Hanne Van obberghen’s early education in Bruges yielded a diploma in Latin-Mathematics but in her higher education, she studied creative design. While looking for a proper faculty, she saw the looms of Sint-Lucas Hogeschool in Ghent and immediately fell in love with them. Her studies in textile design began at Sint-Lucas and included both applied design and artistic activities but it was the “applied” part that captured her imagination.
To further that interest in applied design, Hanne spent one semester in Häme Polytechnic in Hämeenlinna, Finland on an Erasmus scholarship. This was her first encounter with Scandinavian design, which has strongly influenced all of her subsequent creations. In Finland, her “tools” included a hand jacquard loom, a computer-controlled loom and for her “final” designs in the program, an industrial loom. The cold climate and lots of snow forged her “friendship” with wool, which she has since used in many different applications, including the felting techniques that she learned in Finland.
Hanne’s Finnish experience inspired her final year of design research in Sint-Lucas art school, which included an internship in Keskusta-fabrics company in Switzerland. There she, once again, worked with an old friend, a Finnish computer-controlled loom . . . . and of course, wool.
After graduating from Sint-Lucas, Hanne’s traveller’s spirit brought her to Norway for more practical training in the company Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS. Back in Scandinavia, with carte blanche on a jacquard loom and her favourite fiber, wool, Hanne created a new variety of designs. Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS gave Hanne experience in the entire process, from fibre to finished textile, including the use of industrial felting equipment. This was great experience and led to work as a professional textile designer in Tielt, Belgium. There she learned felting/shrinking techniques that bring a third dimension to textiles.
In 2009, Hanne embarked on a new adventure. With her eight shaft peddle loom “in tow,” she went to Poland seeking inspiration for new designs. This led to the birth of “Tjieptja”, Hanne’s own label.
Her beautiful weavings employ simple, elegant designs, woven from natural yarns, as well as other yarns that can provide an “authentic” look. The simplicity of those designs, though, belie the complexity of the weaving techniques that Hanne has sought from afar and applies so beautifully. There are surely many years of unique designs yet to come!