Jennie Slick and I managed to hit all the Four Corners states with classes during June and we also had a great drive across Wyoming added to the bargain. We found incredible interest in Navajo weaving techniques and culture where ever we went.
Our first stop was at Bear Lake, which is on the Oregon Trail right on the border of Utah and Idaho. We’ve been doing classes since 2006 and several of the students there have done multiple classes and are becoming very accomplished weavers (please see illustration below).
This year our new students included three Navajo women who did not have the opportunity to learn to weave as children. One of them is noted Canyon Records recording artist Delphine Tsinajinnie (link: http://store.canyonrecords.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=CR-6325). Two of our other students are nieces of the late master weaver Helen Curley and all three are doing beautiful work on their first pieces.
Moving on from the Lake, we taught two classes at the Estes Park Wool Market, one an abbreviated version our Navajo Weaving Boot Camp and the other a class in the Navajo hip spindle. I always worry that the short six hour days at the Wool Market workshops don’t provide enough instruction time for students, but we certainly enjoyed the time we spent and extended day one by finding a meeting room in a nearby hotel so that we could engage in some evening weaving.
Finally, we completed our Four Corners tour by teaching our Weaving in Beauty Textile Tour of the Navajo Nation in Window Rock from June 15th to the 22nd. That week took us spots in both Arizona and New Mexico. I’ve added a picture below. Four the students were returning from previous classes and brought friends with them and the new students quickly became friends, so it was more like a family reunion than a class. Here’s a picture below taken at Bill Malone Trading in Gallup, NM. Our whole class is pictured with Bill Malone and Bruce Burnham and another student had also dropped in, making it look like a real crowd scene. You can click on either picture for a larger view!
I’m working on an album of pictures from all of the classes, but in Estes Park I was too busy to take any pictures, so if you were there please send me some! You know what I’m going to say; they were the best classes ever!
We are about to hit the road again next week. This time, we’ll be at HGA’s Convergence in Long Beach, CA! We’ll be at Booth 724 in the Vendor Hall, so please stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.