Friday, October 8, 2010

Another new roof - with old knowledge

It must be the season for ....... For laying new roofs. I suppose it does make sense, better get the covers tightened up before the winter weather sets in.

I have grown up with thatched roofs in my mental landscape, perhaps not exactly in the middle of Copenhagen but definitely knowing they were there in the smaller towns and villages, out and about. I saw this project being underway while visiting my mom on Reersø over the last couple of days, and I had to take the dog for a walk to investigate.

I learned lots over the 30 mins or so I spent talking to the main guy on the roof. For instance that the reeds used for thatching are wild growing, the ones he was using here were from the Turkish coast line around the Black Sea, he prefers these. In Reersø there are many old buildings with thatched roofs, some of them sporting reeds from Rumania, Ukraine - potentially other places too.

The constantly working partner of the two, using the clapper to smooth out the ends of the reeds. The trick is to be able to have as minute a portion of the side of each reed sticking out as possible, that way the roof deteriorates much slower. The clapper has a sheet of metal on the side that touches the reeds.

Using the 'needle' a metal tool which looks a lot like a horse shoe, originally used to 'sew' the rope around the bunches of reeds as they are fastened to the rafters underneath. It seems to me smaller ones of the same type are used in leather work, saddle making etc.
He is only letting a bit of air in amongst the tightly packed reeds, a modern roof thatcher uses a drill and metal line to fasten the bunches into the rafters instead of around the rafters.

Bunches of short reeds, harvested and brought to Denmark from Poland for the top part of the roof (and it has a special name but I have forgotten it) by the ever working one alongside Uwe, whom I spoke to.

Exciting textures for my weaving eye.

And Uwe's first project in '92 he thatched the historical sheep house on Reersø, and has done many of the houses in the area since then.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

New roof!

Walking home I had to stop for a moment to check this out - what were they doing over there on the other side of the street.

Upon closer examination I realized they were readying themselves for the final effort of putting a new tile roof on the building.

Very systematic approach, perhaps I need to go back that way today in the sunshine and see how far they got since yesterday afternoon.

Even closer up, wonder if there is a tapestry in there somewhere!

And I did go back and ... They hadn't started laying it yet, so instead here is an older very beautiful roof.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tapestry workshop with Gina Hedegård Nielsen

Vesterskov Væveskole in Sorø. I went for a two day tapestry weaving workshop at this school recently, well about ten days ago to be exact.
I had been to this school before, not to take a class, but had gone for a visit and walk about, perhaps seven years ago.

This wondrous private weaving school is only reachable by car. This could be a problem if it wasn't for the dedication of the people involved. When Hanne and her husband knows that you are coming by train they ask that you let them know what time you arrive at the station and ..... Benny comes down to pickup the weaving enthusiasts by car. Chatting away he took me out on the peaceful country roads, around the bend once or twice until we were at their home and place of creativity.
Hanne and Benny are beginning to slow down a bit, he is after all eighty now and Hanne is in her mid seventies I believe. She is the weaver and Benny is the handyman, loom doc and an extra set of hands when a warp needs more than Hanne's hands to be wound on.

Once upon a time they had a few sheep, and when they were done with the sheep the barn was turned into a weaving studio. At the present time there are 16 looms in the studio, all were at some stage of setup - there are two classes of eight students running at this fall. There is also Hanne's own loom, that is loom number 17 upon which she is finishing up weaving an order for a church somewhere in DK, the specifics eludes me, all I know is that her work is merticulous and beautiful.

And this is the tapestry weaving class I attended for two days. The theme was how to get more depth in a piece of tapestry weaving, i.e in a landscape, decisions on whether one wants to use colour only or also textures to make the piece work and have the right 'ping' and appeal to the eye. The class was taught by Gina Hedegaard Nielsen (by the black board)

The students had taken courses from Gina before and they all had brought cartoons or photos along which they wanted input/help to make the final decisions about, concerning lighting, texture colours, points which are tremendously important.

Annette's very first sampler above on topnof the warp and below at the beginning of the warp the 'improved' piece underway.

My sampler, trying out Russian weaving(grey and yellow) blending and changing colour by more or less twist added to a butterfly with black and white yarn.
Trying out Helena Hernmark techniques (orange and green) and different sumacs and floats according to an interesting Danish Tapestry weaver Grethe Balle. I can see lots of fun happening with figuring out how to applying some of these textures to a larger, beckoning surface, tapestry loom here I come.

And here we are the seven students and the grand teacher Gina after our last lesson, all packed up and on the way home.

Gina and Hanne in front of the studio door, I thought the pattern on the door completely appropriate, bird's eye pattern in wood :-)
Thank you Gina for an inspiring workshop and thank you Hanne for opening your studio doors and sharing your space, knowledge and enthusiasm.

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