This was day two of our weaving seminar in Window Rock and we were pleased to have a visit with Morris Muskett who is an accomplished weaver and silversmith as well as a civil engineer with the New Mexico Department of Transportation.  (Full disclosure:  I also do Morris’s web site).  Morris’s work encompasses an incredible range of genres and materials.   Some his work is traditional and classic,  some is contemporary and edgy and we thoroughly enjoyed talking weaving, jewelry and art in general with him.  Be sure to check his site for a look at what he does.

The weavers in the seminar are continuing work on their individual projects and two of them, Liz Munk and Roberta Sauerwein are working with raised outline, a complex technique that introduces surface texture to one side of the weaving.  It’s a manipulation of a basic striping technique that Navajo weavers call Coal Mine or Railroad Tracks and conventional handweavers call Pick and Pick.  Basic Navajo weaving is a plain weave technique in which weft yarns go over one and under one thread in each row.  If the weft travels under the thread in one row, it will go over it on the next row meaning that there are two positions or “sheds” for the warp threads to be in.  In the Coal Mine technique, all of the wefts going from right to left are one color and all of the threads going left two right are another color.  Navajo often say the threads are “chasing” each other.  Raised Outline introduces further complexity by varying the colors in the rows as they travel through the row.

Here’s a look at the start of Liz’ project in which she’s also using variegated yarn dyed by Marilou Schultz.

Liz Munk's Raised Outline project.

Liz Munk's raised outline project.

Liz is combining areas of Raised Outline with plain weave.  Here’s view of the raised outline area close up.

Detail of the Raised Outline portion of Liz' design.

Detail of the Raised Outline portion of Liz' design.

Roberta is going for a curved look to the raised outline area that she’s working on right now. She’s doing that by flattening the points in a jagged line to create the illusion of a curve. The contrast of the colors she’s using make it easy to see the outlined area.

A detail of

A detail of Roberta's weaving.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some pictures of the weaving that class insructor Jennie Slick is doing.

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  1. Libby McKee on August 12, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Mary,
    Tell Roberta and Liz “howdy” – wish I could see their rugs in person! Marsha and I are still hoping to see you and Jennie in the spring, so “howdy” to you both, as well! What a nifty new website! Libby