Sometimes beautiful things come your way. Such as a totally unexpected email from Marieke Gelissen, a visual artist from Amsterdam. For a project she wanted to combine a basket woven from wicker with woven bands and could I give some advice about this. My curiosity was aroused, so yes, of course!
I gave Marieke a call and I still remember that Marieke asked “Well, I don’t know if it’s possible, but I would love to have texts woven into bands”. I don’t think she had expected my very spontaneous answer that it wasn’t that hard at all. So we made an appointment in my studio. It turned out to be a very inspiring morning with an intended collaboration as the end result.
Then the very first preparations started: Marieke asked for financial support from Fonds Kwadraat, I started to orientate myself on techniques, fonts and materials. In April the good news came that Fonds Kwadraat wanted to support Marieke’s project and it was time for a second date with Marieke, this time in her studio. Marieke had composed a poem of 24 lines from legends and stories in which a woven basket fulfills a symbolic or mythical role from the book ‘Basketwork through the ages’ by H.H.Bobart. I also hadn’t been idle and had found different fonts for tablet weaving and band weaving. And not unimportant: I found weavers to help me, because you can’t do 24 lines of poetry before the end of August on your own.
The experimental phase could start: seven bands to test techniques, fonts, material and colours. Two fonts were rejected, the fluorescent band was a bit too much and intermesh with linen turned out to be a complete disaster. But all in all, the tests were more than successful. So, last Thursday Marieke and I met again and we selected all techniques, materials and colours. Shuffling around with spools of thread, take some distance, look again and decide. We were more than satisfied with the result and with our good cooperation. As a pretty nerdy person, I put everything in a large excel file, orders were placed and the work was divided among the enthusiastic team that consists of Annemieke, Arina, Karoline, Marion and Marlies.
Project “Woven poem” can start!