Tapestry weaving in Provence, France

Since I am still talking about the past, I decided to move outside of Greece, this time, and go ‘back’ to Provence, France.  In the summer of 1980 I went to Venasque, a small village in Provence, France, to study tapestry weaving with a professional ‘licier’ (tapestry weaver). Daniel Drouin had studied at the ‘Manufactures Nationales des Gobelins’ in Paris and then worked there for quite a few years.

Daniel Drouin,1980  toultouline,com
Daniel Drouin winding bobbins, 1980 (Photo from the internet, unknown source)

In the 1970s he set up his own studio and home in Venasque, where he designed and wove his own tapestries. In the summer he run residential courses, assisted by his wife Denise.

Tapestry weaving, 1980, France, toultouline.com
Weaving my tapestry from the back, the traditional Gobelin way
Tapestry weaving, 1980
More has been woven. Photographed from the front, woven from the back

We were six students from France, Finland, USA, and Greece. We wove, on the upright very sturdy Gobelin looms, the designs we chose from the ones that Daniel had prepared for us. I did not think that the one I chose was the most beautiful. As I had already been weaving for a few years and had tried my hand in tapestry, I could see that it included many techniques that I wanted to learn. We wove every day for six hours, the week-ends were free for excursions in the area.

Daniel Drouin
Tapestries by Daniel Drouin in an exhibition setting (photo from the internet, unknown source)

There was an exhibition space of the recent tapestries, for visitors who passed by. But the house was full of Daniel’s work of previous years. Even our six bedrooms had at least one tapestry on the wall, some had more. All were quite large, as most tapestries were at that time.

Daniel Drouin tapestry, toultouline.com
Tapestry in one of the bedrooms.
Daniel Drouin tapestry, toultouline.com
Tapestry in a bedroom. This must have been one of his older tapestries. It was different from the others, also very large.

After just a few years, Daniel Drouin stopped teaching and concentrated on his own work. I consider myself lucky that I had the chance to study with him. Not only for the weaving techniques, or the beautiful environment, but for giving me the chance, by following him, to see how an artist works and develops his ideas over the years.

Daniel Drouin, tapestry weaver
Daniel Drouin weaving. (photo from the internet, unknown source)
Daniel Drouin tapestry
Tapestry by Daniel Drouin (photo from the internet, unknown source)

A short and quite recent video of Daniel Drouin. He weaves from the back but he can see the front side of the tapestry in the mirror, through the warp threads:

 

 

3 thoughts on “Tapestry weaving in Provence, France

  1. Pingback: Toultouline’s blog about tapestry weaving in France – TAPESTRY RE-START

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