Thursday, August 5, 2010

Convergence 2010 Day 3 July 22

At 7:30 a.m. I attended a talk by local fibre artists and a fibre gallery owner. Jill Heppenheimer (on right), part owner of the Santa Fe Weaving gallery, opened the presentation. She also organizes textiles tours around the world. Irvin Trijulo (on left) is of Spanish descent and his family has been in the area for many generations. He has a shop and studio and lives in Chimayo. He has seeds he uses to grow his plants for natural dyeing that are up to 200 years old. He uses the wool of Truro Sheep. He has established a reputation for weaving Chimayo blankets which are woven in the tapestry technique. For bobbins he uses cardboard tubes from yarn cones and the looms are of the most rudimentary construction. He employs 14 weavers and has orders from all over the world. Designs were handed down generation to generation within the family. I loved listening to Irvin. He has a humble and gentle way and has a lot of integrity. I found listening to him very moving, and I found it so moving that he continues his family tradition of weaving that had come down through the generations. His respect for these traditions is evident.

DY Begay (centre) is a contemporary tapestry weaver of Navajo origins and in her rug and blanket weaving tradition too, designs and technique were handed down generation to generation. Children were supposed to learn by watching and doing and were not supposed to ask questions. This really resonated with me. For the Navajo weaving was introduced to them through Spiderwoman. Her own interpretation of her Navajo traditions are abstracted landscapes. Colours and motifs are inspired by the land, by her environment. Her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona.

My first workshop today: Warp Painting on the Loom with Jannie Taylor. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....what fun AND it feels so good to be weaving again! I can’t wait to share these techniques with my students and can’t wait to continue exploring them myself. I see infinite possibilities. I made another new friend – Judith Shangold....we initially had talked on the bus for the Santa Fe Opera House and Fiber ArtistTour. She too took the warp painting. I really enjoyed her company!

The workshop took place in a room the size of a football field. About 4 or 5 other workshops were taking place simultaneously. A fellow Canadian spotted me in this melee, Melanie Segal. Melanie and I went to the Ontario College of Art and Design a long time ago! The second Canadian I ran into while I am here. One of the workshops taking place was Rio Grande rug weaving.
Afterwards checked out the various exhibitions of fibre art works and the garments that were featured in the fashion show. Here I bumped into Ted Hallman, one of fibre art teachers from my OCAD days! What a small world. He lives in Santa Fe 3 months in the summer and the rest of the time resides in Philadelphia . Also had a stroll around the vendors hall where I ran into another Canadian, Joyce Newman from the Burlington Spinners and Weavers. Funny....we come all this way, hardly see each other here, and we bump into each other thousands of miles of way!

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario

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