A communal journey to understand the principles of weaving and to discover it as a metaphor for urban planning, for architecture and urbanism, for the computer, for the landscape and many more, taking place on various days between 13 August and 25 September 2020.
From the beginning of civilization,weaving has played a cultural and artistic role in societies worldwide. Also the economic and scientific influence of the design and technology of looms has been significant: more than two centuries ago, the first punch cards were used on looms, which can rightfully be seen as the prerunners of the computer and formed the basis for the industrial revolution.
This course offers the participants an exploration into the three-dimensional meaning of weaving on a huge, traditional Finnish weaving loom. It is a communal journey for which the Independent School for the City has teamed up with visual artists Bart Gorter and Ernst van der Hoeven, to understand the principles of weaving and to discover it as a metaphor for urban planning, for architecture and urbanism, for the computer, for the landscape and many more things. The course will result in one large monumental rug, collectively woven by the participants.
Tickets are available for 250 euro. The course is subject to Corona measures and cannot be held online. Depending on the situation in August, the course may or may not take place. Therefore you can register for this studio by sending an email to Info@schoolforthecity.nl The payment should be completed by invoice two weeks before the start of the course. For practical reasons, a maximum of 12 participants can take part in this course.
Over the period of 2 full days and 5 afternoons of collective work, you will be introduced to the ins and outs of weaving following a 7-step approach. After two afternoons of introduction and an individual weaving trial on a small loom, we will collectively reconstruct the traditional Finnish weaving loom. During the process you are confronted with all the functional elements of weaving: the beam, the reed, the heddle, the slay and the treadle. In the fourth step, you will learn how to make a warp chain, enhance the warp threads and discuss the consequences of various materials, after which the most contemplative and time-consuming 5th step follows: the threading of the warp through the reed. Now we’re ready to get wired and to start constructing the rug. This will be done over a period of 4 weeks, during which we offer you unlimited weaving time to extend the rug in duo’s (on appointment), to eventually free the rug on friday the 25th of September.
Bart Gorter is a visual artist based in Rotterdam, who has worked in different media, mainly photography, weaving and ceramics. In 2012-2013 he made the series ‘Family Ties’, consisting of long rugs made out textiles from his parental house; in 2016 he cooperated with Ernst van der Hoeven on the project of a commissioned rug for the Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen using hospital fabrics, to connect to the history of the hospital; recently he produced a series of rugs using heritage textiles.
Ernst van der Hoeven
Ernst van der Hoeven was trained as an architectural historian and landscape architect and was a founding partner (1994-2004) of Crimson. He designs landscapes, organizes exhibitions and creates works of art for the public domain with an emphasis on the reuse of historical heritage. In 2015 van der Hoeven co-founded MacGuffin Magazine, a design and crafts bi-annual with each issue based around a single object.
Thursday 13 August, 14:00 - 18:00
Step 1. What is weaving? The cradle of civilisation - Collective Introduction by looking at various textiles in an attempt to understand material and structure, the vertical warp and horizontal weft, the raw material of the fabric, the fringes, the knots etc.
Friday 14 August, 14:00 - 18:00
Step 2. A simple wooden frame - The principles are explained on a small, individual loom (31x31 cm): how can a thread become the warp and the warp become the weft. Or how a simple wooden frame can function as a window of thoughts. Making of a trial weaving on each individual’s small loom.
Saturday 15 August, 10:00 - 18:00
Step 3. The building of the Loom - The 2.20 metres wide loom is a sturdy device, an ingenious lever mechanism, and a 3-dimensional puzzle in itself. While collectively reconstructing the loom the participants are confronted with all the functional elements of weaving: the beam, the reed, the heddle, the slay and the treadle.
Friday 21 August, 14:00 - 18:00
Step 4. The magic of the warp and the meaning of the weft - When weaving a rug the warp is an unchangeable given; the weft on the other hand is free to change. The participants will learn how to make a warp chain, enhance the warp threads and discuss the consequences of various materials.
Saturday 22 August 10:00 - 18:00
Step 5. Threading the weave - The most contemplative and time-consuming part of weaving is the threading of the warp through the reed. While the calmest participants are concentrating on the threading, others are assembling the material (recycled fabrics) for the weft, which raises questions like: are we going to evoke evidence of place, are we working with a motive?
Friday 28 August, 14:00 - 18:00
Step 6. Getting wired! - During the actual weaving, the participants will experience the impact of the weft on the fabric: how every thread opens a new horizon.
Saturday 29 August - Thursday 24 September
Unlimited weaving in pairs (on appointment)
Friday 25 September, 14:00 - 18:00
Step 7. Freeing the rug - In the final stage the participants have to decide on how to finish the woven fabric and how to present the result. What did it become? A cadavre exquis? A polder landscape, a city plan or an open sky? And will it be used as a tapestry, a carpet, a blanket, a cover or a simple rug?