Theo Moorman was a devoted artist with a lifetime of experience. She created her technique over a wide range of designs and textural combinations, exploring its potential. A new invention was every piece of work, and they were always full of vitality.
She worked on woven textiles as a student of the Central School of Art, London, and had valuable experience at Warner & Sons, Braintree, and the Ministry of Aircraft Production. She set up her studio, after ten stimulating years at the Arts Council.
The London County Council set up this vital art school in 1896 to promote the industrial application of decorative art, a goal that was vigorously pursued by its first principal, architect, educator and conservationist William R. Lethaby (appointed together with the sculptor George Frampton) in the years leading up to the First World War.
Developed new techniques
Moorman experimented with unusual and new yarns to produce fabrics in Modern motifs and patterns, including the use of brocade techniques, weft inlays, and yarns such as natural fibres, trail rays, metallic strips and cellophane.
Cathedrals and churches in Great Britain and the United States are to be found displaying her large commissioned works. In later years, her most significant output was weaving wall hangings, designed mostly for private houses.
Teaching her weaving technique
In the early 1970s, share her weaving technique, and for an insight into the motivation and theory behind her work, she started to respond to several requests for tuition. For ten consecutive years, in addition to a variety of summer schools in the UK, she led workshops in the USA each year. In 1975, her book, Weaving as an Art Form, was published.
Outstanding among textile artists — Theo Moorman is a British weaver who has taught extensively in the United States. Illustrated with beautiful colour and black-and-white examples of her work are her thoughts on the design and aesthetic expression embodied in a woven fabric.
Example of the simple supplementary weft technique.
Blue Gradations – Woven Hanging, c. 1975.
Seashore – Woven Hanging, c. 1986.
Encrusted Gold and Flame – Woven Hanging, 1987.
Woven Hanging, c. 1990.