Recently, one of my local libraries hosted an afternoon talk by Gary Beaudoin, an Oregon collector of Navajo rugs and author of “Unbroken Web: The Art of Ellen & Lucy Begay” (find in a library).
Through Beaudoin’s words and display of his personal collection, we entered the world of this mother and daughter, who weave traditional Navajo rugs.
Only the red color is dyed, all the variations of browns and creams are the natural color of the Churro wool they get from their own flock.
Rare treasures, each rug is unique and takes about one year to make. The designs incorporate traditional motifs as well as the artist’s interpretation of natural forms.
Passed from generation to generation, weavers learn mostly by watching rather than direct instruction.
These women use weave by hand rather than by using a shuttle. The artist uses her fingers to choose each strand of the warp to go under or over.
In the video below you can see the process about one minute in:
For more information about the process, artists and their work here are a few helpful links:
The World of Navajo weavers and Navajo weaving
A History of Navajo Weaving
Arizona State Navajo Weaving Exhibit
A Brief Social History of Navajo Weaving (The Collector’s Guide)
For fun I’ve been taking Lisa Congdon‘s line drawing class over at Creative Bug. I didn’t expect the meditative benefit of drawing random lines and shapes. My lunchtime doodles are so relaxing.
As always, when I find one form of art I love, I go down a rabbit hole and can spend days looking for other artists and reading all about them.
Here are a couple that stand out:
Julia Rothman : She does quite a bit of editorial work, and book illustration. And I adore the pattern for linens she created!
Clever, clever Wendy MacNaughton collaborated on a scratch and sniff wine book! The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That
She often shows her sketch book on her blog, and is also working on a “Lost Cat” project.
Both Lisa and Wendy are local to me, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for “open studio” possibilities.
I look forward to the Dover newsletter each week. They always offer samples for download and often highlight great new products.
This week they provided a bunch of free Halloween art and announced their new collection of iron-on transfers.