Billedvev translates as picture-weaving, and medieval Norwegian tapestries have a distinctive charm and graphic appeal. In this workshop, learn about the techniques used in historical Norwegian tapestry, particularly the decorative joins where colors come together. You will use the expressive joining techniques to weave a custom billedvev sampler. In addition to intensive weaving, the workshop will include slide-based lectures, in which we will follow the thread of Norwegian tapestry techniques as practiced by weavers from medieval times to the present. We will discuss the images and symbols found in old tapestries and study tapestries in the Vesterheim collection. The piece shown here is not the class project, but is an example of billedvev. You may use your own tapestry looms, or borrow one from the instructor. There is a materials fee, payable to the instructor.
Robbie LaFleur has been following a thread of Scandinavian textiles since she studied weaving at Valdres Husflidskole in Fagernes, Norway, in 1977. She has continued her study with Scandinavian instructors in Norway and the United States. Her projects include interpreting Edvard Munch’s Scream painting into a variety of textile techniques, weaving tapestry portraits of her relatives, and continuing exploration of various Norwegian coverlet techniques. She is a Vesterheim Gold Medalist, coordinates the Weavers Guild of Minnesota Scandinavian Weavers Study Group, and publishes the Norwegian Textile Letter. In 2019 she received a fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation to study the transparency technique of famed Norwegian tapestry weaver Frida Hansen.