the art of tapestry

Thursday, December 16, 2010

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One afternoon our group went into town to meet a tapestrier. This is a profession that takes years and years of training and years of apprenticeship. This particular woman was schooled for 10 years. Out of school her first job was to make tapestries that lined the first class coaches of trains. She said the seats, walls and ceilings would all be covered in tapestry. Now she has a studio on the 1st floor of her house. It sits on the street and has a store front. Forty percent of the room is dedicated to a huge loom which she sits at from 8am to 5pm {with a break in the middle}. One tapestry can take 18 months working on it everyday. One of the things that really stuck with me is the lost art of mastering something, she has dedicated her life to tapestry. She said that there are only 5 other people in France that do tapestry by hand anymore, now it is all done by machine. What a gift to have met her and see her masterpieces.
Oh one more thing... she talked about the power of color. Imagine the tapestries she works on can be 12 feet long and 12 feet tall so she could be working with one color for days, weeks. She said that she hated working with orange and purple. She said that they make her angry and irritable. When her mother died she took a year off to make a tapestry for herself. It was an image of a still waters set in nature. The colors she choose were all muted, tan, cream, light blue... she said that these colors helped her grieve her mothers passing. They were calming and comforting for her.

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8 comments:

  1. in this "hurry up, get it done, I need it by yesterday" world we are in...this is very refreshing and fills my heart.

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  2. My favorite France trip post to date. The story of her grief is beautiful; what a tribute to life.

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  3. Oh wow! That's beautiful! I love reading about things like this. Just lovely!

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  4. That's amazing -- what a beautiful skill to have to be able to create such gorgeous artwork.

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  5. She was amazing. Such a gift to have met her and appreciate the time and love she puts into each of her pieces.

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  6. Wow, that's amazing! GREAT post. xo

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  7. been a while since i passed by chez vous; some great posts. love the secret hat and ribbon adventure, the pasta making and am amazed by the patience and commitment of this woman. (just feel bad that i find the end results garish and that all that talent and hard work is wasted on me).
    wishing you sesons delights; linda...

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  8. this is the kind of people we should be hearing about more these days... hope you're having a nice weekend!

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