Previous Gobelin Loom Projects

You know that you’re a quirky teenager when your grandparents ask what you’d like as a high school graduation gift and your answer is a really big tapestry loom!  As a homeschooler, I had found great appeal in the textile arts of the Navajo traditions of the American Southwest. While working beautiful geometrics, I also was drawn to “pictorials,” weaving …

The High Warp Tapestry Loom

The technology for weaving tapestry has changed rather little over the centuries.  And while the Jacquard loom of the 18th Century was actually the first computer–this loom used a punched card system where needles attached to individual warp threads poked through (or not), dictating the pattern one row at a time–actual tapestry work is still executed completely by hand.  In …

Quest for the Horn–by Land or by Sea

All this fuss with maidens, gardens, hunting.  Why seek the unicorn at all?  Why go to all the trouble?  Surely something else would be tastier and less dangerous?  Wouldn’t the hart make just as pretty of a mount? Ah, but the fleet-footed hart doesn’t have what the unicorn’s got–the magic to purify (no wonder it’s attracted to the maiden’s purity). …

Alternative Narrative: Power, Play, or Involvement?

You know the story of the Three Little Pigs, yes?  They each have their little roles to play, along with the “big bad wolf.”  Now imagine that one day, someone is telling you the story, but the wolf is a completely different character.  He’s been evicted from his home because the oncoming urban sprawl of the city of pigs condemned …

Visiting the Originals

Living in rural, northern Wisconsin could be considered a challenging location for viewing historic tapestries.  But that means that whenever I do get to travel off the farm, I’m always looking for a chance to experience a medieval textile masterwork. In the winter of 2009, my sister Kara was attending a dairy sheep conference in Albany, NY.  Tagging along, I …

Who is She? The Lady and the Unicorn

There is a famous damsel from the high period of pictorial tapestry, who dances in the fine line between the end of the medieval period and the onset of the Renaissance in northwestern Europe.  She is thin, tall, and fair, and she is not complete without her unicorn.  In fact, the two make a unit–“The Lady and the Unicorn.”  Two …

“The Five-Year Project” Going on Six

“Deceiving the Hunters”–a Flemish tapestry project inspired by the early 16th Century tapestry series “The Hunt of the Unicorn” (currently housed at the Cloisters Museum in NY) is still underway, though making great progress. Researched during my graduate studies at Goddard College, the piece is envisaged as an “alternative narrative” to the traditional hunt of the unicorn, full of its …