To sew a Ladby Tapestry

News from the Ladby Tapestry – 2010, 2011 and 2012

Winter 2012

An association called “The Ladby Tapestry Guild” was founded to officially begin on January 1, 2013.

Grant money was presented to the guild at a well-attended sunny December event. There were about 50 people there, many of them boatbuilders.

Poul Nissen from the Albani Foundation, the generous donor, received an embroidered gift of the goddess Urd, speeches were held in his honour, he got the best chair and of course a guided tour. He was impressed by the embroiderers’ enthusiasm and involvement. Thanks to everyone for preparations, living sculptures, embroiderer-speech and everything else that made it possible to carry out the event as planned.

The tapestry looks very handsome in its new display case. We can see the whole of it now, a new perspective. Thank you, Arne!

Autumn 2012

We’re busy using the grant money and getting ready for the presentation event on December 5. We hope that our preparations will bear fruit, so this day will be special, even compared to other presentation events.

On the same day, we expect to announce the establishment of the Ladby Tapestry Guild.

We have just gotten the green light from Kerteminde Handcrafts Assn. to organise a tapestry evening with a follow-up embroidery day in the spring.

The embroiderers agreed to keep meeting on Wednesdays at 11 AM for an informal chat and preparation for a meeting with the museum staff.

How did it go, the evening called “The Ladby Tapestry Stitched in Time” on November 7? There were 18 participants, 6 embroiderers, Inge and Gudrun, 26 in all.

It was good that:

  • the evening varied between listening, trying things out, tasting, chatting and asking questions.
  • there was a lot to look at.
  • there were short talks.
  • there were many people to help.

It would have been good if:

  • we had had a sign on the door and a bell.
  • all the embroiderers had been introduced and had been wearing name tags.
  • we had had more time to embroider.
  • Inge had turned the ringer off on her mobile phone.

Preparations for “The Ladby Tapestry Stitched in Time”: The guild’s yarn has been organised in small batches with only 5 or 10 strands. The guests’ information bags have a new page called “This and that about the tapestries”.

Lennart from the shipbuilding yard held a talk for us about the joys and pitfalls of building the new Ladby Ship. We all learned a lot.

Orientation   

We are working on setting up the tapestry workshop.

There is a good article about us in “Retired Times”.

From now on, we will say that there are 15 active embroiderers; the others are supporters, friends, passive members.

Embroidery kits are now on sale.

The blog has been updated, then deleted. From now on, there will be regular updates with the most important news about the tapestry. The diary and minutes from meetings with museum staff are for embroiderers and supporters only.

We embroider on average 100 hours a month, in woman-hours.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, Poul Nissen, director of the Albani Foundation, will come and present us with a check as part of a small event. We are working on organising it in a good way.

Bytoften-trip: We (12 embroiderers and spouses) enjoyed a fall day by wandering through the ages at this ancient settlement site (in Langeskov). There was food from the past around the longhouse fire and we visited Sote’s runic stone in Rønninge. Thanks to everyone for coming and for being so interested.

Three women from Lithuania visited the tapestry. They embroidered with us, having practiced on embroidery samples before coming. Their contributions can be seen on the “Ancestors’ Wall” in the workshop. One of them shows the Baltic “Singing revolution” of 1988-91.

The “step by step” pieces have now been placed in small frames between two layers of glass. This works well.

Summer 2012

Thanks to all for your hard work this summer. It went so well, and many visitors have had the pleasure of watching you embroider and hearing you tell about the tapestry.

Summer Embroidery School As I read through our guest book, I could see that many guests use it to tell of their impressions of the museum as a whole. Since this is not the purpose of the tapestry’s guest book, we will only display it when we are there embroidering.

The guest bookAs I read through our guest book, I could see that many guests use it to tell of their impressions of the museum as a whole. Since this is not the purpose of the tapestry’s guest book, we will only display it when we are there embroidering.

The frieze book (for people’s suggestions as to what should be shown in the friezes above and below the main tapestry narrative) has a bit of the same problem, despite instructions written in the book. These need to be translated, and it is important that we speak with people who want to write and draw in the book.

Evaluation of the first year’s tapestry work:

We are very glad that we took the time to make embroidery samples and to put off starting on the tapestry itself until we were ready. It gives a sense of ownership and satisfaction that we are all part of deciding colours and stitches for each part of the tapestry.

Evalutation of the summer’s tapestry work:

The deputized leaders functioned well, while Inge (Jarnsaxa in Viking-ese) dealt with the tourists in the Viking encampment.

Cherry Festival embroidering:

We sat and stitched in the coffee shop at The Dyer’s Yard (historical museum in Kerteminde). However, we felt unwelcome there, subjected to grumpy looks and comments, so we quit early and enjoyed the departure from the harbour of the Viking ship replica, “Sea Stallion”. There were, nonetheless, plenty of interested guests. Thanks to all the embroiderers for doing your bit.

Eager fingers:

How can we tell or show visitors in a nice way not to touch the tapestry? (It is NOT washable.) We have filled a basket with embroidery samples and a friendly sign inviting people to touch the samples. This keeps their fingers off the tapestry when we remember to put out the basket.

Spring 2012

There has been an overwhelming interest in being part of the embroidery team. We had to declare that it was too late to sign up as an embroiderer.

We started having monthly “Ladby Lessons”, with the view from “Top of the Mound” (Inge as guide) and then inside the burial mound, with Birgit as guide.

Our next lesson was entitled “From Ship to Treasure Trove” or “The Hidden Treasure”.

The rusty remains of the rich grave goods from the venerable ship tell a story of former greatness.

Master storyteller Eigil Nikolajsen is the “visiting professor.”

Here are all the name suggestions for our association:

Ladby Tapestry’s Embroiderers – Ladby Embroiderers – Tapestry Girls – Ladby Stitching Guild – Ladby Tapestry Guild – Valkyries – The Chieftain’s Harem – The Chieftain’s Embroiderers – Ladby’s Embroiderers – Ladby Embroidery Guild – The Ladby Embroiderers’ Club – The Norns (Goddesses of Fate)

We later chose the name LADBY TAPESTRY GUILD.

The tapestry is featured in the magazine “Family Journal” with a short mention and a photo.

The Lions Club Spring Art Show

We were a living exhibit sitting under a display of Gudrun’s drawings for the tapestry, which hung beautifully on Arne’s “Torah-scroll” stand. There was just enough room for four embroiderers and a “tour guide” sitting on the yarn chest.

We’ve learned that having a spokesperson to explain about the tapestry works best, while the others can get on with stitching and showing what they’re working on.

Many came by, stopped, looked, inquired, stood and watched for a while, showed interest, took a brochure and ads for the Viking Museum and for the shipbuilding guild, too. We often heard people say, “Wow!” and “Look at that!” and make other enthusiastic sounds. Many of them said they want to check on the progress of the tapestry, so we hope they’ll find their way out to the Viking Museum.

Many people took the tapestry brochure and said they’d heard of the Ladby Tapestry.

Gudrun sketched our hands as we stitched, capturing our characteristic gestures.

We will happily demonstrate our stitching in other places. It was a pleasure to have all day to work on the tapestry.

Winter 2011-12

Decision:

“When are you going to start stitching on the tapestry itself?” asked journalist Anne Bertelsen. We will begin on it before Christmas.

WE MADE THE FIRST STITCHES ON DEC. 7 IN TOTAL SILENCE.

Autumn 2011

The first meeting with four participants was held on July 28. The first stitching day was on August 17. (We will sew all the motifs as embroidery samples before deciding on colours and stitches for the tapestry.)

We were on our way!

Summer 2011

was spent spreading the word about the upcoming Ladby Tapestry project to potential embroiderers.

Spring 2011

“We should embroider the ship’s story in the same way that the victors at Hastings had their story immortalised on the Bayeux Tapestry,” thought Inge (Jarnsaxa in Viking-ese) and said it out loud.

The museum bought the idea. Jarnsaxa, alias Inge, took her knapsack on her back. It was a long journey to Bayeux and back again, but the knapsack was now full of linen cloth, yarn and a desire to get started.

2010

By the carpark at the Viking Museum in Ladby there stood two tents. Jarnsaxa, the chieftain’s widow, lived here. She saw that something was happening on the field to the south. Men were preparing to build a ship.

Where were the women?

The visitors, of whom there were many, needed Viking clothes, and women were invited to sew them. The results left much to be desired.

An idea took shape.

Who will tell the story of the old ship and the new ship for the people to come? How will people a thousand years from now know about these ships?

 

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