Tools, materiality and rituals in Egyptian weaving
The National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden hosts an exhibition about ‘Textiles from Egypt’ with colorful textile artifacts. The exhibition tells about the production, use, decoration, materials, techniques and meanings of Egyptian textiles. Showing about 100 rare pieces it celebrates the skills and beauty of ancient craftsmanship with a focus on weaving. For a weaver the textiles and artifacts are a source of inspiration and study. Serendipitously this coincided with earlier research into ancient weaving, i.e. the development of the loom, techniques and connotations of weaving throughout history.Weaving stone , RYA piece and model of standing loom
The enquiry into ancient weaving started in the summer of 2019 as ‘Artist in residence’ at Hardangerfjord, Norway. I studied Viking weavings, especially the RYA technique, restored an old loom, used an authentic linnen warp, worked with dyes and wove several pieces inspired by the breathtaking scenery, history and art. Building on this research the Leiden collection sparked a new enquiry about tools, materiality and rituals.
The sculpture ‘Cherish’ is inspired by the ritual burial of humans and animals in Egypt. ‘Cherish’ was woven in January 2020, shortly before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The comforting touch of a human has gained a new meaning as a prohibited, even dangerous gesture. What will cherishing and nurturing without touching be? In ancient Egypt the ritual wrapping of the dead was a final touch, performed with dexterity and knowledge. A close study of mummies reveals a variety of beautiful patterns and skills.Cherish - woven sculpture, paper yarn, shifu, gold thread, approx. 170 x 55 x 45 cm, two layers
For a weaver there are many similarities between the choreography of hand weaving and the ritual of wrapping. For example the process of winding a warp, the back and forth movement of the shuttle, the adjusting tug for tension. Extending this comparison towards the visual aspect, it is easy to observe, that the outer layer of a mummie corresponds to weaving patterns, for example a twill. ‘Cherish’ consists of two layers, woven with paper threads. Shifu, which is Japanese handmade paper is ephemeral and very hard to work with. It makes the weaving process slow and contemplative.
Weaving stones are the most humble weaving tools. If archeologists discover two rows of similarly shaped stones, either natural rocks or made from clay with artificial holes in them, they know: This is the place where once a loom stood. Weaving stones served to keep an even tension on the warp in upright standing looms. Inspired by an elegantly shaped weaving stone and a fragmented textile from the collection of Egyptian textiles I wove a series of five wall panels.2000 threads 170 x 55 cm, linnen. The clay stones are duplicates of the original weaving stones.
The exhibition will be open to the public from June - september 2020 and can be visited on reservation only.
Update April 2020
Het Rijksmuseum voor Oudheid in Leiden toont een grote tentoonstelling over 'Textiel in Egypte'. Kostbare stukken uit buitenlandse collecties zijn verzameld, een vormgever heeft de tentoonstelling vorm gegeven. Sinds 2 jaar begeleidde ik een groep van 12 textiel kunstenaars, QS2 om eigentijds werk te maken, geïnspireerd op stukken textiel uit de Oudheid. Het zijn prachtige, indringende stukken geworden. Ben trots op ze!
En - hoe morbide kan het zijn? Mijn eigen bijdragen gemaakt vóór de Corona crisis zijn geïnspireerd op lijkwades, oftewel mummies. Het inwikkelen als symbool voor de laatste liefdevolle aanraking, die nu niet meer mogelijk is.
De sculptuur ‘Koestering’ uit 2019 is geïnspireerd op de collectie van Egyptisch textiel van o.a. het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden. In de Oudheid was het in textiel wikkelen van overleden mensen en dieren een laatste liefdevolle aanraking, het bouwen van beschermende lagen, een container. Dit aandachtige ritueel lijkt op de choreografie in de handweverij, het precieze scheren van een ketting en het heen en weer gaan van de weefschuit. Uiteindelijk lijkt de buitenlaag van een mummie op een geweven keper patron. Door de uitbraak van de pandemie kregen ‘aanraken en koesteren’ nieuwe betekenissen. Hoe ziet koestering zonder aanraken eruit?
De tentoonstelling wordt nu wel opgebouwd in de hoop, dat het publiek op een later tijdstip met gepaste maatregelen mag komen kijken.
Serving as 2019 guest editor and co-juror for American Surface Design Association call for the annual Exhibition in Print. Borders are often thought of as unyielding divides between ideas, cultures, beliefs, actions, and interests. They can also be the elastic edge between disciplines (ex. art and science), methods of making (ex. 3-D printing and handmade), or physical characteristics (ex. frayed or neat edges). These are the dynamic areas where opposites meet and innovation is born. Borders can carry political weight, for example the “soft” borders between European Union countries, the historic iron curtain, or the United States/Mexico border. What are your visualizations and material reflections of SOFT BORDERS?
Artists are encouraged to submit work of any size or format that demonstrates the use of fibers or textile-based media, including nontraditional materials and techniques. Surface Design Journal welcomes work that embraces traditional 2D and 3D forms, while also seeking work that challenges and expands the contemporary definitions of textile/fiber-based art and design such as: digital (design/animation), time-based (video/performance), conceptual, installation, land, book, sculptural, basketry, textile, wearables, fashion, interior design, product design, and craft-as-social-practice.
Artists working in all media are encouraged to apply. Information at SURFACEDESIGN.ORG//EVENTS-EXHIBITS/
November - December 2018
Weeflab and the Brainshow
Zwaan Printmedia, Marcelisdekave
November - December 2018
Program Weeflab and the Brainshow
Donderdag, 6 december 20 uur
De verbeelding van het brein in de beeldende kunst van 1500 tot heden
Dr. Marieke Hendriksen, gepromoveerd in de geschiedenis van wetenschap en geneeskunde verteld over nieuwe technologieën en wetenschappelijk inzichten die door de eeuwen heen invloed hadden op hoe kunstenaars het brein verbeelden.
Zaterdag, 8 december 20 uur
Drie visies op weven
Rosita Kærs interpretatie van archeologische textiele vondsten brengt de oorspronkelijke draagster tot leven. Rosita Kær, (DesignLab Gerrit Rietveld Academie) won dit jaar met haar Bachelor project en scriptie “Yes darling, you are a real woman” twee van de jaarlijks uitgereikte Gerrit Rietveld Academie Awards. Het verhaal over de archeologische speurtocht naar een 3.300 jaar oude blouse en de textielverzameling van haar grootmoeder weeft tijd en verhalen samen.
Severine Amsings meest recente project ‘In Between Tides’ is een geweven verbeelding van de getijden op onder andere het Schotse eiland Mull. Haar werk gaat over de al of niet zichtbare verbindende elementen in een landschap - een metafoor voor weven. Severine Amsing studeerde sociale geografie en textiele vormgeving. Ze geeft les in weven aan de Gerrit Rietveld Academie en werkt op een oud industrieel weefgetouw. www.severineamsing.nl
Monika Auch over weven en weefsel. Hoe belangrijk zijn de handen en gevoel voor materie voor een dokter en weefster? Monika Auch verteld over de samenhang tussen weven en anatomie aan de hand van de op embryologie geïnspireerde sculpturale weefsels uit de tentoonstelling.
Textile dyeing with natural pigments
Focussing on dyeing in a wider perspective here is a summary of forth coming articles with Dutch experts. What makes dyeing with natural pigments special? Is it truly sustainable practice? The history of madder in The Netherlands. The discovery of a fabulous 17th century red silk wardrobe rescued from a shipwreck off the coast of Texel and it's conservation. What are the discoveries in dyeing workshops at the Rijksatelier? Just a 10 minute bike ride away from the Rijksatelier through the centre of Amsterdam hands-on research and design is done at Tinctoria’s studio. And a visit to Claudy Jongstra’s ‘Farm of the World’ in Friesland. In-depth articles will be published in Surface Design Journal, kM (Dutch) and TxP (Dutch). 'Een tapijt van bijen' has been published in kM 105.
Students conservation and restoration laying out fabric. photo: provincie Noord-Holland and Maarten van Bommel, Professor of Conservation Science at the faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. He is chair of the section Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (Department of Arts & Culture). photo: Dirk Gillissen
An oil painting from 1764 depicts three traders standing around a barrel of madder, assessing the quality of the ware. They have bored a hole into the vat and extracted samples, chewing them to determine the amount of contaminating sand and enjoying the social aspects of trading - bantering, arguing until the sale is closed. Het keuren van meekrap’, 1764, Oil painting on wooden panel, coll. KZGW inv.nr.G1691, courtesy of Museum of Middelburg, Zeeuws Museum, copyright: Public domain Japanese gown of Prince William III, Creation: c. 1675 - c. 1702 restored at the Rijksatelier http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.3298Workshop at Tinctoria studio with Leentje van Hengel photo M.Auch
Workshop at Tinctoria, silk sample with indigo, madder, iron-walnuts and discharge paste photos M.Auch
18th European Textile Network conference
Weeflab is a member of ETN.
Weeflab is active participant in the network of European and international textile artists and designers. At the 18th conference in Sweden, Weeflab presented itself as an open platform for weaving to set up new collaborations. The presentation reflected on the weaver as protagonist of our times.
Lala de Dios, president of ETN opening the conference
ETN at Borås - an international lapptäcken (=Swedish for patchwork)
It’s all about the people.
In september the 18th ETN conference and textile festival Cross Over took place in the picturesque city of Borås, Sweden. Highlight was the ceremony for the prestigious Nordic Award in Textiles presented to Danish weaver Grete Sørensen. ETN founder Beatrijs Sterk has written extensively on her excellent blog about Cross Over, covering the facts about participants and venues.
My observations as a maker and writer are on a more personal note.
Scandinavia evokes associations of cool design, clear colors and natural materials: Marimekko, IKEA and Rya carpets. But it is also Pippi Longstocking! Like the the bright, playful, strong work of Scandinavian textile artists. The diversity of textile art, mainly large scale pieces presented in the settings of spacious galleries and museums advertised an impressive textile art scene. It was a pleasure to meet fellow makers in this networking marathon.
Nordic Award in Textiles
Grete Sørensen’s work is en excellent example of the successful fusion of an old craft like weaving with innovative digital tools. Grete Sørensen was educated as a weaver in Kolding, Denmark. The discovery and application of digital weaving with a specialized Jacquard loom, the TC1 designed by her colleague Vibeke Vestby from Norway led to her big scale, elegant work. Here is a master at work - playful and in full command of her tools and creative skills. During a conversation she stresses, that technical knowledge of weaving techniques is essential, she says: ‘I am so much enjoying my work at this stage in my life! I am happy about the award because weaving is very often ignored. The prize helps to draw attention to our rich weaving tradition that suffers a miserable fate in education in Denmark today.’
Grete Sørensen receiving the award with Vibeke Vestby designer of the TC1 loom
With Grete Sørensen and Beatrijs Sterk, founder of ETN
This quote seems to be somehow at odds with the impressive ‘state of the art’ facilities in the Gothenborg Academy of Design and Crafts, where students led a guided tour through the very well equipped textile labs. And - there is a surprisingly small number of students in this textile paradise.
The network of artist’s communities connecting the Scandinavian countries was impressive. For example, Konstepidemin in Gothenborg is a cultural center, housing more than 130 artists’ studios and three galleries. It is a meeting place for artists and their audience. The facilities are run by the artist’s themselves and are supported by the commune of Gothenborg.
at Konstepidemin, Gothenborg
Joe Lewis of Fibre Art quarterly, Canada and weaving on his cardboard loom
The metaphor of a lapptäcken (= patchwork) is apt for the ETN congregation.
During the many short presentations of amazing projects the richness and potential of the ETN community stands out. There is out-of-the-box thinking and committment in achieving goals and realizing projects. Craft-Health related issues, e.g. SUTA, highlighting traditions like the Spiral textiles project or academic research, like the German Penelope research. The open, non-competitive atmosphere is inviting, this network is a powerhouse of concepts, a treasure trove of textile knowledge and skills. To name just a few who taught very interesting workshops: Japanese master Jun Tomita taught Kasuri (Ikat) weaving, digital weaving on the TC2 was taught by Vibeke Vestby and longtime team Joy Boutrup and Catharine Ellis taught the very fashionable art of natural dyeing.
Regrettably trendwatcher Li Edelkoort, hosted by the city of Borås as key-note speaker did not facilitate a Q&A for her eagerly listening colleagues, which could have started a conversation. Considering the fact, that textiles are the source of her current work this was a missed chance for both sides. I am wondering, if her plea for sustainability is going to be turned into yet another commercial colorchart and mood-board. There was a lot of networking and exchange of ideas but I missed a skilled, informed moderator - ideally a person not burdened with organisational tasks - to stitch the lapptäcken together and bring it to the next level.
Diana Springall at SUTUR embroidery exhibition and Yoshiki Wada at the natural dyeing workshop
ETN has a demand for young people. As editor and writer for textile magazines, I constantly receive a wealth of information of what’s going on. Through many interviews I observe, that lots of young colleagues are out there and forming communities. Is ETN visible and sexy enough? Is the ETN contribution too expensive for students? How can we interest young textile designers and makers to join ETN and add their expertise to this rich international lapptäcken?
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the people and organisations involved in Cross Over. And - big cheers to Scandinavian hospitality!
Weeflab at craft-design show
Weeflab takes part at the juried craft design fair Meesterlijk in the atmospheric chapel of the Westergasfabriek. Here you find work of six designers inspired by Mondriaan in his famous abstract and non-figurative style. Assisted by Weeflab visitors can weave their own piece of textile in primary colors. Weeflab shows a new collection of swatches for bespoke tapisserie from natural and reclaimed materials like yarn from re-cycled jeans. Fuzzy surfaces, fringed fabrics - handwoven, authentic pieces for interiors and unique scarves are tactile and visual input in a digital world.
Studio tour for German colleagues
Weeflab welcomed German colleagues from the Handwerkskammer Münster
Focus of the working trip was an information exchange about the environment and supporting structures for craft designer makers in The Netherlands and Germany.
Starting with a meet and greet at EYE Nel Punt told about her work as graphic designer and woodturning artist. A visit to printing workshop AGA and artist’s hotel and residencie space WOW showed institutional work and meeting spaces.
Jewelrymakers Ineke Heerkens and Pauline Wiertz opened up their studios at WG terrein in the centre of Amsterdam. Both of them work with ceramics and textiles. At exhibition space WG Kunst there was the fabulous show of illustrator Floor Rieder.
WEEFLAB welcomed the group at the working space in Amsterdam Noord showing the equipment and looms before we sat down for great food at local restaurant Spaanders. A lively discussion about the various models of artist/designer practice, i.e. working with galleries, online profile, institutions, grant structures and market positions ensued and commenced until late.
Which prepared us for a visit at internationally selling jewelry maker Uli Rapp Uli welcomed us amidst the busy preparations for Sofa Chicago. Uli runs her own production space with a small dedicated team. Last stop was at hatmaker Mirjam Nuver’s workshop in the middle of the red-light district.
The working visit is the continuation of a long standing connection with the Münster group of craft designers.
Big thanx to my colleagues in Amsterdam who opened up their studios and shared their know-how!
Ineke Heerkens and Nel Punt
Pauline Wiertz and one of her stack sculptures with 'spinach and egg glaze', 30 x 20 cm, photo: Ron Zijlstra
At Uli Rapp's studio
Weeflab teaches Weaving workshop for Master Students Technical Art History.
The Master course 'Technical Art History' at the University of Amsterdam was set up in 2015. Interviews with four professors that initiated and organize the curriculum can be found in the article section. About making Newly appointed Prof. Erma Hermens lectured on Bauhaus Weavers and approached Weeflab to set up a hands-on workshop. Read her blog.Looking through art.
Mané van Veldhuizen: In Technical Art History we are interested in the materials and making process of an artwork in the context of making and meaning. We want to understand the object. By visiting Monika’s atelier we got hands-on experience with weaving. I loved thinking about how different materials, patterns, textures and colours could work together. Time went really fast when weaving, I got very caught up in it, I have been looking at buying a small loom myself.
Paul van Laar: Technical Art History is interested in the contextualisation of the artist’s work, materials, and techniques. There is hardly any source more valuable to a researcher than getting first-hand experience with materials and techniques taught by a practicing artist. It is only through working with the materials yourself that you truly learn about its inherent capabilities and limitations and how artists manipulate it to overcome limitations in order to incorporate it into their vocabulary of artistic expression. To me it was surprising to see modern techniques and apparatuses being used in combination with what is such a traditional medium. To hear Monika explain how she hacked the mainframe of an automated loom to be able to work not in traditional 2D weaving patterns, but instead create 3-dimensional works, was truly fascinating. This shows how an artist can continually push the boundaries of any limitations. The meditative side of the whole process, shooting the shuttle back and forth, creating a tight, regular weft was very satisfying and relaxing to me. I even struggled to break free of the regularity to pursue more experimental use of the technique, as instructed by our artist-teacher.
Ingrid Kramer: In class we discussed the theories and concepts behind Bauhaus weaving. It was interesting to go to the weaving atelier and experience weaving on the loom, which involves a whole physical and mindful process. We were encouraged to explore with materials and techniques, focussing on texture, based on the use of various unusual materials. For technical art historians, it is an enriching opportunity to put oneself within the mindset of creative weavers.
Anne-Sophie Hamers: The visit to the workshop of Monika is very relevant to Technical Art History because it gives an insight in the making process of Bauhaus inspired textiles. Working on the looms in the Bauhaus spirit it becomes more understandable what the intentions from Monika are and the underlying Bauhaus movement. What I enjoyed about the weaving was that Monika just let us work and play with different looms and techniques.
Anne-Marie Hollants:The visit to a workshop gives great insights in the mind of an artist, e.g. why they choose specific materials, how they value their materials and how their creative process works. It surprised me how open Monika was about work in progress, sharing with us what she liked and did not like about her work in progress for the Museum van Oudheden. You have this idea of artists being secretive about their process. What I enjoyed most about the weaving was how you work within a distinct set of rules, the warp and the weft and the techniques to create the structure, in which you then have the freedom of choosing texture, volume and colors. It was a really grounding process.
A.I.R. at Hardangerfjord
Weeflab restores old loom, sources locally, works in a painterly approach.
Rock_Fjord_Wood 200 cm x 65 cm at right: detail
Inspired by Edvard Munch's vibrant self portrait from 1909 on view at KODE Museum in Bergen (left: 140 cm x 65 cm) and the muted colors of Midsummer night, (right: 200 cm x 65 cm).
Alvik (woodblokprint 75 cm x 55 cm) in front: Mutant (3D weave, mixed media, 2009) bark strands
Studio visit by ARTECHNE
Weeflab welcomed four scientists of the ARTECHNE team
Their mission is: The transmission of ‘technique’ in art has been a conspicuous ‘black box’ resisting analysis. The tools of the humanities used to study the transmission of ideas and concepts are insufficient when it comes to understanding the transmission of something as non-propositional and non-verbal as ‘technique’. In order to understand artisanal techniques they try out techniques themselves before analyzing and describing processes in an academic context. >>interview Sven Dupré (in Dutch, published kM 102)
Professor Dr. Sven Dupré and team weaving a Chanel inspired piece.
Learning through anatomical-histological drawings and 'cows can fly' models
Teaching Biezenmortel Masterclass
Based on my education at Gerrit Rietveld Academy the program of a 5 day masterclass focusses on how to put ideas into material and form. It engages students in exercises in drawing, 'out-of-the-box' making and introducing an element of surprise. Participants are given information through short lectures and examples from an extensive archive of textile related images. (NL artikel in TxP)
Deconstruction by Anja van Dijk, hands and work by Jo Huijsman
Process images: basic weaving by Annie Slob, selection of jackets, photo of Lisette van Til and her work
Work by Klara van Langevelde, Marga Lansink and piece al fresco
Impressions of the cloister
Communal piece woven from material scraps. photo:Anja van Dijk
Coacing QS2 group
QS2 is a group of fibre artists, collaborating in regular sessions for already 15 years. Diversity is the driving force of their cross-pollination. Big stories - women's handcraft - Sterke Staaltjes Vrouwenhandwerk - is the tongue-in-cheek title of the upcoming show at Museum Nagele. Opening 3rd of June.
photo: E. Driemann
2 july 2017 / Amsterdam
Summershow Amsterdam Noord
Timewarp#3#golden by Weeflab
has been selected for the annual summershow.
25 April 2017 / Amsterdam
Lecture at KNAW
Weeflab has been invited to talk about 'The intelligence of the hand'
organized by the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, KNAW
KunstKennis / Onze zintuigen in kunst en wetenschappelijk experiment.
Nooit eerder in de geschiedenis was visuele expertise zo belangrijk in wetenschap en samenleving als vandaag. Maar die dominantie van het oog is ook eenzijdig, en stelt de rol van andere zintuigen in de productie van kennis en wetenschap in de schaduw. Kunstenaars en wetenschappers gaan in gesprek over de rol van alle zintuigen in de creatie van hun werk en over de vraag of we ook in het wetenschappelijk onderwijs leren door maken en zintuiglijk waarnemen moeten aanmoedigen. Moderator: Robert Zwijnenberg, hoogleraar kunstgeschiedenis aan Universiteit Leiden. organisator: KNAW, Akademie van Kunsten, Sven Duprė (Universiteit Utrecht en Universiteit van Amsterdam) en Wijnand Mijnhardt (Universiteit Utrecht)
Tallinn Triennial 2017
Weeflab participates at the 7th edition of Applied Arts Triennial, Tallinn.
Weeflab’s piece TIMEWARP which depicts the theme of weaving and time passing is selected for the exhibition at the Design Museum in Tallinn.
Weeflab will present itself to an international group of colleagues, curators and students at the symposium and at the Estonian Art Academy in two lectures and by active networking.
Prize winning work: VAIP by Villu Pink and Silja Saarepuu - videostill from 'endless process of ploughing a field into a carpet.' overview exhibition: Ajavahe - Time Difference from left: work by Ellen Grieg, Aet Ollisaar, Trine Hovden and Jaako Leeve & Kisalli workshop, photo by P. Kumet artist's talk in medieval tower, moderated by Ketli Titsar with artist Taneel Venre presenting
Weven als verbindende handeling
Een wever werkt meestal alleen. Weven is een nogal technisch ambacht en amateurs komen zonder begeleiding niet verder dan weven op een eenvoudig weefraam. Tijdens Koningsdag 2017 kunnen bezoekers van de ‘Amsterdam Village Market’ op een professioneel mobiel weefgetouw met trappers gaan weven.
Met kleurrijke garens en onder begeleiding van Weeflab wordt een lang weefsel gemaakt. Met de creatieve inbreng van de bewoners van Tuindorp en bezoekers laat het de onderlinge verbondenheid zien.
Het geweven stuk zal worden tentoongesteld in Studio Spaanders op het Zonneplein.
ondersteund door Amsterdam Noord West
Weaving in Japan
Weeflab is setting up a collaboration with young designer Emilie Pallard.
Emilie Pallard works together with Niels Heymans. Emilie graduated cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2010 and works as an autonomous designer for different clients from her studio in Amsterdam. Niels Heymans is a product designer and expert in computer skills. They are a working team which combines masterly craft skills and computer technology.
In their last project ‘Opening traditions’ Emilie and Niels explored the craft of Ikat weaving in Japan in collaboration with Japanese designer Makiko Shinoda. They innovated this traditional technique by using a different colour scheme than the traditional indigo and white scheme and by setting up a subtle shifting pattern. ‘Opening Traditions’ is a cross-pollination between centuries of experience and fresh talent and was shown during DDW at the Van Abbe Museum in 2016.