woven linens of Elizabeth Fisk Looms were created by hand on colonial
era looms. The Fisk weavers used historical techniques from both tapestry
and linen weaving but with one important difference.
tapestry weaving, fabric is built up row by row, and the colored threads
that create imagery are incorporated into the body of the work by
changing thread bobbins. With this technique, excess colored threads
are left protruding from the back of the work. The limitation of this
process is that only one side of the tapestry is suitable for viewing.
The technique invented by Elizabeth Fisk solved this problem by incorporated
the colored threads back into the body of the work, essentially tying
them off within the thread matrix itself.
like thick yarn in the above image is actually extremely fine thread.
The above image is an extreme closeup of the back side of the following
Note that the reverse side is pictured above, which is usually an
unfinished side in traditional tapestry weaving. The display side
looks like this:
The Fisk technique allows for the production of works with two presentation
sides, a unique achievement in the history of tapestry weaving. This
process was incredibly tedious and labor intensive and not economically
feasible for the production of anything other than art produced by
those motivated by love of the aesthetic process.
The fact that
several thousand works were produced using the Fisk technique is a
testament to the creativity, diligence, and dedication of Elizabeth
Fisk and the handful of weavers she trained and employed.