Visiting with Lola Cody and Michael Ornelas: Heard Museum Guild Indian Market Chapter 2

Michael Ornelas

Michael Ornelas with his framed miniatures.

Phoenix, AZ   Walking out of the F area tent and turning left will bring us to weavers Lola and Melissa Cody and the Ornelas family (Barbara, Michael and Sierra).  Michael was the only member of the Ornelas group in the booth when I dropped by, but he had four of his 100+ weft count framed miniatrues on the table and we talked about his design inspirations.  He calls the two pieces on the right his Pokemon designs.  The two on the left are inspired by his work on the database of historic Navajo textiles at Arizona State Museum in Tucson.   If you have never seen the work that Michael’s family is famous for, it is hard to believe how incredibly fine it is.  The weft (pattern) threads are literally like sewing thread and the patterns are absolutely perfect symmetrically, with row counts that are never off.   We’ll be back by the booth a little later when Michael’s mother, Barbara Ornelas, gets back from visiting with some friends.  

Lola Cody had a small loom set up in her booth and did a little weaving demonstration for you.  First you’ll see her with the rugs that she had for sale.  You’ll see that she’s got several smaller pieces so that her customers have a variety of items and patterns to choose from.    Hanging from left, you see a Wide Ruins, Single Diamond Burntwater and Double Diamond Two Grey Hills.   Other patterns, including a rare two-sided weaving are on the table and a fine Burntwater Pictorial is at the back of the booth.  And Lola works full time.  At another job. 

Lola Cody 1

Lola Cody weaves in her booth

Lola let me shoot some pictures over her shoulder so that you could get an idea of the motion of her hands as she is weaving.  In the picture below at left, she is opening what is known as the pull shed.  Notice that the keeps her weaving comb in her hands in all of these pictures.  Weavers are encouraged to learn to weave without putting the comb down because it’s more efficient.  You can click on any of the pictures to see them in a larger size. 

Lola Cody 2

Lola places the batten into the pull shed.

Lola Cody 3

Lola works with the pattern threads.

Click on any picture for a closer view

Tomorrow, we’ll talk with Jason Harvey and you’ll see his interesting variation on outlining designs.  

P.S. Also at the Arizona State Museum’s web site, you can create your own simple rug design, which has nothing to do with the Indian Market but is a lot of fun.  Just don’t complain to me about how late you stayed up trying it out!

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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