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21st April 2021 at 7:02 pm #5828Eva-Louise Pepperall
As a young weaving apprentice in Copenhagen, I was one day invited to dine with my land lady Gerda Klint, widow of the architect Kaare Klint. Halfway through the meal Gerda suddenly threw out the question: “Now Eva-Louise, what are you going to do when you have finished your apprenticeship?” Totally unprepared for that kind of question I eventually produced something like: “Oh, I think I will go off to Fair Isle and keep sheep and spin, dye and weave tapestries with the wool!” Gerda looked me straight in the eye and said: “Well, I don’t know anybody on Fair Isle, but I do know a Karen Finch in London, who deals with tapestries.” Some months later I found myself in London, staying with Karen and Norman and Katrina, acting partly as au-pair, while summing up the ins and outs of textile conservation. I remember getting a lot of praise for the way I ironed Norman’s pyjamas and made teas and coffees for the conservators.
That summer’s experience led to a lifelong friendship with Karen and her family. My dream of living and weaving on Fair Isle never materialised. Instead I ended up at West Dean College in West Sussex and a whole new and exciting experience of teaching tapestry weaving to future restorers as well as designing my own tapestries and translating into tapestries other artist’s designs. Amongst them was the sculptor Henry Moore, with his set of watercolours of Mother and Child.
I even met my future husband Noel there.
Walberton, 19th April 2021
Eva-Louise, Mary Kahlenberg, unknown visitor, and Norman Finch in the garden at Acton
Eva-Louise Pepperall, with tapestry loom designed by her for West Dean College