|This is Haya's Rosh ha Shannah (Jewish New Year) card that she sent to TWIST and the letter she included to her friends:
These days many people are concerned about globalization, the spreading of corporate-giant material culture around our globe, and right they may be. However the flip side of this coin, particularly with the flow of information on the Internet, is the availability of a myriad of techniques and substances to the craftsperson who wants to create a special object.
Twenty-nine years ago when I first wove Shannah Tovah cards, I used Krokbragd -- a Scandinavian threading with linen warp and woolen rug weft which my children and I dyed using wild flowers and onion skins back in Houston (Texas, USA). The pattern was one of hexagons -- honeycombs within apple shaped cutouts. Four times more over the years I returned to the apple and honey theme using overshot threadings and varied yarns.
This year again, I chose an apple in honey theme. The pattern is a warp face pebble weave, traditional in Ecuador and Peru. The Dutch weaver Marijke van Epen (see Gallery 17), analyzed this weave and adapted it from itís traditional pick up method to a form of card weaving where holes are placed in the sides, rather than the corners, of square cards. Each one is rotated a quarter turn to raise a light or dark thread.
One of the people who studied with Marijke was the American weaving teacher Linda Hendrickson and I was fortunate to register for a daylong workshop with her at Convergence in Cincinnati this past June. I was fascinated with the possibilities of this technique, traditionally used for stylized, geometric patterns, and animals, for more representational designs, and thought that the background texture would look something like a honeycomb if it was viewed lengthwise rather than from the selvedge (side) edge. In the Andes it is woven with fine wools and in the workshop we used perle cotton; after some experimentation at home, I found that I could achieve the texture and appearance I wanted using a Swedish yarn 22/2 Bomullin (60% cotton, 40% linen). To weave 50 apples, I calculated that I'd need 8 meter lengths of the 96 warp threads which I wound onto my narrow 8 harness Shacht sample loom, removing the reed and beater and sliding the heddles over to the sides of their shafts. In essence I was using just the warp and cloth beams.
Shopping for apples in the out door shuk (Ed. market) this season (first Annas, later Galas, then Jonathans and now Hermon Star Kings) I realized that each individual apple is unique, as is each person.
Since I was experimenting with this technique I proceeded to weave each apple slightly different from the previous ones -- some thinner, some rounder, some longer, one with a bump another with slight depressions as when birds peck the forming apple - straight stems, curved ones, etc. No two are identical. They speak of my feelings about the specialness of each of you, of this new season and New Year. This knowledge - weaving possibility - came from the Andes to the Netherlands to the USA; home with me to Israel where I adapted it to my penchant for working with both hands.