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Mildred in Finland

by Molly Donnermeyer


MildredFischer , CAM , handcraft , Mary R. Schiff Library and Archives , Finland

Last month we introduced you to Cincinnati artist, Mildred Fischer, who was well-known as a distinguished papermaker, weaver, teacher, and designer. We shared a selection of holiday cards Fischer had created using various techniques from several years.

We decided to dig deeper into the archive and will be exploring Mildred’s work, travel, and education through a series of small exhibits during this New Year. First, we will examine her time spent in Finland at The Wetterhoff Institute of Handcrafts. This school, which was founded in 1885 by Fredrika Wetterhoff, specialized in handicraft including linen-sewing, knitting, crocheting, straw work and wood carving, as well as geometric drawing, and weaving using large looms.


pieces from the Mildred Fischer archive


Mildred visited the school in the late summer of 1947, and while there she participated in many of the courses offered to students. On display you will see samples of hand-spun and dyed yarn created at Wetterhoff, as well as some small pieces of fabric woven on the school’s massive wooden looms. Additionally, included are some examples that depict the process of going from drawn design to woven fabric. This glimpse at the craft of weaving was an important part of Fischer’s art-making and also in her path to becoming an educator.


pieces from the Mildred Fischer archive


In 2001 the Mary R Schiff Library and Archives received a number of books, files, papers, and samples of art from Mildred Fischer’s estate. These are now part of the specialized art collection housed in the Library. The ephemera will be on view in the Mary R Schiff Library and Archives through the month of January. Visit today to view these and materials related to such topics as paper-making, weaving, and design.