Send in the Clones Part I: The Gathering of Weavers and the Pueblo Grande Navajo Rug Auction

Barbara Teller Ornelas

Barbara Teller Ornelas is one of the master weavers who will be demonstrating at the Heard Museum Gathering of Weaver’s on Saturday. Barbara would love to talk with you about weaving!

Sometimes I wonder if the quantum physicists are right about being able to be in two places at once.  It would really come in handy this coming Saturday.  There are two major weaving events that are happening in Phoenix and I’m going to do my best to get to both of them.  Let’s talk about the first one today and then I’ll tell you more about the other one tomorrow. To give you some quick pointers to the events they are:

The Gathering of Weavers: Contemporary Navajo Weavers and Weaving

The two events are quite different and each will have its own distinct attraction for you depending on what you’re interested in.  The Gathering of Weavers features contemporary weavers representing their own work.  Some of the weavers will have traveled several hundred miles to attend and show their work on the grounds of the Heard, which is a beautiful setting.  It’s a great opportunity to meet people, discuss their work and purchase weaving directly from the artist.  Like any event of this type, you’ll find that some people are better at representing their work than others and it helps if you’re interested and a good listener.  A few of the weavers speak Navajo as their first language and will have family members there to interpret.  Often, you’ll need to inquire about how much money a weaver is asking for a particular piece.  The weaver’s pay 25% of any sales price to the museum, but otherwise there is no charge for their table space.   Frequently, a weaver may bring some small pieces to sell to help with travel expenses.  While the weavers are definitely there in the hope that their weaving will sell, they are also happy to speak with browsers and anyone  who is interested in weaving.  After all, they are potential rug buyers!  

The Gathering is usually a little less crowded and more relaxed than the Heard Museum Indian Market, which is held on the first weekend in March.  During the day, there will be talks by a weaver (Marlowe Katoney), two experts on collecting textiles (Ann Marshall and Bruce McGee) and a trader (Kent Morrow of Shiprock Trading).

Planning My Itinerary: Gathering of Weavers, Pueblo Grande

I’m planning to be at the Gathering of Weavers from the opening at 10 AM until about 11:30.  Then, I’m going to hop on the light rail and head to other major event in town, the Pueblo Grande auction, which has it’s own charms that we’ll discuss tomorrow.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy some pictures from last year’s Gathering of Weavers and plan to be there this year if you possibly can.  

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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