All tapestries created on a Gobelin Loom from original photographs taken by Bonnie Schultz Platzer
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My tapestries are handwoven on a vertical, Scandinavian tapestry loom with no computer assistance. I begin with a moment in time I have captured in a picture I take, usually including people I encounter in my travels or in my neighborhood. I use a black and white enlargement of the photo to the actual size the tapestry will become. I need this guide because I weave from the back of the loom and usually with the image turned on its side depending on which direction is easier for me to weave. I have about ten or twelve inches of weaving space before I have to roll the tapestry down and can no longer see where I started. With a basic but incomplete outline on the warp threads, I am able to keep things in proportion because I never see the whole tapestry until I cut it off the loom. While I’m weaving, I am making decisions as I go about color and how well I’m creating the image I want. I need to get up from my chair at the back of the loom, walk around to the other side and look carefully to see if the image is what I want. Sometimes, I have to unweave a day’s work to get something right, especially facial expressions, hands or some important detail. I often say that the tapestry comes to life when I have woven a subject’s eyes. When I cut the tapestry off the loom after months of work, I am very happy to see a moment in time that I remember brought to life for others and I look forward to viewers’ reactions and reflections.