In 2010 I was inducted into the Montana Circle of American Masters, a program of the Montana Arts Council to honor traditional and folk artists of our state.
Tapestry and my approach to it.
Tapestry is an ancient art form once used to warm the walls of medieval
castles. In those days the person who designed the tapestry most often also
worked on the weaving of it. Gradually this shifted to the practice of
artists designing a piece to be woven by others, with little spontaneity or
opportunity for interpretation.
Tapestry weaving is a process in which the warp or foundation threads are
covered completely by the colored weft threads. These do not extend from
selvedge to selvedge, as in most weaving, but are woven back and forth
within a limited area, adjoining at the boundaries of each shape to produce
a solid piece of cloth.
My tapestries are predominantly wool, with highlights of silk and rayon.
I use multi-stranded butterflies of yarn in order to combine many colors and
subtle textures. This has an effect similar to Pointillism; the eye blends
the colors. These tapestries are woven in an individual adaptation of the
Mexican tapestry technique. I use my own designs and interpret them freely
as I work.I do not employ computers other than for photography production. I
stand up to weave at a large Mexican-style floor loom. The process of
weaving can be trance-like.
I have been weaving landscapes since 1980. My goal is to evoke an
emotional response. The beauty and austerity of landscape is my inspiration.
Laurie Gano, Landscape Tapestry