Beginning a new weaving
Stephanie Hoppe Handwoven Rugs

I weave wool rugs and wall hangings on a vertical frame loom with the technology perfected by the People of the American Southwest over 1,200 years ago. This way of weaving is slow and requires close and constant attention. It also yields the physical and spiritual rewards of other contemplative practices, as well as a sense of participating in ancient rhythms of work. Rugs woven on this loom are dense but supple, a pleasure to touch as well as look at, and certain to withstand hard wear for many years.

Images of the rugs

Four-selvage weaving----modern applications of an ancient technology

How and why I weave

A handwoven rug will give long-lasting pleasure to the eye and the foot

Sales, shows, lectures, classes

Iris sketch

From a Weaver’s Garden

Early in the drought year of 2014, I realized that what gardening I did should be on my loom. A subject had already appeared in my yard: small clumps of iris that arrived on their own, flourishing vigorously where they chose,with or without watering, though some that I transplanted into a tidy border soon died. In the spring they produce small unremarkable blossoms, a dull tan shading to pale violet and lasting only a day or two. The leaves interested me more, curving and twisting and stretching in a seemingly infinite variety of shape. I liked to sketch them.

I discovered this plant is called  Iris macrosiphon, or less formally, Ground Iris or Evergreen Iris, and is native to the area. Local Native Americans used fibers from the leaves for nets, snares, and the like. (For instructions on harvesting the fibers, click here for a link to the wonderful Paleotechnics website)  This textile connection confirmed my impulse to weave a series of tapestries, the same leaves-and-two-blossoms design in a variety of weaving techniques, including the Navajo and Pueblo techniques I have been studying for some years as well as the freer style of my most recent teacher, the Bauhaus-trained Swiss tapestry weaver Silvia Heyden.

 Click on the images below for a larger image and details about the weaving techniques.

Iris 1
                         Iris 1: Baseline
     Iris 2 "Raised Outline"
                         Iris 2: Full Bloom
Iris 3 Wedgeweave
               Iris 3: In Green Waters
Iris 4 Eccentric weft
                         Iris 4: Iris Dances
Iris 5
                           Iris 5: Iris Endures
Iris 6
                     Iris 6: Electric Iris
Iris 7: Iris Ghost
                               Iris 7: Iris Ghost
Iris Dreams-of-Spring
                 Iris 8: Dreams-of-Spring