Weaving in Beauty, June: A New Class, A New Marriage, New Friends

Cheryl, Eunice and Sarah

Cheryl Holbert (left) with Eunice Yazzie (center) and Sarah Natani at the wedding of Linda Larouche and Mark Winter

Tempe, AZ   This year was the first time that Jennie Slick and I have done five(!) classes in Window Rock.  The first of our new sessions was in June, soon after the Estes Park Wool Market, where we’d done a two day workshop in intermediate to advanced weaving techniques.  The southwestern summer was in full swing as the class started and we had dry weather for our field trips.  The timing of this class meant that we couldn’t take in a rug auction, but we made up for it by attending the wedding of Toadlena Trading Post’s Mark Winter and Linda Larouche.  There were hundreds of people gathered at Toadlena for the ceremony, which blended Navajo and Anglo tradition and brought Mark and Linda’s friends and family from near and far. 

As always, our students brought a wonderful mix of experience to the class.  Returning student Mike Barnette is a veteran of many classes in Navajo techniques and Cheryl Holbert, Michelle Grant and Francine Kavanaugh had some experience, but were new to Window Rock.  Barbara Bettigole is an accomplished tapestry weaver and Sarah Saulson teaches computer aided weaving techniques at Syracuse University.   Peggy Geyer is a multiple harness weaver and Jan Cohen was totally new to the world of weaving.  It is really fun to work with students at different skill levels and tailor the class content to their questions and it often leads both Jennie and I to look our own work in different ways. 

It’s also great to introduce the students to our friends from the area.  Lula and Herman Brown, who weave miniature rugs stopped by and Herman was particularly taken with the design that Michelle was working on.  He consulted with her on the design, but as she worked on it, she found that she needed to make some modifications and Herman wasn’t available to give his input on the changes.  Michelle was a little apprehensive when Herman and Lula stopped by on the last day of class.   Herman examined the nearly finished piece carefully and smiled his approval of the design.   You can see the pictures below. 

The early summer plants gave us great dyes, we basked in the sun at Canyon de Chelly and we wove early in the morning and far into the evening.  It was a great week to weave and the students made the most of it.  Just like all of our classes, it was the best class ever!  Click here to see more pictures.

Herman checks Michelle's work

Does Herman Brown approve of Michelle Grant's design changes?

Herman approves the design

Yes! Herman likes the design!

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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