“Weaving the North” Exhibit (Part Two)

As promised, here are photos of items in “Weaving the North” woven by members of the Scandinavian Weavers group. I will also add a third blog post that reports on the “Weaving the North” panel discussion.

Lisa-Anne Bauch, Northern Lights

Yours truly wove this Rosepath piece during a Scandinavian Weavers group project. The abstract design suggests a snowy pine forest and a night sky with the Northern Lights overhead.

Judy Larson, Diamond Heritage (blue rug on left)

Judy Larson learned to weave on her great-grandmother’s loom and is known in the Scan Weavers group as an amazing and prolific rug weaver. She has mastered shaft-switching techniques that allowed her to create the complex designs in Diamond Heritage. “This is a very slow weave,” Judy explains, “about two inches in an hour! So this [rug] took about 50 hours.” Judy was inspired by a pattern in an old Swedish weaving book.

Nancy Ebner, Lucky U (red and gold wall hanging in center)

Nancy Ebner was inspired by a visit to the Hemslöjden (Center for Handicrafts) in Landskrona, Sweden, where she saw a traditional weaving, pointed to it, and said, “I want to do THAT.” Nancy found a suitable design in the book Heirlooms of Skåne by Gunvor Johansson, who teaches in Landskrona, and the result was Lucky U. The wall hanging was woven on a four-shaft loom using three shafts, with linen warp and weft of fine Swedish wool.

Cathie Mayr, Night in a Swedish Mining Town (blue shawl on right)

Cathie Mayr comes from a long line of weavers on both sides of her family in England, Sweden, and Norway and currently teaches weaving in the Brainerd Lakes area. Her artistic process starts with color. “When I find a yarn that inspires me,” she explains, “I often keep it out in my studio until I have a sense of what it wants to become. Then I’ll think about what weave structure would best show off the yarn and its colors.” In this case, Cathie purchased the yarn in a village shop near Trondheim, Norway, where the shop owner custom dyes her yarn: “I fell in love with this variegated yarn and she told me her inspiration was a visit to a Swedish mining town at night!”

Karen Holmes, Little Swedish Goat

This charming tapestry was woven on a simple frame loom. Karen Holmes chose seine twine for warp, wool for weft, and used the leftover warp to make the decorative top-knot and beaded fringe. The piece is woven in traditional Scandinavian colors to celebrate her Swedish and Finnish heritage.

Jan Mostrom, Northland

Jan Mostrom wove Northland in a five-shaft point twill boundweave, using wool from spelsau sheep, a Norwegian heritage breed, and rya knots made from reindeer leather dyed red. “I was inspired by the landscape of Northern Norway as well as winter in the northern Midwest,” Jan writes. “I used the idea of winter tree silhouettes to create my design. Adding red to the white and gray brought warmth and joy to the piece.”

Riley Kleve (right) admires Marilyn Moore’s Summer. Riley’s Community Cloth is the wall hanging with fringe the right.

Marilyn Moore, Summer

Marilyn Moore comes from a long line of Swedish weavers and focuses her work on Swedish techniques. She is inspired by color, so it is fitting that Summer is based on the many bright colors in her flower garden. For this weaving, Marilyn used wool but also linen, which gives an added shimmer to the rya knots. Visitors at “Weaving the North” commented on how much they wanted to sink their fingers in the luscious fibers!

Riley Kleve, Community Cloth

Community Cloth was created for Northern Spark, a late-night community arts festival that asked artists to create work in response to the prompt “What the world needs now.” Guests at Northern Spark chose a color of yarn that reminded them of something good and shared the association with others as they worked together. Community Cloth was woven by 116 weavers in just five hours!

Riley Kleve, Priscilla II (not pictured)

Riley writes, “As a non-binary artist working in traditionally feminine techniques, I pay respect to the forms and techniques of our foremothers while also seeking to create beyond the confines of aesthetics or utility that restrained their work. The piece gets its name from the vintage book of Hardanger embroidery that I used to learn the technique.”

Kala Exworthy, Northern Cape (on mannequin)

Kala Exworthy wove the colorful cape in a point twill in diamonds. The warp is Zephyr, spaced to show off the weft, which is a soft knitting yarn. “I wove it as fabric not knowing what it would be,” Kala writes. “Then it became a nice, warm dress up cape. Perfect for the cooler evenings of a lovely spring or fall day in our northern clime.” Northern Cape was the subject of a lively bidding war during the opening night reception for “Weaving the North.” The lucky winner got to wear the cape home at the end of the exhibit! (Riley’ Kleve’s Community Cloth is in the background.)

Robbie LaFleur, Burn 2020

Robbie LaFleur is an expert in billedvev, traditional Norwegian tapestry weaving. The tapestry was woven in wool, with silk thread added to lend luster to the areas of the hottest white and yellow flames. Robbie designed the tapestry after a photo of a bonfire at a family gathering. She writes, “The bonfire is a reminder of family and warmth, yet also represents the isolation, loss, and unrest of the pandemic year—burn away, 2020.” Robbie won Honorable Mention in “Weaving the North” for her piece. For more on this tapestry, visit Robbie’s blog at the link below:

My Bonfire Tapestry is in ENGLAND – Robbie LaFleur

Lisa Torvik, Horda 3rd Gen

Lisa Torvik started weaving at age 12 and went on to study at a husflid in Norway. She focuses her work on traditional Norwegian techniques and geometric designs and has recently been exploring using those designs in new ways—in particular, with transparency techniques. In this case, the center panel is based on a coverlet from the Hordaland region of Norway, while the motifs along both sides are abstract improvisations on traditional motifs. Lisa won First Place in “Weaving the North” for this stunning piece.

About Lisa-Anne Bauch
Member of the Scandinavian Weavers Interest Group of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. Editor of the Scan Weavers blog on Word Press.

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