Aubusson was a wonderful stay and a great way to end the tapestry tour. I have several videos about this town including the one below. On the first day there we went to Felletin to see Pinton Manufactory and a few other things. Enjoy the video blog!
Travel weaving is one of my favorite activities. It does turn out that when you’re on a tour and you have a lot to see, the only time to weave is on the bus. We had a couple days with long bus rides and in that time I managed to finish one small tapestry diary piece.
The French countryside in late May was bursting with flowers. There were huge fields of red poppies along the roads, some with purple flowers mixed in. It is pretty hard to take a good photo from a moving bus, but one can certainly weave a tapestry of them which is exactly what I did. Of course one never quite has the colors one wants in such a situation, but it was a fun weaving anyway.
While in Angers, we also went to the Musée Jean Lurçat. The museum houses his large tapestry cycle, Le Chant du Monde (Song of the World) which was his response to the Apocalypse Tapestry. Though I think anyone having a response to the Apocalypse tapestry is a bit ballsy, seeing these massive tapestries was fantastic.
Below is the 6th episode in my video blog. After that, some more thoughts about the Lurçat tapestries.
The trip as a whole was phenomenal. I got home late last night. One of the highlights for me was seeing the Apocalypse tapestry. I will write a whole post about it soon, but for now, this video blog gives you some idea of our first full day in Angers. We followed the Apocalypse with Lurcat’s Chant du Monde which was quite fitting since he was creating a response to the Apocalypse (which in itself is incredibly ballsy, don’t you think?). I’ll show you that one in the next episode.
We had a fun day as we left Paris. We had a couple stops along the way on our way to Angers. We stopped in Chateaudun but were unable to see the tapestries we went to see. We also stopped on the way into Angers at the studio of Anne Zerna. She is a tapestry weaver who also makes large felt pieces. She is also a printmaker. her studio was delightful.
The video blog has more details!
The tapestry tour has been such a fantastic experience. The attached video blog is about our visit to the Gobelins while still in Paris. I have a lot of thoughts about this visit, but will wait until I get home and have time to digest it a little more. For now, here is the basic structure of these workshops.
There are three state-supported weaving workshops.
They are the Manufactures Nationales
Savonnerie makes pile rugs and we did not visit this workshop.
The mission of the Mobelier Nationale which runs these workshops as well as a conservation studio for tapestries, rugs, and furniture and a lace-making studio is first to furnish official buildings in France. So most of the work the tapestry workshops are doing go into a catalog and ministers of France can choose them for their offices or embassys. Occasionally they do commissions as well.
I am currently on a tapestry tour of France with Cresside Collette of Australia. Cresside has run similar tours of France and the UK over the last decade. She is the perfect person to guide us in our enjoyment of tapestries made from about the 15th century to today. She was a weaver at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (now Australian Tapestry Workshop) for 15 years and has had a successful career as an independent artist. Take a look at her website for more information and her portfolio.
We are leaving Paris tomorrow for Angers. While in Paris we have seen The Lady and the Unicorn, had a trip to Beauvais to see the tapestry manufactory there and today we went to the Gobelin and saw both the Beauvais workshop and Gobelin workshop in Paris. I will talk more about these workshops and the trip to the Cluny in future posts.
I thought I might try my had at video blogging. In the hiking world this is called vlogging. I’m actually not that good at taking video on the run, so this is a mash-up of still photos, video, and narration. It is done quickly because there is much to see and do here! But I hope you enjoy a little look at my trip to France. I’ll be doing more of these though I can’t guarantee how soon I’ll finish the videos.