A hand-woven tapestry expressing the client’s themes and ideas can be commissioned as an integral part of a new architectural project and designed specifically to work harmoniously with other design elements of the interior design. This is usually a collaborative process involving the client and architects, art consultants or interior designers. A tapestry can equally well be commissioned for an existing space to provide a dramatic focal point connecting with the various colors and design elements in the surrounding environment.
The commission process starts with a meeting preferably at the installation site, however I also work successfully from good photographs and color samples from the interior. Whichever way we work it is essential for me to understand my client’s thinking about design ideas, themes, colors and sizes. Some clients have a good idea of what they would like to see in a tapestry and others have an interest in a specific tapestry on this website. While I never repeat a tapestry design, an existing tapestry can frequently be a source of new ideas.
The cost for commissioning a tapestry is based on the size of the tapestry and the complexity of the design. Due to variations in the cost of the yarn, the price list is not posted on my website but I’ll be happy to e-mail it on request.
When I have a good understanding of the client’s vision I will start working on design ideas. The designs are made in a small-scale watercolor. This will be traced and then the tracing enlarged to the final size of the tapestry and installed behind the warp as a map or cartoon. The watercolor design will be used as a guide when I choose and blend the yarn colors for the actual weaving.
The design process takes time and I also have to make sure that the yarn to be used is available when I need it. When I have successfully created a design and the client feels that I have met his or her expectations, I prepare a contract that will also include an estimated time for completion. At the time of the signing, a 1/3 down payment of the total cost is required and the 2/3 remaining is due when the tapestry is delivered. A progress payment might be required if the tapestry is very large and takes a longer time than usual to weave.
The yarns used in my tapestries are natural fibers, wool, cotton and silk, the only exception being the metallic threads that are often used in liturgical tapestries. After the tapestry is woven it is wet-blocked and a lining is attached to the back of the tapestry in a way that helps support the weight of the tapestry. The tapestry is mounted to the wall via a flat aluminum bar contained in a pocket at the top of the lining; this installation method avoids the use of support wires and ensures that the tapestry hangs evenly and flat. A written instruction on how to handle and hang the tapestry will be provided.
It’s always very exciting to see a tapestry growing on the loom and I encourage the client to come and visit the studio during the weaving process. If this is not possible I am happy to send monthly progress photos.