An intricate woven art

Rhubarb Crumble - COURTESY OF PDA
Rhubarb Crumble
— image credit: COURTESY OF PDA

After retiring more than a decade ago, Virginia Baldwin took a textile arts diploma program at Capilano University and got hooked on the art of tapestry.

The West Vancouver resident loved handling the yarn through her fingers and weaving colourful and unique images with a loom.

After graduating, Baldwin searched for a tapestry group to join. There were plenty of general weavers’ organizations that specialized in fabric arts, quilting and needlepoint but none for tapestry.

So she formed one.

Today, her TWIGs (Tapestry Weavers Interest Group) meet monthly on Sundays to share their craft. Seven years ago, they held their first exhibit at Coquitlam’s Place des Arts.

Tomorrow (Thursday), TWIGs will return to the Maillardville centre to open a joint display with TAPIS (Tapestry Weavers from Vancouver Island), a 35-strong club, in a new show called Edible Art.

Baldwin said she got the idea from TAPIS about two years to put on a themed exhibit, and 14 artists made 26 handwoven pieces based on their favourite recipes (Baldwin even organized a complementary cookbook, which will be for sale in the gift shop).

Baldwin said the show took so long to come to fruition as exhibition space is difficult to find and as tapestries are laborious.

Typically, a square foot can take 40 hours to weave. One set of threads — usually linen or cotton — run parallel to the warp (length) and another set — made of wool or cotton — run parallel to the weft (width) on a loom. The warp threads are hidden behind the completed work while the weft-facing threads being discontinuous — that is, interlaced in a small pattern area.

As for the Place des Arts’ exhibit, Baldwin said, “I hope people will get a better understanding of tapestry as an artistic technique.”

Meanwhile, Place des Arts also opens two other exhibits tomorrow: Unruly Lines by Ellen Bang and Capturing the Vibrancy of Nature by the Passionate Outdoor Painters. The receptions is Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at 1120 Brunette Ave.

Baldwin, Bang and members from the Passionate Outdoor Painters will be part of Family Day at Place des Arts on Jan. 13. Drop in to see their workshops and demonstrations from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


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