I started weaving tapestry seriously in the middle of the 1990s. When I began, I had a strong idea of what I wanted to acheive: bright colours and clear geometric shapes.
I wove my first tapestry completely from imagination. No cartoon, no scetchbook. I had a frame of 50 x 70 cm with adjustable tension, a setting of 5 ends per cm and a single ply swedish yarn, faro.
I’ve had a long journey from then, including a six week module in West Dean in 2001, to now come back to my first ideas of what I wanted to weave.
Being German and having studied ‘Visuelle Kommunikation’, I am influenced a lot by the Bauhaus ideals: by Anni Albers, Ida Kerkovius and Gunta Stölzl as they have been weavers and painters as well; and Paul Klee and his paintings with squares.
At first, I tried to weave as I had painted. I used my knowledge of colours and forms. I did weaving in the painting tradition of Johannes Itten and Paul Klee.
I discovered that weaving with colours seems to follow different rules than in paintings and that weaving squares is not a flowing process. I struggled for a long time to transform my paintings into weaving.
Then I happened to find the book by Silvia Heyden, The Making of Modern Tapestry which transforms perfectly the Bauhaus ideas into tapestry weaving. So I started to work experimentally with triangles and lines instead of squares, following the idea that a triangle is one of the basic weaving forms. Triangles are natural to the weaving process and give enormous space for the creative process right infront of the loom. So I could weave more or less without cartoon, just a sketch.
Now I either paint or draw or weave.
But I started to draw my weaving and reweave the drawing in a different size and hue and then draw it again and so on.
I am very curious to see where that will lead me.
When I weave, I think in terms of structure. Thread, line and movement become more important than colour.
Often I work on several tapestries at once, different in size and warpsetting but similar in subject. Sometimes I like the result, sometimes not.
More and more I prefer my calm tapestries. And I love repetition. So I think of further triangle tapestries, some with and some without movement.