DESIGNER/WEAVER STEPHANIE T. HOPPE
After two decades working with words and
papers, first as an attorney and then as a freelance writer and editor, I was
seized with a hunger for something more tactile, specifically weaving, and particularly
the weaving of rugs, for I wanted what I make to be of practical use in daily
life as well as beautiful.
My initial teachers were several fine century-old Navajo rugs (the corner of one can be seen on the floor in the photo to the right). The strong and enduring colors and bold, timeless designs continue to inspire me. In 2008 I met the Swiss tapestry weaver Silvia Heyden, who became my treasured teacher and mentor, expanding my sense of design and encouraging me to experiment more with the possibilities of wall-hung tapestries, in which the weaving need not be right-angled and flat as in rugs intended for floor use. Although she died in 2015, her teaching and influence remain very much alive for me.
My rugs and tapestries are woven with a continuous warp, which gives each piece finished selvedges on all four sides. To obtain the range and variety of colors I like to work with, I dye and paint the wool and silk weft yarns myself.