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Gunta Stölzel and the Art of the Loom

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lkmccray

“Women’s work.” It’s a phrase that’s often applied to tasks viewed as simple, routine, and “soft.” It’s a point of view made plain, surprisingly, at an avant gárde training ground for architects, artists, and designers: the Bauhaus.

From 1919 to 1933, this influential school in Germany combined fine arts and design with a craft-based curriculum that included metalworking, cabinetmaking, pottery, and typography. The result was a kind of utopian guild where artists and craftspeople together created functional and beautiful objects. Well-known architects and painters including Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky were among the faculty members who taught at the school.

guntastozel.org

Gunta Stölzel: "Slit Tapestry Red/Green," 1927/28. Gobelin technique. Cotton, silk, linen. 150x110 cm

Those who led workshops at Bauhaus were called masters, and part of Bauhaus philosophy was an easy-going relationship between masters and students. But for all its modernist thinking and many female students, there was only one female master: Gunta Stölzel. In 1927, after significant complaints about the male weaving master, Stölzel was given the title of young master and entrusted with the leadership of the weaving workshop precisely because it was considered “women’s work.” She had been a Bauhaus student for six years.

Arieh Sharon/guntastozel.org

Gunta Stölzel, summer 1929. In the background, the ADGB building in Bernau near Berlin under construction.

The workshop thrived under Stölzel’s oversight: she studied and taught dye techniques, had an excellent grasp of the technical aspects of complicated weaving, and embraced the lessons in abstract design that were hallmarks of Bauhaus training. The all-female weaving students’ meticulously crafted textiles affirmed the Bauhaus philosophy of “serving the room” as part of an overall design. It became the most financially successful workshop at the Bauhaus, providing much-needed funds to support the entire organization.

guntastozel.org

Gunta Stölzel: Design for a carpet.

During the rise of the Third Reich, Bauhaus art and architecture was declared degenerate. Though the school eventually closed, its influence was sustained as Bauhaus proponents emigrated throughout the world; in Tel Aviv’s White City, for example, there are more than 4,000 Bauhaus buildings. Stölzel moved to Switzerland where she continued to design and weave, producing works throughout her life. Her textiles extended the vocabulary of weaving from traditional figurative motifs to abstract designs, and her work continues to influence weavers today. Recent exhibitions of her work include a 1990 show at New York’s MoMA, and 1987 and 1997 exhibitions at museums throughout Germany. Design Within Reach reproduced three of her designs in 2007.

Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin/guntastozel.org

Detail of knotted floor carpet, 1923.

Stölzel took the lessons of Bauhaus and applied them to “women’s work,” creating textiles that were not mere floor coverings, but an integral part of a room’s ambience. That these designs feel as modern and fresh as they did nearly a century ago is significant. Contemporary rug designer Matthew Bourne writes, “It is a testament to Stölzel’s great talent is that her work transcends the boundaries of time and place.”

guntastozl.org

Gunta Stölzel: design for fabric.

In the year before taking over workshop leadership, Stölzel herself wrote: “Weaving is primarily a woman’s field of work. The play with form and colour, an enhanced sensitivity to material, the capacity of adaptation, rhythmical rather than logical thinking — are frequent female traits of character stimulating women to creative activity in the field of textiles.”

What do you think? Have attitudes have changed significantly since the days of the Bauhaus? Do gendered crafts still exist?

A lifelong sewer/knitter and former weaver/spinner, Linzee Kull McCray, a.k.a. lkmccray, is a writer and editor living in Iowa. She feels fortunate to meet and write about people, from scientists to stitchers, who are passionate about their work. Her freelance writing appears in Quilts and More, Stitch, UPPERCASE, American Patchwork and Quilting and more. For more textile musings, visit her blog.

4 Featured Comments

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  • simpledream2

    Lisa S. from simpledream2 says: Featured

    Great article. Gender crafts still exist partly because of past generations taking their sons to the "shop" and their daughters to the "sewing room". Without any conscious effort my grown sons have sat at my sewing machine more than my daughter who has learned the skill of tile setting. If we allow the next generation to be drawn to their own interests and not steer them to gender appropriate work it may well come back full circle as gendered.

    2 years ago

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio says: Featured

    Ah, thank you for this article! I was familiar with the Bauhaus, but not with Gunta Stözl. Her designs are brilliant, both in their colors and concepts. I do believe that gendered crafts still exist, for instance, I feel that woodworking still is more associated with men, and that jewelry-making is still more associated with women. In reading this article, I also think of Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party," its topic of women artists' history and the role of other textile arts such as needlepoint. It is a rich conversation, that of craft and gender. Thank you for sharing Gunta's story and its role in the Bauhaus.

    2 years ago

  • HANmade5

    HANmade5 says: Featured

    I'm female and study weaving Scotland. It used to be tradition that men were weavers, but now that it has become, as she says, more sensitive, and more of an art, it is more female orientated. However there is a 31 year old guy in my class who has been teaching himself to weave for 7 years. He is a fountain of knowledge and is often the one we turn to for help. Unfortunately I think there is a bit of a gender divide in crafts, but I feel that artisan work is becoming less gender specific.

    2 years ago

  • CreativeTherapy

    Stefanie van den Brandt from CreativeTherapy says: Featured

    Great article! I studied architecture and was therefore familiar with the architectural side of Bauhaus, but less familiar with the textile designs! Most of what I would have to say about this reflects other people's posts. Yes gendered crafts still exist unfortunately, but like many have pointed out, fantastic women and men are blurring those 'boundaries'. I'm a knitter, and there are some great men out there who've picked up the knitting needles, and some of my favourite patterns have been designed by men! Having browsed through the comments, I don't think anyone has mentioned this. For those of you living in London, or visiting this summer, there will be an exhibition called Bauhaus: Art as Life from May 3rd until August 12th in the Barbican http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=12409 . Some of Gunta Stözl's work will be included in this exhibition.

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Great post!!!

    2 years ago

  • VogueVixens

    VogueVixens from VogueVixens says:

    Interesting article. While anyone can choose to learn, I think gendered crafts still exist. A friend of mine taught textile art at Concordia in the Art department just a few years ago, and there was rarely a man in any of the classes. Weaving and tailoring have/had male professionals, but in the home it was women who were expected to do needlework, sewing and crafts...never idle. Even ladies who had servants, did stitchery and embroidery. It was considered a ladylike pursuit, like playing an instrument, singing and dancing.

    2 years ago

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny says:

    Very intriguing article! Although I do think there is still gendered identity to some crafts, but I think that Etsy members seem to transcend them on many occasions.

    2 years ago

  • OhMyLuckyStar

    Samantha Hughes from OhMyLuckyStar says:

    We live in a gendered society, and we always will. Therefore, crafts (and anything else) are gendered. Fortunately, we are (slowly) moving away from the belief that crafting is a 'woman's thing'. I say that because I personally think that both women and men have a lot to offer in terms of creativity, and generating and inspiring new ideas. Great article, I love that we get to see the pre-design work as well as some finished work.

    2 years ago

  • sadiedesignsca

    Sarah from CAMPandQUARRY says:

    Interesting article. I think the idea of "gendered crafts" definitely still exists. A lot of textile work seems to be placed in the woman's domain, though to make patterns or weave a person has to possess many of the traits traditionally thought to be male. Being good with numbers, able to visualize things spatially and in 3D, etc. are integral skills to everything from sewing to knitting. I think the contribution of women to the Modernist movement is often over-looked. I'm always happy to see them getting the recognition they deserve. Agnes Martin is one of my favourite painters and now I'll certainly add Stözl to the list of women that I admire from that era. Thank you for sharing this!

    2 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose says:

    What amazing color and designs. I'm not sure we will ever veer away from saying/thinking that's a mans craft like woodworking or that's a woman's craft like quilting. Luckily there are many men and women who do not let those boundaries stifle their artistic endeavors...so that all of our lives are enriched by their skills, no matter the gender.

    2 years ago

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye from VintageEye says:

    The arenas of textiles, needlework & weaving have long been a place for women artists to express themselves especially in the past when other avenues have been denied to us. I have always had an appreciation for expertly crafted works of all types made by both genders. Wonderful post. Thank you.

    2 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    I believe attitudes have changed significantly since the days of the Bauhaus but gendered crafts do still exist. The line is getting very blurry though as more men pick up knitting needles and more women ask for Dremel attachments for Mother's Day.

    2 years ago

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper says:

    What a great story! - Thanks for enlightening on this subject.

    2 years ago

  • minouette

    Ele from minouette says:

    Her work is so beautiful. I think we should recognize these designs and weavings as art - too often any area traditionally deemed 'women's work' is undervalued. There are clearly still unbalanced gender distributions in many creative fields (just look around Etsy for instance). While it's ok for one to prefer a field which has always been dominated by one's own gender, I hope we can make sure that people can create in the field of their choice, regardless of gender. I also hope that we learn to appreciate excellent work and beautiful things without judging a field as less important or artful based on its history and gender associations.

    2 years ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux says:

    thats wicked cool!

    2 years ago

  • artstudio

    Marie Louise from PetiteMalou says:

    Beautiful designs and color! Very inspiring!

    2 years ago

  • Elyseeart

    Lavinia Voicu from Elyseeart says:

    Interesting story! Her work is so original1 1

    2 years ago

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket says:

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • RivalryTime

    Phil Jackson from NuptialNotion says:

    Very interesting designs.

    2 years ago

  • iloveludwig

    Astrid R. from AnAstridEndeavor says:

    beautiful! Thank you so much for the great article!

    2 years ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    Lovely work! I didn'd know you could do so much with a loom!

    2 years ago

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    Bozena Wojtaszek from BozenaWojtaszek says:

    Great artist, great story. Thought provoking post :)

    2 years ago

  • MichelleWey

    Michelle Wey from ModernistaJewelry says:

    The orange and red image, Design for a carpet, looks so much like a Hans Hoffman painting circa 1950's. Seeing these images on a computer screen, the textual element is lost and what remains is an abstract image. I do not believe that considerations of form, color and composition are necessarily better contemplated from a feminine perspective. They are traditional modernist concerns that were explored by great male artists such as Hoffman and Rothko and Pollock, to name just a few. Maybe women have traditionally been associated with such crafty pursuits as weaving but intellectual exploration of aesthetic possibilities is genderless.

    2 years ago

  • DGEnterprises

    Therese Magnani from DGEnterprises says:

    Years ago I was in a textile arts program at a city college and there was nary a male classmate. They were across the way in wood shop, where interestingly, there were several women. Gendered crafts may always be with us to some extent. I don't mind this as long as there are no barriers to either gender learning or applying skills from any medium.

    2 years ago

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv says:

    Very neat!

    2 years ago

  • awkward

    awkward from awkward says:

    oh i definitely think that gendered crafts still exist - and we've probably stayed the same since then than changed, although i also think this is an abstract idea rather than a reflection of who actually has a given set of skills or pursues a particular craft or art. i can't think of any men in my immediate family who *can't* knit, for example...

    2 years ago

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts says:

    Oh, I love weaving! And these are so creative and cool

    2 years ago

  • popp21

    popp21 from thevintagevacation says:

    Always a treat to visit the historical world of Bauhaus...I always learn something new. And, such an inspiring and well-crafted blog essay...

    2 years ago

  • thatSandygirl

    Sandy Sarsfield from thatSandygirl says:

    What's ironic is that weaver's don't actually have a category to list in here.

    2 years ago

  • oldish

    oldish from oldish says:

    What a great story, more pls!

    2 years ago

  • paisleybeading

    LuAnn Poli from PaisleyBeading says:

    Such an interesting story! Loved the colorful contemporary designs! Gendered crafts...hmmm. I think the line has been crossed for many types of crafting. Women do metalwork, learn to use tools for woodworking, and woodcarving. Men knit, do needlework...although I haven't gotten wind of too many men, if any, who do quilting. That is gendered for sure. Maybe because the women held quilting bees as a social gathering while the men farmed the fields. I think in the years ahead, there will be a bigger blur between men and women's crafts.

    2 years ago

  • birchbaykay

    Kay West from birchbaykay says:

    There are still creative arenas thought of as gender-oriented. That's why it always delights me when I see men knitting, or women designing and building furniture, and the like. I feel so grateful not to be held back from exploring art in whatever form beckons to me! Interesting article, and I agree with Oldish, "... more please."

    2 years ago

  • LaTouchables

    Dawn from LaTouchables says:

    As far as gender is concerned, there are other cultures in the world (Mali, for instance, or the Diné Navajo nation) where men weave, and have woven for centuries, displaying a dazzling talent in 'the play with form and colour, an enhanced sensitivity to material, the capacity of adaptation, and rhythmical rather than logical thinking'. Some of my favorite etsy artists are men who are working in a predominately 'female' craft (as seen through a Western lens).

    2 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    There was one man at the Etsy Success Symposium. One.

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush
  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Very interesting! Yes, gendered crafts still exist.

    2 years ago

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts says:

    Interesting article and beautiful art!

    2 years ago

  • Musclesandcrafts

    Melanie from merVazi says:

    I'm so lucky to be able to dive into whatever craft my heart desires, with my hubby supporting me the whole time. Eventually I would like to do woodwork.

    2 years ago

  • Newyorkbuilt1

    Newyorkbuilt1 says:

    What interesting comments to a well written, and sadly, still true situation. The crafts are severely gendered. Open up any Vogue Knitting edition, and start counting visual images of men. Good luck if you find one. Look at websites for yarn or pattern sales. Start counting visual images of men. Do a Google Search of "men's knitting patterns linen", or go to Ravelry, and look at unisex, men or male tags. Don't be shocked. Be saddened. The crafts are gendered, almost deliberately so. Do women protect this domain from male incursions? Is this payback for sexism over the centuries? Is that what the writer impugned? I wonder.

    2 years ago

  • Tessarj

    Tessa Jones from WidowsWalk says:

    Thanks for such an interesting article. The rugs you featured are incredible. My grandmother taught my mother and I how to hook rugs. In our family, this was something that was passed down to the women in the family, if they showed interest. But, then again, there are practically no men in my immediate family. My grandmother knows several men who hook, I think I was shocked when I first learned this, but she doesn't think it's strange at all and she's 89!

    2 years ago

  • slatevintager

    Nikki from slatevintager says:

    love the first photo! great article.

    2 years ago

  • HibouCards

    Anne-Claire R. from HibouDesigns says:

    very nice article. I'm happy to know about Gunta :)

    2 years ago

  • PalomaAccessories
  • leslieholz

    Leslie Holz from leslieholz says:

    In the 90's the quilt movement also saw male engineers beginning to design and develop patterns that were so complex and striking. Combining colors and patterns that were previously practically impossible to duplicate, they have definitely given the quilt world a breath of fresh air and caused quilters to rethink the "male" influence in a field that was almost exclusively viewed as a female endeavor. Well done!

    2 years ago

  • PDXfabricdeli

    Barbara from PDXfabricdeli says:

    I love it!!!

    2 years ago

  • JacksonGlassMill

    Sabrina from JacksonGlassMill says:

    I love this article. I find it interesting that during the Middle Ages the Master weavers in the weaving guild were men. It was a very secret society that did not share knowledge to the general public. Then along came the Industrial Revolution and machines took over and the mystic was gone. This is when men were no longer the weaving artists and it became a home craft predominately for women.

    2 years ago

  • Mousewerks

    Stephanie from Mousewerks says:

    I think that some crafts just attract more women than men, because of the different ways our brains work. I think what Stozel herself said has a lot of merit, the necessary flexibility of thought, and rhythmic nature of of weaving more typically attracts the more non linear minds of women. Can some men be fantastic weavers? Yes. And some women make amazing engineers, but because of the way our brains work, it's not the norm. I teach at a quilting shop, and we have very few men quilters. They just don't seem attracted to the fluid nature of the work. My conclusion... everyone should find a craft that makes them happy and suits their thinking patterns! :) Hopefully we can as a society be equally supportive of men who want to knit and women who want to do metalwork!

    2 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    Gendered crafts, in my opinion, still exist. In fact, I often think the entire realm of "crafts" is, to some degree, the domain of women today. But I also believe there is power inherent in that, because craft is where the knowledge of materials and how to make things is being kept alive. Those skills are going to be more important as individuals and economies seek to become more self-reliant.

    2 years ago

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country says:

    Linzee....TXS so much for putting this nice article together for us!....XO..."L"

    2 years ago

  • blueflowervintage
  • SeaSand

    Claudia Sandoval from SeaSand says:

    What a great read! I love the Bauhaus and the textiles that came out of that school! This makes me wish I had a whole room just to loom!

    2 years ago

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry says:

    Wonderful Article!!!! Beautiful Creations!!!!

    2 years ago

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry says:

    Great Article!!! Awesome Creations!!!

    2 years ago

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC says:

    Great article. Beautiful colors. :)

    2 years ago

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark says:

    Great article! I love the Bauhaus period and colors that came out era so modern.

    2 years ago

  • elleestpetite

    Donna Thai from PetiteCuisine says:

    Gendered crafts still exist. I think it's a mind set that will never change.

    2 years ago

  • simpledream2

    Lisa S. from simpledream2 says: Featured

    Great article. Gender crafts still exist partly because of past generations taking their sons to the "shop" and their daughters to the "sewing room". Without any conscious effort my grown sons have sat at my sewing machine more than my daughter who has learned the skill of tile setting. If we allow the next generation to be drawn to their own interests and not steer them to gender appropriate work it may well come back full circle as gendered.

    2 years ago

  • Walkingquail

    Terry Blair from Walkingquail says:

    I think there are gendered crafts still and way too few famous women artists but I think there is more appreciation for all crafts and arts and that enhances our appreciation for the wide variety of people who create them. Great article, I am learning to weave after many years as a painter and I love their similarities as well as the significant differences.

    2 years ago

  • newtribetextiles

    newtribetextiles from newtribetextiles says:

    Thank you for the article. Weavers art not usually in the etsy spotlight.

    2 years ago

  • newtribetextiles

    newtribetextiles from newtribetextiles says:

    Thank you for your article. Weavers seem to not really make it into the etsy spotlight. There is much diversity in this country, and around the world as to who are the master weavers. It is not always one or the other.

    2 years ago

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio says: Featured

    Ah, thank you for this article! I was familiar with the Bauhaus, but not with Gunta Stözl. Her designs are brilliant, both in their colors and concepts. I do believe that gendered crafts still exist, for instance, I feel that woodworking still is more associated with men, and that jewelry-making is still more associated with women. In reading this article, I also think of Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party," its topic of women artists' history and the role of other textile arts such as needlepoint. It is a rich conversation, that of craft and gender. Thank you for sharing Gunta's story and its role in the Bauhaus.

    2 years ago

  • LineaLina

    Susanne Major from LineaLina says:

    Coming from the textile industry I can only say: Yes, I'm afraid most people that are related to crafts are still women. Although the men that are working with textiles have amazing ideas. But as a German I must say: We have a problematic history and there are a lot of things that still make me feel ashamed, on the other hand stories like these give me the feeling this country had and has potential. Thank you so much for this.

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    I think there are certain areas of craft that are more female dominated; knitting and sewing, just as there are crafts that are male dominated; wood and metal work. That doesn't mean to say that men and women are exclusively tied to particular crafts like they used to be. In a way I think that its good that Gunta made weaving her own.

    2 years ago

  • HANmade5

    HANmade5 says: Featured

    I'm female and study weaving Scotland. It used to be tradition that men were weavers, but now that it has become, as she says, more sensitive, and more of an art, it is more female orientated. However there is a 31 year old guy in my class who has been teaching himself to weave for 7 years. He is a fountain of knowledge and is often the one we turn to for help. Unfortunately I think there is a bit of a gender divide in crafts, but I feel that artisan work is becoming less gender specific.

    2 years ago

  • CreativeTherapy

    Stefanie van den Brandt from CreativeTherapy says: Featured

    Great article! I studied architecture and was therefore familiar with the architectural side of Bauhaus, but less familiar with the textile designs! Most of what I would have to say about this reflects other people's posts. Yes gendered crafts still exist unfortunately, but like many have pointed out, fantastic women and men are blurring those 'boundaries'. I'm a knitter, and there are some great men out there who've picked up the knitting needles, and some of my favourite patterns have been designed by men! Having browsed through the comments, I don't think anyone has mentioned this. For those of you living in London, or visiting this summer, there will be an exhibition called Bauhaus: Art as Life from May 3rd until August 12th in the Barbican http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=12409 . Some of Gunta Stözl's work will be included in this exhibition.

    2 years ago

  • gemmamortlock

    gemma mortlock from gemmamortlock says:

    This is such a great post, thanks for sharing.

    2 years ago

  • ThomasHolm

    Thomas Holm says:

    A lot of this gender/crafts situation is money-/status-based. The more money a given job makes, the higher status it gives, the more likely it is perceived as a 'male' occupation. The less money, the less status, 'female'. Just look at 'tailor' vs. 'seamstress'.

    2 years ago

  • BridalSashesOnly

    Kathy Johnson from BridalSashesOnly says:

    I think gendered crafts still exist, its just what one is interested in, I love working with feathers and such but wouldnt like creating flys for fishing with them, I'll leave that up to the men! :)

    2 years ago

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects from PoetryofObjects says:

    Wonderful article! I studied weaving back in 1979 in Vermont. These pieces and this artist are just unbelievable. Thank you so much!

    2 years ago

  • Zalavintage

    Zane Saracene from Zalavintage says:

    I took a Bauhaus color class last summer at FIT, it was an amazing way to experience color, but to see it applied at its best, by its best, wonderful, perfection the only way to describe..

    2 years ago

  • anotherghostquilts

    Nancy from anotherghostquilts says:

    Great post- and what lovely work! Thanks, Linzee.

    2 years ago

  • mygoddess

    indre from mygoddess says:

    thank you for writing such an interesting article. I enjoyed it immensely.

    2 years ago

  • bjhissong

    Bethany Hissong from thesmalloutdoors says:

    I loved learning a bit more of Bauhaus history! I am passing this article onto my college friend-- we both studied Graphic Design at the Univ. of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning with a Bauhaus foundation of education. She just told me that there was no longer a fiber arts department! If only they had read this article and realized the strong correlation and applications!!!

    2 years ago

  • Michelebuttons

    Michele Soares from Michelebuttons says:

    Glad to see weaving highlighted here. She's an amazing weaver and an inspiration in my jacquard tapestry designs and hand loom weaving designs. I work with both men textile designers and women. Both genders working together make for amazing fabrics. :) Thank you for this great post.

    2 years ago

  • matildecanepagonzale

    Matilde Cánepa González from matildecanepaArtnow says:

    "Women's work.Es vital to follow through with all the episodes that precede us. Vindicate every realization that despite the low valuation of women's work was had, currently breaking the boundaries of gender perspective in the events creativo.He seen generations of weavers in towns of Venezuela for example in their small workshops. “Women’s work.Es vital seguir indagando en todos los episodios que nos anteceden. Reinvindicar toda realización que a pesar de la poca valoración del trabajo femenino se tenía ,Actualmente se rompen las fronteras de la perspectiva de género en el acontecer creativo.He visto generaciones de tejedoras y tejedores en pueblos de venezuela por ejemplo en sus pequeños talleres.

    2 years ago

  • joycecountrywool

    Ruth and David Pelzer from PelzerDesignStudio says:

    Thanks, Stefanie Van den Brandt # CreativeTherapy for the London Info. And thanks of course to LInzee for writing this article so concisely. I studied the Bauhaus for a school project when I was16 and their methods, designs and goals have never left me in all my 35 years of writing, designing and creating. I'm looking forward to the London show at the Barbican!

    2 years ago

  • yimmekedesign

    Diana from yimmekedesign says:

    I rarely look at a piece of art, wondering if it was made by a man or a woman. I expect for the artists to have put their feelings in it and regardless of our gender, we all have the same feelings and emotions. Maybe some have more, others have less. But from a physical standpoint men are generally much stronger and able to work harder. It used to be that the man would care for his woman. With the emancipation, women wanted to take care of themselves, making men equal and giving them a chance to sit a home embroidering the new Sunday tablecloth. For the woman now it becomes increasingly harder to keep the needles going with so many blisters on her hand...

    2 years ago

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ says:

    I might be in the minority here, but I don't get offended by the term "Women's Work." There's a lot of work that I do that would be considered Women's Work that my husband would NOT be able to do! So, when asked to do work that's normally done by a women, I consider it a compliment :)

    2 years ago

  • SolDelSur

    Soledad Proaño from SolDelSur says:

    I am so happy to have this article here. I've been reading a book - Women in the Bauhaus - that talks exactly about this, and how all women accepted in the school would be sent to the weaving workshop. Although that is all wrong, at least now we have such amazing works by Gunta and other weavers like Anni Albers who, coincidentally, has much less recognition than her husband Josef. I think the line between men and women work is less defined now in theory, but in practice very similar to what it was during the Bauhaus. I attend a weaving workshop, and only sporadically we would have a man attending. In my jewelry classes, there's only one man in a class of 20. So, at least "women work" still is mostly women's. Don't know about "men work", I'm sure the ladies are more open to try new things than men are.

    2 years ago

  • mullishmuse

    Melanie Howard from mullishmuse says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE abstract. and abstract weaving has to be about the coolest thing I've seen. Not sure how I missed this artist in my art history class, but i'm glad Etsy introduced me.

    2 years ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    With my family being from Germany, it was nice reading that story. Those are very beautiful weaved looms. It is always something I have wanted to learn how to do, as well as visit Germany.

    2 years ago

  • aclhandweaver

    aclhandweaver from aclhandweaver says:

    Once again it is interesting to see a focus on weaving as when there is no weaving or general (all inclusive) textile category here on Etsy. While other kinds of textile arts have had their own categories up front and center for so long, weaving and handwoven goods get listed under housewares or accessories, and is much less searchable despite many efforts to bring it to the forefront and give it equal importance. As recently as a week ago I brought this up in the ideas forum yet again. Please visit our thread and help us get recognized: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7714/ideas/discuss/10123616/page/2/

    2 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth says:

    ♥♥♥ Beautifully done. Thanks for this wonderful story.

    2 years ago

  • SPAULEY

    Susan Pauley from SPAULEY says:

    Great article, Linzee. Gendered crafts still exist as does the difference between "art" and "craft". It used to bother me more than it does now. Age? Apathy? Anger? Who knows.

    2 years ago

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving says:

    Great ! Article!!

    2 years ago

  • retroreclaim

    Moxie Moxon from MoxieRevival says:

    I love BAUHAUS and I loved your article about needing to blur the gender lines. Gender is a social construct and we always have to challenge our gender conditioned brains to rethink it. I love seeing little boys wearing frilly and pink clothing, and playing with dolls, I love seeing little girls attracted to the tool box in the garage. The next generation will be less gendered and more free if we continue to work to facilitate this. Thank you!

    2 years ago

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy says:

    Good article. Thought provoking-thanks for the thoughts to chew on!

    2 years ago

  • debbyhillberg

    Debby from DebbysHandmadeGoods says:

    Interesting article. Makes me want to learn weaving too!

    2 years ago

  • fiberartist219

    Rebecca Jones from fiberartist219 says:

    Fiber and textile artists are not that common these days, and even fewer of them are men. I have studied textiles in college and then when I got out I joined a local fiber arts group and in all my years studying it, I have met a grand total of two men who also were interested in it. It is also hard to find young people who take interest in weaving, embroidery, surface design, quilting, etc. Almost all of my friends outside of school who partake in these types of activities are retired and or empty nesters. There are very few people who work full time that are able to devote the time and attention to art that it takes to really develop something like that. It is almost like the study of fiber arts is an afterthought for when everything else in life is already done.

    2 years ago

  • ChronologieVintage

    Sally B from ChronologieVintage says:

    I think gendered crafts still exist, but slowly the lines are blurring. When I was a student in the 1980s, I dated a man many years older than myself who knew how to knit. He'd come from a rural background in the American Midwest---not really a bastion of progressive creativity. He'd learned to use a sewing machine and knit mittens as part of growing up on a farm. Working with textiles seems like a natural outgrowth of the role of mothering, in a way--providing clothing, bedding, and other things inside the home. Of course fathers can also "mother," but I don't know a lot of men who are interested in making things for the home. And as Rebecca pointed out above, not all that many women are any more, either.

    2 years ago

  • countryweaverdesigns

    Linda Williams from countryweaverdesigns says:

    I think the gender distinctions in crafts has somewhat to do with the fear many males might have of being considered less than "macho" if they pick up a needle or a cone of yarn. While women have forged ahead into many male bastions, men seem somewhat timid to venture into "female" territory, afraid they might be considered wimpy. However, I do remember a rather large pro football player from the 70's, Rosie Greer, who did needlepoint; not many would DARE tease him about it! Also, as one crafter pointed out earlier, it is interesting that weavers have no category here on Etsy.

    2 years ago

  • Ereuyi

    Ereuyi says:

    Great article; it's so interesting to see both how much has changed in terms of the respect that "women's work" gets and how much the gender lines still exist. Did you perhaps mean Design WITHIN Reach, though?

    2 years ago

  • gabyeckberg

    Gaby Eckberg from gabyeckberg says:

    very interesting.

    2 years ago

  • ASpinnerWeaver

    Annie MacHale from ASpinnerWeaver says:

    Thanks for this article and history lesson. Weaving is alive and well but is often hidden. There are many talented weavers with shops here on Etsy and many of them are owned by men. We are working toward more visibility through our teams and we hope to have a searchable category for our textile work so that weaving is not just recognized in history, but also in modern times.

    2 years ago

  • Roancreekweaving

    Melissa Goodwin from Roancreekweaving says:

    A fantastic book on the subject of women's work is: Women's Work: The first 20,000 years: women, cloth, and society in early times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. I read it 20 years ago as I transitioned from career Navy to stay at home Mom and weaver. The creative avenues that were and are considered traditionally "craft"- like weaving- continue to this day to not recieve the respect of the arts community like "visual" arts. They seem to have to be pushing some envelope, or be imitating one of the visual arts to be recognized as "art". The Bauhaus was and continues to be a source of inspiration to artists of all types, but the "crafts" continue to quietely enrich our lives like Ms. Barber points out in her book. And women have been creating beauty in everyday function since we began.

    2 years ago

  • SweetElisabeth

    Elisabeth Miranda from SweetElisabeth says:

    Absolutely true! My brothers know how to sew and my sister and I know how to do woodcrafts and automotive maintenance. But I think we were in the minority at the time. I truly wish that my children were more interested in "cross-gender" crafts, but, since I make jewelry, that seems to be mostly what they've been interested in learning. I feel very fortunate that I have "extra" children (friends and family of my children) that want to learn what I know so I can pass on some of these skills.

    2 years ago

  • AyeCHIHUAHUA

    Johanna N. from AyeCHIHUAHUA says:

    Amazing. thank you so much! this just made my day better!!

    2 years ago

  • SeaGardenJewelry

    Cathleena Beams from SeaGardenJewelry says:

    Two attractive macho looking guys were browsing along beside me this weekend while I was searching for bronze earring hooks in the beading section at Hobby Lobby. It made me think about how different things are today than they were a couple decades ago.

    2 years ago

  • richknobsales

    Amy Parker from RichKnobSales says:

    My weaving instructor in college was male, and one of my classmates was as well. MS had made my classmate switch from sculpture to fiber, yet he had a sculptural quality to his works. I had daughters and no sons, but my daughters learned auto maintenance as well as sewing and pottery and cooking. I think the "gender bias" resulted from who had the time to devote to the particular craft. Trust me, it is possible to nurse babies and weave at the same time!

    2 years ago

  • richknobsales

    Amy Parker from RichKnobSales says:

    And I meant to say that I am the one who taught my children how to work on cars. I do not permit their father to touch mine!!!

    2 years ago

  • jakawcreations1

    jakawcreations1 from jakawcreations1 says:

    I agree with many of you and disagree with some but the one comment I found MOST intriguing...was that there was no catagory for weaving here?? ...on Etsy?..Can this be true,I know I am new but......?

    2 years ago

  • Freakyboat

    Chris and Dev from Freakyboat says:

    Gunta Stölzel - YES! Isn't it strange how women "pave" the way for other women, but men only pave roads.

    2 years ago

  • vintagepicked

    Janet Johnson from vintagepicked says:

    I have a 27 year old son, a 22 year old daughter and an 9 year old son. I've always tried to encourage them in what ever healthy behavior they exhibited. Like adults, kids gravitate to things that entertain them and stimulate their minds. The best advice I can give is to never ridicule. Respond with positive encouragement for the things they do that build character and show creativity and don't respond at all to the things that don't. They will seek out your positive encouragament. At least mine did :)

    2 years ago

  • vintagepicked

    Janet Johnson from vintagepicked says:

    My point is encourage kids in the things they enjoy that are healthy, regardless of societal norms. Kids deserve the opportunity to find their own path without getting derailed by gender hang ups.

    2 years ago

  • NutfieldWeaver

    Kate Kilgus from NutfieldWeaver says:

    A wonderful article. Thank you, Linzee! I don't consider weaving to be "women's work." My great grandfather was a weaver, and two of my weaving instructors were men. Jason Collingwood, a very fine contemporary rug weaver, has done pretty well for himself by following in his father's footsteps. Weaving is a physically demanding activity - beating in weft yarns repeatedly requires stamina and upper body strength (add weights to the beater and you've complicated matters even further!) When I've done community weaving demonstrations, it seems that men & women, boys & girls, are all drawn to the loom. It is a wonderful simple machine - and where would any of us be without cloth?

    2 years ago

  • sandstormcreations

    sandstormcreations from sandstormcreations says:

    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

    2 years ago

  • seule771

    Ainee Beland says:

    Bauhaus had interesting philosophy and was I think inclusive to all. We can't all be everything and if something are inherently male while something else is inherently female than so what. Seamstress Chanel or master cutter (designer/architect) of the sac cloth made into dressing gowns for women. What is different in their abilities and talent is the wording applied.

    1 year ago

  • kleenebeene

    Antje Wolter from svantjeshop says:

    I am so proud I have studied at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany which is still suited where everything began. You can still feel the vibe and inspiration of these days. Back during my studies I was really into textile designs and fabrics and tried to find out as much as I could about the female Bauhaus weavers. But sadly it still is a gendered craft. While we tried to re-establish a working with fabrics - we were a bunch of women - getting help from female professors like Fine Arts professor Liz Bachhuber and Christine Hill, Artist and professor of Media, Trend and Public Appearance - only the "manly" crafts survived at the Bauhaus University, such as product design. But a few years back some girls re-founded a sewing / weaving and crafting studio. I really hope it is getting better!! Thank you for this inspiring article!! And if you ever come to Germany and maybe even to Weimar, do not miss to visit the Bauhaus Museum and "Direktorenzimmer" at the Bauhaus University. You can still get a glimpse of what was going on back then...

    1 year ago

  • soveryhappyart

    Diane from soveryhappyart says:

    Terrific article and I love her work! Contemporary and beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    1 year ago

  • pinkpoppies1991

    Pink Poppies from pinkpoppies1991 says:

    Interesting read!!

    1 year ago

  • GraysonDesigns11

    GraysonDesigns11 from GraysonDesigns11 says:

    Womens work or not, her work is amazing. The gender of an artisan is about as important as the race of an artisan. The work will speak for itself. On the other hand, it is hard for a woman not to swell with pride when reading something as empowering as the about article.

    1 year ago