Lady Weavers

I read an article the other day, about 14 “women artists” (is that like “lady doctor”?) who changed the way we look at design. Regardless of the title, you should read it. Besides being an  great starting point for further research, I just love the portraits of these women in their studios and workrooms, creating.

Like this one, of Lenore Tawney in her NY studio, 1958:o-TRAWNEY-900

I also have a bit of a crush on the work of Dorothy Liebes.


Much of her work is simple and colourful, but the more you look at it you see just how  surprising it is.  She’s synonymous with mid-century modern  and industrial design, and worked with many of the greats of that era (most notably Frank Lloyd Wright).

Go forth and research – the history of women artists and textiles is long, and full of ingenuity, beauty, and skill.

"Color and personality are closely related, as I see it. I find myself subconsciously thinking of one person as “blue,” another “green,” etc.” -- Dorothy Liebes

“Color and personality are closely related, as I see it. I find myself subconsciously thinking of one person as “blue,” another “green,” etc.” — Dorothy Liebes


Then, and Now.

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This lovely skein of handspun comes from the Barrington Woolen Mill, part of the Nova Scotia Museum System. BWCo  just spent a wonderful few days visiting various museums along the south shore of Nova Scotia – of particular interest, of course,  were the old carding mills and woolen mills.  At the museum, the women who give the tours are also weaving and spinning, and selling their work. They were clearly, and rightfully, proud of what they were creating. We had a long talk about various ways to set up looms, and what they were spinning. They told us that when they started working there they didn’t know how to weave or spin, and had taught themselves, essentially.


Barrington Woolen Mill Museum, Barrington NS

Later on our way, we happened along a more modern-day wool processer in Yarmouth, and were given a wonderful tour. It’s such a joy to see these industries still working today. Thank you, Yarnsmith Fibreworks Inc.​ for your generously given time.  Along with the other fibre processors in Nova Scotia, you are helping to keep a tradition alive.