Featuring the work of:
wood block prints
hand spun weaving
Dark Ages Re-creation Company
& Steve White
painting & drawing
Catherine VamVakas Lay
Robert is a high school chemistry teacher who taught himself tablet weaving
from Peter Collingwood’s book “Techniques of Tablet Weaving”.
Since then he has gone on to perform classes and demonstrations in numerous
schools and museums (Woodstock, Peterborough and the Royal Ontario Museum
in Toronto), and was a guest lecturer at WASOON 08 – a weaving and
“ Tablet weaving is an ancient technique that nearly died out after
the 1500’s. As such, most of our knowledge of the craft comes from
bands that were preserved by being sealed in graves. The pieces I’ve
chosen are meant to represent a spectrum of those archaeological finds.
For myself, “Grave Goods” fall into several categories –
artifacts meant to show the status of the individual, goods meant to help
the individual in their afterlife tools, food etc), and items meant to
mark or contain the person’s remains. Again, I tried to have each
of these areas reflected in the exhibition. “
Abba Yohanni reconstruction
cotton thread tablet woven using a double faced technique
In Ethiopia there are a number of giant 17th century tablet woven
curtains that hang in cave churches. The piece shown here is based
on the curtain still being used in Abba Yohanni. The curtain is
used to isolate the sanctuary from the outside world. Very little
is known of the weavers who created the original hangings, although
there are some indications that they have come from the same cities
in Yemen which are believed to have woven the funeral shroud for
the prophet Mohammed.
Roger II of Sicily Mantle reconstruction
red silk tablet woven warp twined band with gold (Kreinik Japan
Throughout history, the items placed with the body in a tomb are
used to identify the status and wealth held by the person in life.
The gold and red silk band formed a portion of mantle worn by King
Roger II of Sicily when he was entombed. Silk thread had to travel
a great distance to reach Palermo where the original band was constructed
in 1133, so with the addition of the gold brocade threads it demonstrates
that King Roger was held in high value by those he left behind.