Lis




I live in Uppsala, Sweden. I learned tapestry weaving in Bergen, Norway in the early eighties. In 2004 I started to take lessons for Helena Hernmarck, a Swedish tapestry weaver living in Connecticut in the US. Helena Hernmarck’s tapestries are in the permanent collections of the museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan museum of Art, just to mention a few and she is known internationally for corporate commissions of heroic proportions. She has visited Sweden on a regular basis and this gave me the rare and to me fantastic opportunity to have her as a teacher and learn her way to weave tapestry. I have had the opportunity to come and weave in her studio in Connecticut. One can say that the major difference between traditional gobelin technique and the way Helena taught me to weave is that the tapestry in a way is woven in layers, almost comparable to painting, since I use plain weave in discontinuous weft as well as soumak and “dots” in discontinuous weft. I use a colored warp that is deliberately to be seen, not hidden in the weft. The butterflies I make consist of a bundle of yarns in different hues, values and qualities mostly in wool and linen. Some of the yarns are one ply in different thicknesses others are two-ply. The result is a thicker tapestry. If the composition is monochrome, the color mixing of the butterflies is focused mainly on different values. These things give the tapestry a different surface compared to that of a tapestry woven in the gobelin technique. In weaving a composition with many colors the mixing of butterflies give you much joy comparable to mix paint on a palette. The more different qualities of yarn you use, the more interesting butterflies you get, and it results in an interesting surface of the tapestry. The soumak allows another aspect of the yarn to be seen, the glossiness of the yarn and the way it captures the light. By using soumak you can for example enhance a shadow or a highlight. (modified version of article in Tapestry weaver, The Brittish Tapestry Group.Issue 15 March 2015)