Video: A Weaver in Denmark

A Weaver in Denmark from Barbara Bluestone on Vimeo.

In 1970, Barbara Bluestone went to Denmark, where after a weaving apprenticeship she became a professional textile artist. This video shows the evolution of her work.

In 1970, I arrived in Denmark for a study-abroad semester. I fell in love and decided to stay. I apprenticed myself to a tapestry weaver, Jette Gemzoe, and after a year spread my wings and set up my own studio.

This marked the start of an incredible creative breakthrough, a period of freedom and expansion. Not limited by rules or preconceived ideas, I wanted to weave the whole world.

At first my tapestries were joyous and colorful, made of wild combinations of materials. Gradually I began to use simpler shapes and muted colors. Finally I wove only with white woolen yarn which I spun myself on a old spinning wheel.

Weaving engages the senses. You touch the texture of the yarn, see the vivid colors, hear the creak of the loom, smell the fragrant flowers and roots simmering in a dye bath.

Weaving is rhythmic as music, as poetry, and as I wove, poems would float into my mind. Weaving is also hard physical work. Weaving taught me discipline, structure, patience, and the stillness necessary to hear the inner voice. Sometimes I think I learned everything about creating from weaving.

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