Thursday, February 19, 2015

13th Century Walls in Poland contain a Weaver's Haven

Situated in the “Old Art’s District” of downtown Wroclaw, Poland, is a treasure of an art gallery called “Galeria Tkacka ‘Na Jatkach’” (Gallery of weaving "Na Jatkach"). The gallery is one of the hidden gems of cultural attractions in Wroclaw, and it is burrowed within a historic 13th century alleyway constructed on medieval foundations. Some elements from the 13th century are still visible on the south side of the Stare Jatki street. Today this attractive alleyway is home to several artists’ galleries and studios; it is hard to imagine that in past times it was a meat market, full of wooden stalls stuffed with butchered animals.

Gallery "Na Jatkach" is classified as the only gallery in Poland and possibly in Europe that is promoting primarily the art of weaving.  It is a place where international artists meet and exhibit their tapestries and woven art.   This gallery was established in 1978 together with the weaver's group called "10 x TAK" (“10 x YES”).  At the newly founded gallery, the weaver’s group boasted a permanent place to exhibit and show the talent of its members. Polish weaver Ewa Poradowska - Werszler was the initiator of 10 X TAK and has been an incredible advocate for keeping tapestry weaving alive.

Ewa Poradowska - Werszler in her gallery

Today, forty years after founding Galeria Tkacka ‘Na Jatkach’, she remains the owner of the gallery, and she continues to promote weaving and fiber art with all her heart. Ewa, an internationally recognised fiber art artist and recipient of many art awards, is a dedicated, energetic coordinator and curator of numerous art exhibits and international tapestry symposiums. 
Ewa Poradowska-Werszel is also a professor in the Art Department at the University of Poznan and lecturer at universities of Wroclaw and Kalisz. She is also regularly providing courses and workshops of weaving in the Galeria Tkacka ‘Na Jatkach’.

Inside gallery exhibit - tapestries of Bartosz Burgielski

The year-round fibre art shows presented in the gallery are truly a feast for the soul, but besides the visual wonders, visitors may purchase beautiful yarn and weaving supplies, or even little fiber art souvenirs for a very affordable price.

more info:

Article and Photo Credits: Krystyna Sadej 2014

I am organizing a group to take a workshop with Sarah Swett whose work you can see on the American Tapestry Alliance website. This probably won't occur until 2016. If you are interested please contact me at

If you didn't get a chance to see Fate, Destiny and Self Determination tapestry installation at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles below are the links. Previous ones did not work. 

Set Up


Susan Martin Maffei
March 5th to March 26th
Tapestries by Susan Martin Maffei
At the Intimate Multi-Cultural Gallery at
The International House of Rhode Island
8 Stimson Avenue
Providence RI
Opening reception March 5th from 5:30 to 7PM
contact information:
tel#: 401-421-7181
hours: Monday to Friday 10 to 4.


Erin Lewis will be giving a talk on Fibre Optics in weaving and her work at the Burlington Weavers and Spinners. Monday Mar 2 2015 7pm-10.

Susan Middleton, tapestry weaver, will be giving a talk/presentation on her work at the Toronto Weavers and Spinners at Riverdale Park 7:30 pm. 

I (Line Dufour) will be giving a talk on the direction of my work at the Etobicoke Guild of Weavers and Spinners at Nielson Park April 7 2015 at 7pm. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015


left to right: Louise Lemieux Berube, Line Dufour, Suzanne Chabot (the Director of the CTCM/MCCT) and Isabelle Sentenne (who teaches machine knitting and does the jacquard weaving for the centre.)

In biology, growing is defined as " the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level" and today this is my theme for this blog as it applies not only to my recent endeavours but also to the lives of some of the people whose path have crossed mine over the the years of my teaching weaving, as you'll see as you read on. Growth occurs if proper nutrients, environment and support are provided. Over the last several years I can gladly say that many factors have positioned themselves into enabling me to grow as an artist in my area and in developing flourishing relationships. This is evidenced in the ongoing expansion of the Fate, Destiny and Self Determination international tapestry installation, as more shapes  continue to come in worldwide, and more connections are made with other tapestry weavers and fibre artists.  The installation continues to accept submissions indefinitely and if you'd like to participate please contact me at 

This past weekend I was in Montreal, Quebec, Canada setting up the exhibition Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination/le sort, le destin et l'auto-determination at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles/Le Centre de Textiles Contemporain de Montreal.  It's weaving school and the size of the weaving classroom is about 4 times the size of the weaving class at the Toronto Weaving School. The school was co-founded by Louise Lemieux Berube over 25 years ago. They offer summer workshops and master classes as well as formal training in collaboration with other educational institutions such as Concordia University and a CEGEP. Besides weaving they also offer machine knitting, dyeing and other textile related workshops. To know more about their programming go to 

Susan Middleton, Louise Lemieux Berube, and Line Dufour
I departed for Montreal last Wednesday night after my evening class. Lis Baston, a participant in the class, even drove me to the airport! Susan Middleton, a former tapestry student,  joined me to assist me in mounting the show, and somehow ended up being the official documenter and photographer of the entire undertaking. Susan is herself an accomplished tapestry weaver. To see the entire process of setting up the show on Facebook go here

This winter session of the weaving classes, I am soooo happy to see 4 new people learning tapestry in the evening class! From left to right, Heather, Carmen, Jaime and Andrew. 

Another things that has grown is the number of students in the weaving class, and I am especially pleased that more people are becoming interested in tapestry weaving and exploring all its possibilities. The students really grow in their abilities and confidence while they are taking the classes, along with enjoying a pleasant social environment. 

Jamileh Embdadian

Jamileh Embdadian

Jamileh Embdadian

Jamileh Embdadian

Jamileh Embdadian

Joining your local weaving guild, becoming a member of the Canadian Tapestry Network, and the American Tapestry Network are other ways to nourish your growth. Here you will network with many other tapestry weavers, both traditional and innovative. You will learn and be inspired by them.

Entering call for entries is a good way to launch your career as a tapestry weaver/fibre artist and as it happens there is one to enter below. Learn to take rejection, however unpleasant.....its all part of the package of being a fibre artist.

Would you like to write articles for the Tapestry / Exhibition newsletter?
I am taking any articles tapestry weavers would like to submit, on any topic related to tapestry weaving. The article should not exceed 500 words, which is a manageable amount considering how busy we are. Two pictures max. 

Gladstone Hotel Presents
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - Hard Twist 10 - Memory
august 27 to december 27, 2015
submission deadline : april 30, 2015
Juror's Selections Announced may 28, 2015
Hard Twist 10 - Memory, the tenth annual edition of the Gladstone Hotel's signature show of textile-based art, invites artists to explore the many and complex relationships between cloth and memory.
Memory winds its way through textiles, a constant thread that runs through the earliest archeological fragments, the latest experimental synthetics and everything in between. Textiles hold memory, recall memory, record - and occasionally obscure - memory. In some recent incarnations they even have memory.
There are only three criteria; work must:
  • be textile or fibre related
  • explore or express ideas connected to this year's theme
  • be designed to hang on a wall or be lightly suspended from a ceiling - unable to accept free standing work due to the nature of the exhibition space
Hard Twist has become an important annual event within the Canadian textile art community as well as being a signature event for the Gladstone. Please see the following link for specifics related to this call