Ellen Ramsey
Contemporary Tapestry


After a lot of travel and time away from the studio, my latest piece is finally finished! I’ve titled it “Lotus Lines.”  

Lotus Lines, 42”x36”

If you read my last blog post, you know that I wove this tapestry on its side, leaving gaps for the warps to span.  I was inspired to do this by all the wonderful fringy, textural, warp abundant work I see on Pinterest and Instagram these days.  It is clear that warp is having a moment.  I also wanted to step out of my box. Maybe this is just a pinky toe out of my box, but I’m very happy with the exposed warps in this piece. My only regret is that I did not leave wider warp spaces to achieve even more “droop.”  

Originally, I intended for the warp threads to also show on the sides too.

Fringe binge. Sorry, the lights in my studio are so pink!

I remember when Lialia Kuchma left side fringe on her shaped feather pieces and I thought that was so cool. But ultimately, I did not like the side fringe in this case so I sewed the ends down.  I mounted the piece on a clear plexiglass batten.  There are some monofilament stitches on the back that keep the side pieces from drifting apart.

A detail of Lotus Lines

I also embroidered outlines on the finished tapestry. It helps the lines pop. You can see in my detail that I used two setts. The lotus stems are woven at a finer set than the background. 

This piece has given me a lot of ideas for incorporating warp as a design element. I am inspired to experiment further. 

*Note, November 2021: This piece was subsequently exhibited with a title that was ill considered. I have changed it to more accurately describe this work’s conceptual intent and have edited this blog post accordingly. 

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