Friday, May 25, 2012

The Pond

If you are a regular reader of Thrums, you may recall a post where I featured a friend, Gudrun Weisinger, who had just completed an amazing tapestry.   Can I ask a favour of you and please read this post first.   Thanks!  We'll wait for you...

For those of you who are in a hurry, then read this bio:
Gudrun said:
My training:
My first year, I was an apprentice in a oriental carpet studio, repairing and weaving oriental rugs. After that year I went to the trade school in Sindelfingen, (Meisterschule fuer das Weberhandwerk) near Stuttgart in Germany for two years, finishing the journeyman certificate. Later I have been in several studios in Germany learning to weave on a Damask-Jacquard loom, designing home textiles, clothing and weaving with linen, and using all different fibers. I have been a weaver in an convent in Baden Baden weaving tapestries and ecclesiastical items. After three years I went back to Sindelfingen for one year finishing my master degree in weaving and designing. In 1966 I immigrated to Canada.

We used to live nearby each other and exchanged dinners to and fro. The meals were great fun and I still make Schnitzel like a pro, thanks to Gudrun, at least once a month.  We also talked 'shop' and would look at weaving drafts and various projects, either on paper or on the looms. If I wasn't sure of something, Gudrun would say "oh, that's easy...I"ll show you!"  She was (and is) so generous with her time and knowledge.

Well, recently we have been exchanging emails to and fro on the benefits of being grandmothers and she suddenly writes " Have  I shown you my new tapestry?"  Here's a picture and a close up:

"The Pond"   tapestry woven by Gudrun Weisinger 2012

details from "The Pond"

Well, I was gobsmacked!   It's beautiful and the intricate details...the light on the water....
So I asked Gudrun if I could  feature her creation here and share it with you all. What was her  inspiration, her materials?   To tell us anything she felt would help us to understand the process behind her master piece.

  Hello Susan,
Yes, if you like, write another story about my tapestry.
The inspiration came also from a calendar picture which was in my folders for years.... water.. I always like to put in into a tapestry.  Will it work out? Well, I tried and hoped it will turn out. I started weaving with 20/2 fine wool taking 3 strands together in different shades, I used linen, a boucle, a rayon for the white particles, I used odds and ends from colour cards out of the Borg's linen samples,cotton and just many other colours and textures.

While I was weaving it, I had no idea how it will turn out because I wove the tapestry sideways, will the shading for the water turn out as I planned? I used a lot of fine lines, dots, hachure's, weft blending , sometimes eccentric wefts and other techniques.

The time weaving? I started to make notes every day, but gave up.  It took about a year (approximately 2 to 3 hrs. a day, sometimes even 4 hrs).

It is always a surprise when a tapestry is woven and rolled off the cloth beam. It feels almost like Christmas, and hopefully it will turn out the way I planned it.  When weaving a tapestry, I only see a part which is in progress, (about 20 to 35 cm) and the finished part is rolled on the cloth beam.

To change something afterwards? (like a colour or unevenness) It is not possible. Painters can just go over with a brush.
 (Her husband) Alfred always said, yes it will turn out, do not worry, but I was not sure.
I was surprised myself, yes it turned out well.
I will send pictures while the tapestry was on the loom and some close ups.
We miss you both,
All the best from Gudrun.

Two to four hours a day for a full year and you don't know, won't know if it will turn out till it come off the loom?

I feel rather inadequate to carry on a further commentary so here's the work in progress:

Don't forget it is also woven with the wrong side facing the weaver, in addition to being sideways as well! Please look at the enlarged pictures and see the cartoon in behind. Such fine details to become reality in wool and silks!

Please leave your comments and compliments for Gudrun and if you have any questions, I'll do my best to relay answers for you.   For those of you who skipped the older post, you might want to go and take a look now! Its equally amazing!


dorothylochmaben said...

Master Weaver is correct ! What an amazing tapestry. What commitment and talent, many congratulations the tapestry is stunning !

Amy said...

All I can say is wow!

Bruce said...

I can only say that when I got my first look at Gudrun's tapestry, I saw it as a photograph. It wasn't until I looked closer and read the description that I realized that it was a tapestry. Incredible.

Cindie said...

Oh my gosh, what a work of art! I too thought that first picture was a photograph. Absolutely stunning. I know some local tapestry weavers that I will share this post with.

Linda said...

Wow.....breathtaking is an understatement. What a wonderful testimony to your friendship and her wealth of experience. This tapestry is amazing. My hat is off many times over to the talented Gudrun!

Anonymous said...

Gudrun is truly a talented weaver. Thanks for sharing.

DebbieB said...

What a treat and a privilege to be able to see something like this. A true gift. Thank you so much for sharing Gudrun's art with us, Susan.

Evelyn McQuaid said...

Now that is a work of art!!! I can't imagine the patience-3-4 hours a day for a year!!! Beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so stunned, I don't know what to say...other than WOW! Beautiful! What talent! Master Weaver I bow to your skill.

bspinner said...

I can't say anything more than BEAUTIFUL! What am amazing weaver and artist. You are so lucky to know her and we're so lucky that you shared he with us.

Louisa said...

Lovely to see that my old weaver friend is still finding challenges to master! Incredible tapestry. Do send her my regards and tell her I still use the runner she wove for me for an exchange many years ago. It's in one of your favourite fancy snowflake twills, Susan!

barbara said...

Hi Susan
What a beautiful tapestry - I would love to see it in person; though the photographs are really good. I can't imagine working on a single project that long.

I sent you an email the other day, to weaverwoman ..... did you receive it????? Weaverly yours .... Barbara

Susan said...

Thank you everyone for the great comments!

I have viewed the previous tapestry of the birch trees and when you stand back about 8- 10 feet it looks like a large painting or even a photgraph! I have no doubt that the new tapestry The Pond would also view like that as well..

Barbara: sorry but no email came in but I have sent you a private email which explains possibly why. Talk or email with you very soon.


Bobbin Doctor said...

Absolutely amazing!! I'm sitting here, speechless, my mind racing through what is required to make such a stunning, beautiful work of art and technical masterpiece!
Now, I'm thinking how wonderful it would be to actually see it in person, up close and personal.


Anonymous said...

Today I was at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery for the Shuswap Association of Writers AGM, and I was admiring a gorgeous huge photo on the wall in front of me throughout the proceedings. Imagine my surprise, when I went to look more closely after the meeting, to discover it was a tapestry! Gudron Weisinger's piece is absolutely STUNNING! I wish I could have spent a lot more time admiring it. Gorgeous work.

Susan said...


Thank you for writing and sharing your in person impressions of Gudrun's beautiful tapestry. I haven't see this one in person as yet but look forward to it. Gudrun's last effort of a birch tree grove was simply stunning. Her work is so life like... stand back 10 or 12 feet and you would swear you are looking at a photograph!

I feel very fortunate to call her a friend...

Take care, Susan