Hoppe creates tapestries and rugs in wool she dyes on a Navajo loom, in techniques learned through many years of researching historic and prehistoric Navajo, Pueblo, and Anasazi weaving. "This technology is rudimentary," she observes. "My own hands and body become critical components. It is slow and requires close and constant attention. But it also yields the physical and spiritual rewards of all contemplative practices, as well as a sense of participating in and perpetuating ancient rhythms of work."
"Given the drought this year," Hoppe explains, "I decided what gardening I did should be on my loom. I was already intrigued with a little iris plant that appeared in my yard a few years ago. The blossoms are rather nondescript, tan and pale violet, and last only a day or two. For me, the blossoms are brief instants of stillness that contrast in a design with the dynamic movement of the leaves, which are always stretching and twisting. Now I have woven a series of tapestries with basically the same leaves-and-two-flowers design, but in a variety of different weaving techniques and colors."
"From a Weaver's Garden."
Tapestries and selected rugs
Stephanie T. Hoppe
Tapestry by Stephanie T. Hoppe
Hoppe began weaving in the mid-1990s in the Mendocino College textile program. She has also studied with several master dyers, a Turkish kilim rug weaver, and the Bauhaus-trained Swiss tapestry weaver Silvia Heyden. She has been exhibiting and selling her tapestries and tapestry-woven wool rugs since 2001.
Visit the artist's website at
I have made my living as a studio potter for over thirty years, making a wide range of functional, high-fired stoneware for domestic use. Deeply influenced by the Mingei tradition of the English potter Bernard Leach and his successors, I have concentrated on a line of “standard” ware and tried to keep from getting stale by occasional explorations into the artistic end of the craft/art spectrum.
Years ago, I read about a traditional Japanese pottery village that had one item for which the village was famous: a “Honeymoon Set” consisting of a small sake bottle with two small sake cups. That's what they made and ALL they made 6 days a week, year after year. One potter, on Sundays, his day off, made work just for his own pleasure and gradually the public responded to his purely individual work and a measure of fame came his way. That ratio of 6 craft to 1 art impressed me as a nice balance for my particular temperament.
So I'm calling my work for this exhibit “Sunday Ware”. Early on in my pottery career, the celadons of Song Dynasty China impressed me deeply, with their strong forms and subtle glazes and by way of trying to inspire my daily work, I have devoted time to the pursuit of what might be called purely artistic pieces. It was a wonderful moment for me when, a few years ago at a craft fair, when I asked the customer what he was going to do with the large celadon bulb bowl he'd just purchased and he replied with a smile, “I'm going to take it home and look at it.”
The work in Bonnie's exhibition falls loosely into two categories: the California landscape and an appreciation for the use of “humble” materials in art -- in this case, scraps of antique Japanese fabric. The Bento Boxes, as she's calling them, are constructed of fabric dipped in encaustic, then rolled and tied into bundles and stacked on board. The California pieces are “snapshots” of the sky, winter rains, puddles, the summer hillsides. They are made with a water soluble wax stick on board. The Night Sky pieces are made of graphite on paper, silver foil and encaustic.
Bonnie Lumaghi has attended the San Francisco Art Institute, but left art making behind for many years while raising a family and building a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During those years, she worked as a museum administrator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.
Aside from studio exhibits, she have not exhibited my art. Now, late in life, she has returned to California, her home, and to her art making.
"Bento boxes" by Bonnie Lumaghi