And no, I’m not turning into a big old spider. But I’m going to be learning a little something about weaving and Umbrian textiles from a master when I’m in Italy in June.
I already know how to weave together stories (my detractors might suggest I weave lies.) Now, I’m turning to one of the masters of the loom, the talented Marta Cucchia of Giuditta Brozzetti in Perugia, to teach me something more concrete about the magnificent art of Umbrian textiles.
(Backtracking a bit here for those of us of who can’t keep all of the Greco-Roman myths straight. In mythology, Arachne was a skilled weaver who became so arrogant that she convinced herself she was more skilled than even Athena -- the goddess of wisdom, war AND the weaving arts. There was apparently some unpleasantness between them, which ended in Arachne becoming a spider, at least according to some versions of the myth.)
I’m not anticipating that this will happen to me during my 3-day workshop with Marta at her fantastic atelier in the deconsecrated church of San Francesco delle Donne in central Perugia. Instead, I hope to learn a great deal more about the long history and symbols of Umbrian textiles, and learn a bit about using a loom. I confess that at his point, I don’t know a warp from a woof. But I think that my time with Marta will help me to much better understand and appreciate this beautiful, and historic, art form.
I’ve purchased several of Marta’s hand-woven textiles, and I believe these are real works of art. We were introduced via my dear friend Mary Tacconi, a longtime supporter of Giuditta Brozzetti, the family-owned enterprise operated by Marta. I hope I’ll even be able to blog about the experience while I’m there!