Mary Underwood presents "Oscar Beriau and the Québecois Weaving Renaissance 1930 - 1950"
Please note: This lecture will not be recorded!
Oscar Beriau, through the Québec Department of Agriculture, would start a school for the domestic arts in 1930. That program launched the worldwide business of a Québec loom manufacturer and established Québec as a national leader in weaving instruction programs. The books from his school became popular throughout Canada and the United States for several decades. He would be asked to recreate the program in Canada's prairie provinces.
Who were the people behind the success of this school? Why was the weaving program so successful? These questions seeded Mary’s treasure hunt for those still living who were part of the school and who could tell the story.
Delving deeper into Beriau's work, through Complex Weavers (CW), a study group is reproducing Beriau's drafts from all the books and then creating new and original work. There are no known samples remaining that were used for all the books published by Beriau. Learning better weaving technique and how to create original weaving for clothing and the home were Beriau's goals. The CW samples created are for a book about Beriau and we share some of them along with a discussion of the challenges this entails.
Bio: Mary Underwood stumbled into researching Beriau’s school of weaving in the very early 2000’s and now is working to produce a book about Beriau and the supporting characters who made success possible. When not working on Beriau research, Mary busies herself with handspinning, production weaving, participation in many guilds and programs in the US and Canada and an admittedly futile attempt to learn French.