This week’s weave is another mind-bender from my friend Ann Rosenthal, whose complex woven piece “When Opposites Attract” I wrote about in January.
This work is called “Who Robbed Roy and How?” Ann described it in her weaving notes as being a combination of “2×2 twill [the checks and lighter tan background], doublecloth tapestry [the spotted cat], single cloth tapestry [the darker tan background], and discontinuous warp and weft section [the missing red square].” I also learned from the notes that the piece was woven on two beams, 8 harnesses and treadles, and that some kind of stretcher was used for the twill area.
I still don’t understand how this piece was woven, and I probably never will, but I think that to appreciate it fully it’s important to understand that it is all one completely woven piece.
I asked Ann once about her creative process, and she said that it often involves fitting together three unrelated things. In this case those things were: (1) the image of the Peruvian cat shown below; (2) the red-and-black-checked Rob Roy tartan that Ann was weaving at her sample weaving job; and (3) her interest in, and experiments with, Peruvian and Coptic weaving techniques.
Ann and I first met at a Weavers’ Guild exhibition because I was so wowed by a sophisticated prize-winning piece of hers, ” Matte for Cat,” (see Gallery page) that I asked to meet her. I discovered that we not only shared a love of cat imagery, but both made our living as Garment Center sample weavers. All of Ann’s weaving is done with yarn that was discarded by former employers — for example, “Who Robbed Roy and How?” was woven with an 80/20 wool/nylon blend.
Some years after that Guild exhibition, I bought her Rob Roy piece, and now Ann and I also share the photo shown below, of my cherished cat Sweeney echoing the pose of his distant Peruvian cousins.