Five years ago, Liz Munk, Jennie Slick and I decided that we wanted to add to the materials available to help people learn to weave the Navajo way. In particular, we wanted to provide a more detailed look at every phase of the warping process and add to the documentation on turned joins and diagonal lines. We figured we’d be done in a year. We got the warping portion done pretty quickly and it was well received. Then, I decided to leave Corporate America and concentrate on Weaving in Beauty as a company; the book languished and it might still be in that condition if it weren’t for our friends at Convergence 2010 and Weaving in Beauty student Mike Barnette. I’ll explain.
Jennie, Rose Dedman, Morris Muskett and I are doing a Boot Camp class for Convergence 2010 that will total 12 hours. It’s long enough to find out what Navajo weaving is all about, but students will hopefully want more information and support. The screws turned on my thumbs as I told myself that if the book were done, I’d feel better about the resources we were able provide. Then Mike Barnette asked me if I’d ever thought of doing a class online. I had, but once again, I knew that students would need media to support them at a distance and I also came to the nauseating realization that they’d also probably benefit from video, a nice augmentation to the book but a humbling check on what you really look like. I tried to get Julia Roberts interested in the video part, but she can’t weave so I bought new glasses that looked better in my web cam and started working on getting the book finished. It took six more months to get the book into final form. We’re still building up the video library.
‘Atł’óhí Binaltsoos (The Weaver’s Book) is 112 pages with over 140 picture illustrations, most of them in color. It’s in 8.5″x11″ format with a spiral binding that keeps it flat while you’re trying to figure out what’s on the pages. We made the font a 12 point Times Roman that early readers have found easy on the eyes. The book contains instructions for accessing the growing library of video support that accompanies the book. The book is priced at $35 and the first 100 copies will be back from the printer on July 2nd. You can pre-order a copy from the Weaving in Beauty Mercantile or you can use this link. We will have copies available for sale at our booth at Convergence 2010 (booth 722) and if you see me around town, I might have some in the car. We’ll be glad to autograph your copy, but Jennie and I live 250 miles apart, so it may take me a few days to add her signature. You can also purchase the book in PDF form for download at $18 and you’ll avoid postage, customs and waiting by the mail box. The PDF has print privileges, so you can get your own hard copy if you want to do that. Expect to pay about $25 to $30 for good color copies if you take the download option. I have a copy downloaded to my Motorola Droid and I access it with Beam Reader. I can’t say I’d recommend it as your only copy, but it is nice to refer to.
I would like to maintain a supply of books for Navajo weavers and students who cannot afford them. Please contact me if you would like to help with this effort.
You can see a sampling of the pages in the image flow slide show below. Click on any image to see it in a larger size.
Liz, Jennie and I would be glad to get your feedback on the book and we’re starting work on another volume that will deal with more advanced techniques, hopefully available in less than five years!
Thank you Convergence, Mike Barnette and all of our students for encouraging us to get this project moved forward.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)