Rug of the Day: The Zoned Diamonds of Verna Smith

Weaving by Verna SmithA distinctive banded diamond weaving by Verna Smith of Ganado, AZ
Verna Smith weaving detail

If you click on this picture you may be surprised at how many colors are in the beige portion of the squash blossom.

Tempe, AZ Verna Smith’s meticulous blending of color and masterful weaving technique would be striking even without her eye-catching use of zones of contrasting design.  With her design sense, her weaving is recognizable as soon as you see it.  In the piece above, photographed last year at Richardson’s Trading Post in Gallup, New Mexico, using a Canon Powershot G10, Verna has adapted the familiar Saltillo Diamond pattern, adding five zones of simple stripes and maintaining the alignment of the diamond elements with pinpoint accuracy.   As you can see in the close-up of another of Verna’s pieces at left, good eyesight and attention to detail are hallmarks of her work.

Verna uses Top of the Lamb and Lamb’s Pride yarns from Brown Sheep Yarn Company of Mitchell, NE and she re-spins the yarns so that they will have the level of twist required for the design definition that she is looking for.  She carefully grades the colors from one design area to the next.  If you examine the beige portion of the squash blossom design at left, you may be surprised to see how many shades are manipulated to achieve the look.

Verna’s work sometimes appears at the Friends of Hubbell Native American Arts Auction as well as at Richardson’s Trading.  Verna is 39 years old and has 27 years of weaving experience.   Her work is somewhat polarizing; I find that people either like it a lot or they don’t like it all.  Everyone, however, recognizes that it is the work of an expert weaver.


Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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