Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A fantastic find in Portland...

Today I reached a life-long dream of visiting Powell's City of Books in downtown Portland, Oregon.  It was raining and then HAILING, I had no umbrella and had 10 blocks to walk from the MAX station, but I was not going to be deterred from this destination under any circumstances.
There were maps of the store.  Yes, maps so that when you circled the 8 aisles of cookbooks and couldn't find your way back to travel, you might be able to find your way back to the front of the store.  Of course under the armload of books I was toting and lacking a compass, I was forced to use my cell phone to locate Emily and call for assistance.  I might still be there otherwise.

I was so impressed with this (independent!) bookstore.  They had two entires shelves about pirates.  Here is the evidence:
I don't actually read books about pirates, but the fact that there was a two-shelf section devoted to them was impressive to me (Dad, they had 10 shelves about sailing and nautical navigation!).

Here is a photo of most of the books I came home with--a bunch were on sale too!  I have wanted the Diary of Frida Kahlo for awhile and they had a nice used copy.  I am excited about the John Berger book.  It looks to be about art and the way we see things--a favorite topic of mine.  And the Making Color Sing book was a difficult decision.  It is written for painters, but seemed to have such great suggestions for color use that ultimately it came with me too.  It didn't seem quite like your average color book that just goes over color theory.  She has examples of how to make certain areas of a painting pop out using color and other tricks that I haven't seen anywhere else.  I just hope I can translate paint to dye pot.

Throw in a climbing book, a Portland guide and a book about Crater Lake which I hope to see later in the week (the lake that is as I already have the book)... and you have a nice little load to put my suitcase over the weight limit on the way home.  

And for those of you New Mexicans who have never seen a jackalope, I saw one who had visited a taxidermist and now lives in the Old Curiosity shop in downtown Seattle.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chimayo weaving with Lisa Trujillo

The American Tapestry Alliance offered a workshop in conjunction with the opening of the Small Tapestry International 2: Passages show at Weaving Southwest.  The workshop was April 3-5 at Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico.

Lisa Trujillo taught a class on Chimayo weaving.  Lisa and her husband Irvin Trujillo own Centinela Traditional Arts in Chimayo, New Mexico. Both are internationally known for their weaving.  Their business employs many local weavers which allows people who wouldn't otherwise be able to sell their weaving to make a living.

There were 6 enthusiastic women from all over the country who came to Taos to relax and learn some traditional weaving from a master weaver.  Lisa proved to be an exceptional teacher and I recommend taking a workshop from her if you are interested in traditional hispanic weaving.  I'm hoping she'll eventually make her beautifully written handout into a technique book.

After a bit of a fight to tie up the big Rio Grande looms (Rachel Brown style Rio Grandes) to two treadles instead of four (they were four harness looms), we were off and running.  The class was full of people who had done a lot of weaving and they quickly picked up the Rio Grande techniques.  Some amazing little weavings were created in just a few days.

Lisa Trujillo at Weaving Southwest with the Small Tapestry International show behind her.

Barbara Richards in front of some great tapestry.

Judy Sutton

Erika Scott and Terry Olson creating some complicated designs.

We did figure out that the beating of the Rio Grandes was enough vibration to knock all those small format tapestries askew.  I kept fixing them until I realized that they were crooked again immediately.  I'm sure once the looms are gone the tapestries will stay put.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Small Tapestry International 2: Passages Opening

Yesterday evening was the opening of the American Tapestry Alliance's small format juried show, Small Tapestry International 2: Passages.  The opening was from 5-7 at Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico.

The show looks wonderful.  It runs through May 1st here before it heads to other venues.  Go see it.  It is not only well hung but the work is marvelous.

My piece, center top, Barn Burned Down (now I can see the moon).

New Mexico ATA Studio Tour

Today was the American Tapestry Alliance (ATA) tour of some NM tapestry studios.  This tour was organized by ATA in conjunction with the Small Tapestry International 2: Passages show opening at Weaving Southwest this evening.

I, along with Cornelia Theimer Gardella, had the pleasure of shlepping all over northern NM with a van-full of fantastic people driven by the most excellent Raymond.

It was a beautiful day and after leaving the Taos Inn here is some of what we saw:

Isn't this a great building?
Joyce Hayes and Irene Smith, owner of Metier Gallery.
Metier Gallery is a wonderful tapestry studio in the center of Dixon.  Irene Smith is a renowned tapestry weaver and basket maker who welcomed us into her wonderful studio gallery to see her work and the work of some other weavers.

After the fantastic suggestion by Raymond to take the scenic high road from Dixon to Chimayo, we visited Centinela Traditional Arts.  This wonderful studio and gallery is owned by Lisa and Irvin Trujillo who have both earned numerous awards as weavers of traditional Chimayo-style textiles.
Irvin Trujillo's work

Lisa Trujillo working at her loom as she explains Chimayo weaving to the group.

Irvin Trujillo weaving at his amazing 12 foot wide, self-built loom.

Our next stop was Rancho de Chimayo for lunch.  I have not been to this famous restaurant for many years and after the fantastic lunch there, I am certain I'll be returning soon.  They did a great job with our group of 11 including accommodating my gluten intolerance with ease.
The group eating: Alan enjoyed several of their excellent margaritas.

Conni had a prickly pear lemonade which was a fantastic shade of pink.
After lunch we visited Ortega's weaving shop in Chimayo.

Our final stop of the day was Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center.  This amazing fiber arts center was extremely accommodating.  Cornelia and I did a short presentation about contemporary tapestry weaving in northern New Mexico.  Here Conni is talking about one of her pieces, Passages.
Work of Evelyn Campbell and Cindy.
Two EVFAC members brought in their contemporary pieces for our perusal.  

We made it back to Taos just in time for the opening at Weaving Southwest.  A great day in sunny northern New Mexico was had by all.