Tapestry Weaver Christine Rivers coordinated the “H Project” after Archie Brennan presented the idea at a workshop in 2015. In the images below, see how each project member was inspired. Read the companion article about the project, along with a conversation with Archie Brennan, “H: A Journey in Tapestry.”
Both of my H-words come from the Greek for “water,” my favorite place to be. I love swimming laps, doing water aerobics, floating on my back, or playing in the water like an otter.
Hydrogen – from the Greek for “water-former,” is the most abundant element in the universe. Its atomic number is 1. The sun is mostly hydrogen, and water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrangea – from the Greek for “water” and “vessel,” is one of my favorite plants, and one that loves water.
Sometimes my occupation BT (Before Textiles) serves as an inspiration for a piece. Since I was a pathologist who did some forensic work, keeping track of bodies was important, so the H was immediately completed in my mind with “Habeas Corpus.” The added colour just seemed an important part of the idea. It seems you can take the person out of Pathology, but you can’t take the interest out of the person.
HAERE MAI is the Maori word for welcome. Red, black and natural are the colours most often used in Maori Taniko weaving and I have hinted at one type of their designs at either end.
This tapestry was started by my friend Lynn Heglar. She wove truth and art. Lynn passed away a while ago from MS and brain cancer. She was one of the happiest souls I ever have known. I went to my first Archie and Susan workshop with Lynn. It just feels right to include her words with our H words and I hope you all don’t mind. She started weaving words after a workshop with Archie and Susan, so I know she would have done an H word if she were still here. I chose happiness in her honor.
My woven word ‘hubbub’ was a good lesson for me as I am new to tapestry and the round letters were a bit of a challenge, more so than the straight edges. I enjoyed this challenge very much and look forward to others in the future.
There are always so many unexpected surprises when it comes to weaving a tapestry so this word seemed appropriate.”
So much can be said in a narrow band of weaving. As the woven images from other weavers arrived by e-mail, I was reminded of the magnetic words you can place on your fridge door to create a clever phrase or poetry. Just imagine all those words done in tapestry. This has certainly been a fun project.
When I wove this, I really had nothing to say. But now I can say that ‘there are many ways to do a single thing, as shown by the different ways of ‘writing’ the letter H.”
I am currently living in Mexico and thought immediately of the Spanish greeting…and added an extra twist to the word!
I like to do something a little different and a HOLE seemed like a challenging idea. Making a good circle in 10 ends (at 8 epi) is tricky. Making the hole within is even trickier. It was appealing because of the small scale of the project. I think it took about a day to make it including time to reweave the “O” several times!!
“If you go into the woods today”. The many paths I’ve wandered.
A warm black as black night sky with twinkling stars and a sliver of a moon, and the only sound is the wake of the boat.
I like the word “habitat”. It’s about the personal and community niche.
This is my first tapestry.
I’m dreaming of a lazy summer day.
On the way home from the retreat with Archie and Susan at Pam’s, I listened to a radio feature about a doctor who tried to weigh bodies to determine how much the soul weighs. So, that was the catalyst for my H project. A lot of fun.
When I heard about this project I immediately wanted to participate, having been a former student of Archie and having done similar projects. So as soon as a large project was cut off the loom I tied back on some of the remaining warp … but then there were so many choices of words to weave. I tried “half and half” because I wanted to experiment with a new join. I chose “hyper” because I was hyper in my frustration at not having another large project ready to go. I LOVE the weaving but sometimes have trouble with the designing. These words gave me time and space to meditate and let my mind wander.
When I first started on my tapestry journey, I met Archie and Susan. I said, “HELP.”
Definitely a tough challenge, sans cartoon. I chose a simple lettering in sepia, got comfortable, then chose colour that would allow me to wriggle and weave a simple journey. Too much pressure to weave Heroine.
HILL is an attempt to make the letters appear to climb uphill.
Here I enjoyed seeing how wind-blown the letters could look and still be legible.
I started with Hugs. It was the first word that popped into my mind when I heard about the project. That felt like not enough when I finished because I have been interested in text in tapestry weaving for some time. HANDWOVEN & HAPPINESS developed from there.
I began with a preconceived idea, then heard Archie’s voice in my head and wiped the slate clean. I chose the dark purple for letters, the rest of the wefts were pulled from what I call my sourdough starter (the leftovers).
When thinking about an “H” word, my mind traveled through memories, themes, and places, eventually connecting with the women I call friends. Each has a different story, but in their lives, at some time, each has been a hero — thus the word “heroine.”
I was in the middle of felting when I first received your challenge so thought of heartfelt. While I was weaving it the whole issue of cursive writing reared its head and so I wanted to weave something in cursive, and the “quick brown fox” phrase does not have a word beginning with an h, hence the phrase he who hesitates.
I started this little weaving because a friend suggested it to me knowing that I am such a “homebody.” It wasn’t until I started drawing the letters that I realized that that one word contained six other words! I then tried to choose colours to emphasize certain words. It was a lot of fun.
I chose to enter the “H” word challenge just to honour Archie.
My first word was Hawaii, a place I like to visit as often as possible. I also thought if we were to do a word that started with H, then went to a vowel, why not do all of the vowels. In the US we are taught, A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. My first sentence was going to be longer, but the length of my warp dictated that I shrink the sentence. I wasn’t totally happy with the sentence, “Happy Help Hires Ho Hum Hypnotist.” I got a longer loom and a longer warp, nice bright colors and made my second sentence, “hAppily hEdonistic hIppies hOard hUge hYdrangeas.”
For Archie Brennan’s “H” Tapestry project, I had other intentions in the beginning, but then had an earworm from a 70s disco song, so I went with it.
This is my middle son’s name, Harrison. I started it with pink because one of his shiny button down shirts is that color. He also has a shirt in the teal or/and green color as well! His prom shirt is the same color as the letter “I”. I started it on his 18th birthday last October, thinking I could get it done in one day, but Tapestry doesn’t work that way! :)
I was inspired by a new experience of working during the Sugar beet harvest in Southern Idaho in 2015. What a fabulous landscape! Adventures in the Little Red Truck!
Initially had a phrase in mind until the loom was warped so began without a word in mind. The ‘b’ presented itself as the ‘i’ was completed, limiting the options. This journey prompted the weaving of a second word and inspired two additional weavings – the original phrase and another ‘hib’ word.
Curious to weave more words, this is my impression of Pam’s retreat cabin.
The ‘H” challenge marked my return to tapestry weaving after many years away from it. I thank this doable challenge and my friend for the gentle encouragement.
Why “Hiker”? Our daughters went on a “sisters hike” in Manning Park for three days this summer. One lives in Australia and one in Vancouver. Hiking is a love they have shared since they were little. Their pictures showed many views of the mountains they traveled on, and I put behind the letters.
I was at the retreat at Pam Patrie’s in Oregon in April/May 2015. When I went to the beach, I saw billions of blue/purple jellyfish like things all over the beach! They were beautiful and fascinating! They have a beautiful, translucent sail and live on the ocean surface. They were Valella of the genus of free-floating Hydrozoans.
HUY CHEXW A is the Skwxwu7mesh Snichim (Squamish Language) word for thank-you. It was the first word that I thought of when Archie suggested weaving a word that begins with “H.”
I love the birds in my Kitchener garden and in Qualicum, so ended up with this Hummingbird that has an Anna’s head (only out West), hard to see, and difficult to do in the small space of an 8 EPI count. The letters would have been easier if they had been an odd number in height. I learned a great deal and things seem to hum along.
Because I have been experiencing a number of frustrating health problems, this word started out to be HEAL. It looked too small, a bit of a cop-out, so it became HEALTH. It did not heal my health problems, but the colour made me feel better!
The “H” journey was a fun learning experience. The idea of “Ho, Ho, Ho” came from a conversation about the project with my son-in-law, David. As we talked, the conversation became about life, then laughter and finally the holidays. “Ho, Ho, Ho”could symbolize each of these. I think of it as being fun and happy.
A hand is grasping part of the H, and the a, n, g are hanging on hooks, while the ON is staying put.
My H word is Heather, a plant as well as my name. I tried to put different shades of purple into the letters but they are too subtle and are lost. This was a great learning experience and I would next time use lighter colour for the letters and darker green for the background. It was fun.
My “H” word is Haori. The Haori is a traditional Japanese short Kimono. It is worn open like a jacket. My “H” word came to me as I was weaving and thinking about my new fondness for Japan and Japanese textiles. My interest in Kimono and Haori has definitely influenced my weaving. This weaving project inspired me to try letters, which has been a great learning experience.
I chose H words related to happiness and happy thoughts and then I tried to choose colours that related to that happiness. I found weaving these small tapestries was fun and gave great satisfaction.
“Helligdag” means holiday in Norwegian. The colours and the word in this tapestry tell the story of my vacation to Iceland and Norway. First there were volcanoes (red), earth (brown), and beautiful sunrises (yellow) in Iceland. Then the mosses (light green), trees (medium green), fjords (dark blue), glaciers (light blue), clouds (white) and dark scary tunnels (black) of Norway. This is my first time weaving letters and I enjoyed the challenge.
I googled phrases beginning with H. There seemed to be hundreds, I thought this very appropriate.
For my H tapestry, I decided to weave the easiest possible word in the hardest possible way. This is a four selvedge, two-sided Navajo style weaving in wool weft dyed with indigo and brown onionskin.
I was also at the weekend with Archie when he said ‘aitch’ and we couldn’t understand what he was saying until he wrote the letter down. I was fascinated by his hands and how they so deftly floated through the warps. I was going to write a sentence, but then felt I needed to finish it sooner than later. So this is inspired by Archie’s hands dancing in the warp.
“Heuristic” was chosen as it defined my journey of investigation. The word allowed me to discover how difficult letters are for me to weave and by experimenting I received a degree of understanding of the project. All aspects of the meaning of heuristic.
When I heard about the “H” project, I thought it might be interesting to try a weaving on my 12-harness loom. I used a Summer and Winter design with an 8/2 cotton warp in six colours. The tabby weft has two colours of 16/2 cotton and the pattern weft has 8/4 cotton. This is not tapestry but the weaving makes an interesting version of an “H” word.
I became a bit obsessed with “H” words: something easy? Something humorous? In the end: something that has meaning. Humanity’s apparent need to establish assess and find hierarchical placement for the natural world, for culture, for other humans is likely an underlying fault in our ability to truly comprehend the way our world really ‘is’. IMHO.
First I would like to say how grateful I am to Archie for the motivation given to we weavers, and secondly, a thank you to Christine for coordinating this project. In our valley, the Cowichan Valley, the First Nation people’s language is Hul’q’umi’num,’ and the word for thank you is Huy ch q’u (singular-to one person) and Huy ch q’u siem for more than one ( I ran out of room on my little warp!) I used local wool for the letters – The Cowichan knitters are famous for their sweaters!
I got to thinking about Archie and why he chose H…I pondered at some length, and knowing that Archie has a bit of a cheeky nature, I wondered if he had something up his sleeve. Not once did I hear him say letter (or I missed that somehow), just that it should begin with H — or was it to begin with ‘aitch,’ which is how ‘h’ is spelled! I wove AITCH in case and wove ARCHIE for good measure, which also begins with A, which Aitch does too, and both words have an H to boot, etc., etc.
No one said that this project would become so obsessive!!!! Only one more word in the English language begins with aitch. aitchbone ˈāCHˌbōn/ noun. the buttock or rump bone of cattle. a cut of beef lying over this. Goodness knows why this makes me chuckle but I’m sure there is a joke somewhere. Why? Y begins with W and W begins with D!!!!! And on and on it goes.