday. What better way to end this, than with the following quote:

When there are no words, art is the storyteller, each stitch a story. –Tina Bryson

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