The Making of Tapestry
From French Gobelins' and Aubusson's tapestries to modern designs
made in America.
Once upon a time there were huge woven tapestries hung on the walls of Middle Age or Renaissance castles. These majestic hangings were made in European centers by skilled artisans, usually Flemish or French. Buyers were affluent clients such as sovereigns, lords and well-off bourgeois.
The art of tapestry still exists today, but there are fewer craftsmen who retain this knowledge and, at the same time, there are less buyers for a decorative art that is sometimes considered old-fashioned.
In fact, tapestry weaving is not passé at all. There remains a small community of guardians and perpetrators who design cartons and weave them on their own looms. Hélène Crié-Wiesner is one of these weavers. In her case, she uses the haute lisse technique (in contrast with the basse lisse method). She has also learned a rare specialty: weaving in 3D, to create more of sculptures than simple wall hangings.
Her talk will include a visual history of tapestry’s evolution through time and across continents. She will bring a small portable tapestry loom to execute a live demo. Some of her recent tapestries will be displayed on the Alliance’s walls.