Evelyn George’s Rug of the Day and Mark Winter’s Magnum Opus
Tempe, AZ The Two Grey Hills design is one of the patterns that leap immediately into people’s minds when they think of Navajo weaving. The browns, beiges, blacks and grays that form the Two Grey Hills palette harmonize with many different decorating schemes and the color limitations seem to spark the creativity of the weavers rather than stifling it. There is as much variety in the designs within this small area as there is in any other place within the Navajo Nation. Evelyn George’s designs go to the classic, even more spectacularly so because of the finely spun wools that she uses. Evelyn is a master weaver in the Navajo sense, meaning that she is involved with the production of a textile from the moment that a lamb is born to the day that a finished weaving goes into the hands of the next owner. She is noted for both the quality and coloration of her wool and her yearly clip is highly sought after by weavers in the Two Grey Hills area, which is one of the few places where hand preparation and spinning are still widely practiced and weavers using commercial yarns run the risk of being thought lazy.
You can read much more about Evelyn and dozens of other weavers in the Two Grey Hills area in Mark Winter’s recently published book The Master Weavers. Mark has spent over 25 years writing this book and it contains an information packed 608 pages with dozens and dozens of color pictures, family genealogies and historical background. Mark is the owner of the Toadlena Trading Post, and if you’ve visited there and talked with him, you’ve heard about the book for years and will appreciate the research and work that have gone into what is indeed his magnum opus. The book can be ordered from the Toadlena Trading Post website at $125 per copy plus shipping (it weighs a whopping seven pounds). It’s not priced to be an impulse item, but for serious collectors or students of the textile arts, it’s well worth the investment. Mark’s stories about the weavers and his stories about collecting the stories will keep you engaged and the pictures will bring you back to the book again and again. And yes, I paid $125 for my copy. You can’t buy advertising or articles on this site; my recommendations are based what I think about the subject or item in question. Mark did a fantastic job on this book and he should be proud of what he’s accomplished, but he also had some fantastic subject matter to work with.
If you have purchased the book, please leave a comment with your opinion of it!
Hagoshíí (so long for now)
Believe it or not, the book on Amazon is a paperback early version of the Clara Sherman chapter that is in the new book. This book is still available from the Toadlena Trading Post site for $16. I guess it pays to shop around!
Mary, I just found a 2004 edition of this book on Amazon for $334. How is Mark’s book mentioned in your posting different, or is this just a reissue of the 2004 book? In either case, I wish I could afford such a compendium. Maybe someday.
As for Evelyn George’s work, it’s absolutely beautiful. How proud she & her family must be of her talent.
I’ve purchasec this book. What a wonderful publication. The history is overwhelming, and the quality is superb. Excellent in history, and execution. Very pleased with the purchase.