An excerpt from “More on the Origins of Weaving: The Princess, the Pea, and the Birth of the Bench”


“More on the Origins of Weaving…” by Denise Delgado will appear in the forthcoming catalog for Frances Trombly Paintings.

Here is a sneak preview:

What is the history of the Knoll bench? The gallery standby that birthed Frances’s bench? We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s slow time down. We must first know the origins of weaving. Say there’s a stage. Say that a woman comes out holding a microphone, wearing ballerina flats and an A-line skirt. Say she announces that the loom was invented by a tailor-queen grown weary of cloth that only appeared, the product of no process. She wanted to derive fabrics from another substance–threads? animals? plants?–and she wanted work to make it.

Before that, ladies had plucked tiny bolts from thin air. Material just materialized. Pre-loom cloth only came in small sizes. You had to snuggle up to blanket squares: warm a knee or elbow at a time. So the royal tailor fashioned a loom beam from Goliath’s spear and went to work. What a relief: wresting fibers across this loom made great luxurious lapfuls of cloth.

Now this queen displayed her innovative handicraft in a big museum, but something about the bare, open expanse of the exhibition halls made visitors only skim through. They sailed by on roller-skates or stampeded the space, not bothering to pause in front of the intricate royal tapestries.


Denise Delgado is a Miami-based writer, artist and curator. She has read, exhibited and performed her multidisciplinary work at events and venues including the Miami Book Fair International, the Ashé Cultural Center and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans; Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, PR; Girls’ Club in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Sweat Records in Miami, FL; and ArtCenter South Florida, as well as a member of the Miami Poetry Collective. Denise is the recipient of grants from Alternate ROOTS/The Ford Foundation, Tigertail Productions’ Artist Access Program, and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. As an artist and educator, she has completed residencies and facilitated workshops and community projects with many South Florida schools, museums, and organizations. Denise received a BHA from Carnegie Mellon University, an MA from The New School and an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson College. Her fiction has appeared in Inch, Dossier, the Cent Journal Series, The Selected Collective: Poetry, Prose and Projects from the Miami Poetry Collective (A Tigertail South Florida Poetry Annual), and Jai-Alai Magazine. Denise is Writer-in-Residence for Girls’ Club and is currently working on A Wig in the Duplex, a collection of short stories set in Florida.