Tempe, AZ Earlier today, Jennie Slick and I had a nice talk and I happened to run across a picture of a rug in progress on her loom. The rug pattern is Jennie’s favorite, a Burntwater. Burntwater is an area near Jennie’s home and it’s her father’s birthplace. Burntwater got it’s distinctive name after a fire burned the local well housing, leaving the water with a burnt taste. Weavers in the area are noted for their pastel colored vegetal dyes and local traders, notably Bruce Burnham, encouraged the weavers to develop a Burntwater colorway around geometries that in all natural wool colors would be Two Grey Hills designs or with a dark red background would be Ganado Red designs. The combination of familiar designs in unusual colors was a hit with buyers thirty years ago and is still popular today.
The rug that is on Jennie’s loom is 5’x8′, and the loom occupies a good part of the living room in her mobile home. Weavers may notice that this particular rug is so wide that Jennie was using two shed sticks and two pull sticks and wove in sections to make the process more efficient. The rug is advanced over the galvanized pipes as the weaving progresses. You can see Jennie weaving in the picture at left and hear her describe weaving in a multimedia show that runs a little over three minutes at the New York Times website. Jennie’s part of the piece starts a little past the two minute mark. You’ll also hear Mark Winter talk about weaving and take a brief sidetrip to the Crownpoint Rug Auction. Times writer Keith Mulvihill did an excellent article on travel off the beaten path of the Navajo Nation that accompanies the interview.
Jennie doesn’t sell through a trader but accepts weaving commissions starting at $100 per square foot and charges $150 per square foot for finer yarns that require more time to weave. You can contact Jennie by sending me an email.
The pictures were taken on August 18, 2008 with a Canon Powershot G7 camera. The New York Times article originally ran on June 12, 2009.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)