320 or so rugs and 133 digital pictures later and the summer edition of the Smoki Museum Auction in Prescott, Arizona is history. There was a very large crowd and as is typical with this auction, many of the rugs sold are vintage pieces, some going back to the 1870’s. I bought two very badly damaged older rugs to see what I can with them in terms of restoration, so stay tuned and I’ll write about that as I get started with them. One of them is about 85 years old, and although it is in very bad condition, only about four of the handspun warps are broken. It does need to be substantially rewoven, so I’m not sure how much of the original weaving, especially in one half of the weaving, will be left when I’m done. There was one other rug that I bid on, but it went higher than I thought I should pay and I wanted to be sure I got this one, for which I paid the princely sum of $48. The picture at right isn’t really very good, and I’ll take a better one soon, I promise. I just love the design and the churro wool. It looks like someone liked it enough to clean it before it was sold. I always wonder where these older rugs have been and who the weavers were.
It was also fun to visit with Emily Blake and her family. They had each woven one or two rugs for the auction, which is nicely timed for back to school shopping for Larissa and Laramie. I have one of Larissa’s rugs with me and she would like to sell it for $1500. Larissa is one of the “Spider Rock Girls”. When her sister Lavera was about 12, she wanted to learn to weave and asked her Grandmother, Rose Yazzie to help her. Rose set up a warp, and when Lavera asked her for yarn, Rose gave her a basket of tiny balls of vegetally dyed yarn, some of them only about 1/4″ in diameter. Lavera used the tiny snippets to create a background of small bars of color and used black wool, which Rose had plenty of, for the design. Bruce Burnham loved the resulting rug, and coined the term Spider Rock Rug to describe the design although it really refers to the area where the girls live in the summer.
I haven’t had a chance to measure Larissa’s rug, but there’s a picture of Larissa with it at left. and you’ll see that she’s working on another new design idea that is kind of a fusion of an eyedazzler and optical illusion rug. I kind of like the term Chinle Dazzler, but maybe some of you readers will have other ideas. The rug will be in my online store tomorrow, and Larissa wants to try an Ebay auction. If it doesn’t sell, you’ll see it at the Hubbell Auction on August 25.
Well, it’s nearly checkout time here, so I’ll get packed up and head back down to Phoenix. Prescott’s about 15 degrees cooler than Phoenix, so this was a nice break from the heat as well as chance to visit with old friends and make new ones and then there are the rugs….