I fell in love with weaving after taking classes from Carolyn Potter at Barnsdall Art Center in Los Angeles. Carolyn still teaches at Barnsdall and her classes always have a waiting list. Weaving led me to the Navajo Nation - 27,425 square miles, occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico in the United States.
Early Navajo weavers used local wool, dyed with natural plant dyes, as well as a rewoven thread from Bayeta (bright red wool of flannel consistency from England). They unraveled other blankets and clothing and, by adding these materials to their own homespun wool, developed a beautiful variety of colors and styles.
When traveling through the Navajo Nation, I make it a point to visit as many of the Trading Posts that are still in existence: Toadlena, Joe Tanner, Two Grey Hills, Shonto - many who offer beautiful weaving materials, antique and new rugs and saddle blankets. This is where my collection of old Navajo rugs began - they seem to work perfectly in a room filled with French General fabrics.
This small collection of tools, warp thread, wool and oddities represents some of the treasures we find on our yearly trips through the area.