Sprang and Bronze Age Replicas
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Anne may have seen Sprang pieces in the museums in Stockholm in 1949 the year she first learned to weave. And she would have encountered it again in Cambridge in 1958-59 when she was looking at the Anglo-Saxon textiles. There are some "replicas" of ancient type sprang in our Collection. In addition we have included a replica of the Danish Bronze Age string skirt [which is not Sprang] because it belongs with these pieces in history. Anne's library included Margarethe Hald's Olddansk Textiler which describes the sprang hair nets and the string skirt. There is also a small monograph by Audrey Henshall about sprang Anglo-Saxon stockings. Anne gave guild programs demonstrating the use of tablet woven bands as the starting edge for the warp of the Bronze age sprang bonnets, as well as for the blankets and clothes to be woven on the warp weighted looms.
When Anne began to study the Bronze Age period textiles, she did not find woolen yarn that was suitable for the replicas, which required dark brown wool. She began to look for such wool, visiting the Faro Islands on a return trip from England. She learned a great deal about raising black sheep on that visit and when she arrived home, set out to begin breeding black sheep on her ranch in Carmel, CA. Black had been bred out in order to better dye the wool. Anne needed to reintroduce the black genes. She succeeded in this and the replicas in this part of the collection are made from wool from her flocks.
In addition to the copies of ancient Scandinavian Sprang pieces, Anne played with the structure extensively and we have in the collection several large Mobius shaped spranged textiles -- One is shown here. There are also other tubular-warped pieces; a 3-dimensional hanging, with layers interchanged; sprang belts; a scarf; a double-layered, intertwined piece; samples that pursue S and Z (\ and /) plaitings to create pattern, one with holes for a lace pattern; and samples of color play.
by Bill Dyer
If you have any information/stories of Anne's studies of sprang, please send them to us.
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