Sunday, October 28, 2007

Update: Conferences, Calls for Entry, & Workshops in Australia & Tucson, AZ

alpacas grazing in Sonoita, AZ

Fibers Through Time 2008: Connections With the Past
April 3 - 6, 2008
Tucson, AZ
Sponsored by: Arizona Federation of Weavers & Spinners Guilds, Inc.

Our Board of Directors and Conference Committee are delighted to bring you Fibers Through Time 2008. Because of scheduling conflicts at the Central Arizona College, we have moved our Fifth Biennial Conference to a new site – the Holiday Inn Palo Verde in Tucson, Arizona.

We will celebrate our Connections with the Past by sharing old traditions including historic patterns in the center pieces and scarves, and learning more about the history of fibers grown in our area from our keynote speaker, Dr. Glenna Dean, as she talks with us about the Archeology of Cotton.

Please join us in learning more about our crafts and their connections to the past and be inspired to stretch our abilities and imaginations to plan for future endeavors.
Elaine Ross, President

Keynote Speaker
Glenna Dean, Ph.D.

Dr. Glenna Dean's fascination with archaeology was sparked by 1950's National Geographics and her mother's few recollections of her own grandmother's Cherokee childhood. Glenna acted on this fascination by beginning her college archaeological field school the week after graduating from high school. Glenna says “I guess I was born curious about the past – I’ve been fascinated by how people lived in the past ever since I learned to read. I’ve always wanted to be able to experience first-hand what I’ve read about too, so I learned to spin and weave and dye yarns and make clothes and tan hides and all kinds of things. I love touching the past, whether it be an artifact or the pollen grains left in a pot from cooking supper a thousand years ago.”

Holding graduate degrees in archaeology and botany, Glenna specializes in archaeobotany, the study of people's interactions with plants as revealed in charred seeds, broken plant parts, pollen grains, basketry, sandals, and other textiles made of plant fibers. She came to the Historic Preservation Division, part of the Department of Cultural Affairs, State of New Mexico in 1994 and became the New Mexico State Archaeologist in October 1997. Her job is largely public outreach, meaning that she gives talks to groups, writes articles for publication, helps get important archaeological sites listed on the State Register of Cultural Property and the National Register of Historic Places, and stages the New Mexico Archaeology Fair in a different small town every year. She also works with the Office of the Medical Investigator, law enforcement officers and Indian tribes on the best things to do after human bones are accidentally discovered by hikers or during construction.

“The Archaeology of Cotton”, her keynote topic, seems straightforward enough: cotton was grown by Ancestral Puebloans in New Mexico and Arizona before the advent of Columbus. Spanish explorers remarked on the cotton fields lining the Rio Grande in the 16 and 17 centuries before sheep and wool c th th ompletely replaced the native crop. Cotton is the “natural” fiber of choice in today’s society. What’s the big deal? Prepare to be entertained and enlightened!

Juror’s Choice Exhibit
Claire Campbell Park, Juror

Claire Campbell Park is an artist, lecturer and curator. Her interests include color, fiber, mixed media, sculpture, weaving, basketry and cultural diversity. She received an M.F.A. from UCLA in 1978, and immediately became Head of the Color and Fiber areas at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Pima Community College is the nation’s eighth largest community college with 75,000 students. Teaching at Pima Community College has given Claire the opportunity to work with thousands of students from extremely varied geographical, cultural, economic, vocational and educational backgrounds and this has led to a creative philosophy that is both inspiring and accessible to a broad audience.

Claire exhibits and lectures nationally and internationally. Exhibits include “Made in California 1900-2000: Art, Image and Identity” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “The Twelfth International Biennial of Miniature Textiles” Szombathely, Hungary and “The International Textile Competition” Kyoto, Japan. Lecture venues include the Louvre and Ecole Nationale Sup6rieure des Arts D6coratifs, Paris; Seian College of Art, Kyoto; Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, India; and the University of South Australia, Adelaide. Claire researched Moroccan textiles and served as an exhibit consultant for the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.

Claire also leads retreats and workshops on Creativity, Culture and Spirituality - most recently for the Newman Center at the University of Arizona, and on Seeing Color and Light for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Conference Schedule
Thursday, April 3
Pre-conference tours
Wine and Cheese Party 6:30 to 8:30 pm
(transportation provided)
Registration 1:00 to 7:00 pm

Friday, April 4
Workshops 8:30 to 11:30 am
Vendors 11:00 to 5:00 pm
Workshops 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Vendors 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm
Keynote Speaker

Saturday, April 5
Workshops 8:30 to 11:30 am
Vendors 11:00 to 5:00 pm
Workshops 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Vendors 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm

Sunday, April 6
Workshop visitation 8:00 to 9:00 am
Workshops 9:00 to 12:00 pm
Vendors 10:00 a.m. to close

Juror’s Choice Exhibit will be open during lunch breaks Friday, Saturday and Sunday, one hour before the start of morning workshops Saturday and Sunday and Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. Volunteers will monitor the gallery during these times. Participants must deliver their entries to the Barcelona room off the main lobby no later than Friday morning at 8:00AM. All entries must be picked up at 1:00PM on Sunday.

For complete information regarding the conference, visit the Arizona Federation of Weavers & Spinners Guilds website to view a downloadable version of the registration booklet. You do not need to be a member of an Arizona guild to register!

custom tapestry forks by John Jenkins of Magpie Woodworks

TAPESTRY 2008: The Fine Art of Weaving
April - May, 2008

Contemporary woven tapestry's rich colours, strong images, tactile and malleable surfaces, range of scale from small to monumental, and handcrafted expertise, make it an exciting artistic medium. It possesses a powerful physical presence and is able to impart permanence through its timeless qualities together with images relevant to the modern world.

It has a short history in Australia, developed through the contemporary craft movement, community tapestry projects, the Victorian Tapestry Workshop and other artists and arts organizations. The main influences here are from European traditions dating back to the medieval period. In the Renaissance, Raphael's tapestry cartoons depicting the “Acts of the Apostles” established a close relationship between teams of tapestry artisans and painters. This way of working continued through to William Morris who brought about changes in design for tapestry, refined the use of colour and reinstated tapestry as an art form of its own right. French painter Jean Lurcat and Scottish master weaver Archie Brennan then developed and shaped the European and related North American and Australian movements in the 20thC. However other models for tapestry production exist in Scandinavia, South America, the Middle East and Asia where images intrinsically linked to the warp and weft structure are produced, with no reference to painting. In these cultures tapestry is firmly part of weaving culture. This project highlights the global diversity of tapestry and the exciting new developments in relation to weaving/Fine Art. The aim is to increase a wider understanding, create awareness and appreciation, encourage critical debate and provide alternative models for artists to develop. Through this stimulation tapestry can continue to evolve into relevant forms for the future.

THE PROGRAM – 2 APRIL-7 MAY 2008, Canberra, Australia
“TAPESTRY 2008” builds on the momentum of previous events in Australia and overseas and explores the relationships between visual art, tapestry and the craft of weaving, internationally. It brings together weavers in the community, professional practitioners, educators, students, collectors, critics, theorists and historians from around the world for exchange of ideas, interaction, practical learning, exposure to new works and informed debate. The conference stimulates critical discussion and the program of exhibitions, focussed talks with tapestries in collections and institutions including National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House, Department of Foreign Affairs plus practical workshops and seminars reaches a wide audience and provides development opportunities for artists.

The Conference – Friday 2- Saturday 3 May 2008, The Australian National University, School of Art.
Papers presented on tapestry and its relationship to art/weaving to investigate and seek solutions to issues of originality, creative content, authenticity and appropriateness of design process with a view to developing the art practice. Themes addressed include but are not restricted to:
Sharing experiences and the relationship of the artist/weaver to tapestry
Investigations of the techniques of weaving and tapestry cross-culturally
Community engagement with tapestry to create a sustainable and relevant future
Increasing the profile - collectors, the patron and tapestry for public places
Cultural diversity – tapestry from specific cultural traditions
Engaging with new technologies and applications - contemporary developments/perspectives
Creating greater income for artists through design, collaboration, industry involvement
Creative marketing, web profile and raising public awareness
Producing opportunities for international exposure and commissions

Master classes and Seminar Program – 30 April – 7 May
Workshops with leading professional artists to investigate approaches to technique/design/image-making including 3-hour seminars on developing professional skills and running a community tapestry project.

Exhibition Program – 2 April – 4 May
Lao PDR Tapestry: “Weaving Dreams and Aspirations”

ANU, School of Art Foyer
Fine silk tapestries from the rich artistic tradition of Laos where the weaver works directly at the loom creating a composition of patterns, symbols and motifs. She invests her life in the fabric and it tells of her hopes, dreams, ambitions, sense of self and position in the world.

“The Fine Art of Tapestry Weaving”
School of Art Gallery
Aino Kajaniemi, Finland, Susan Mowatt, Scotland, Yasuko Fujino, Japan, Sue Lawty, GB, Sara Lindsay, Australia, Jane Kidd, Canada and Fiona Rutherford, GB.

The Tapestry Foundation of Victoria Open Entry International Award Exhibition to encourage emerging artists and recognise professional artists.

“En Pleine Air Tapestries - A Month at Bundanon: Tapestries and Drawings by Cresside Collette”
curated by Alison French, at the Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra.
There will be focussed talks at public venues displaying tapestries in Canberra .

The program will take place 20 years on from the International Tapestry Symposium, held in Melbourne in 1988. This previous event was the first truly global event of its kind in the world and the impact was far-reaching. In the last two decades there have been considerable changes that have impacted on the field in a range of arenas including economies, interest in minority/traditional/sustainable cultures, directions of art/architecture/design to the exploding world of technology. What place has tapestry now? Finding the answers to this question is crucial for the dynamic future of this art form. The program for TAPESTRY 2008 has been carefully considered and designed to address the emerging issues and to seek solutions. As such there are many anticipated opportunities and outcomes for artists and the wider public.
Bringing people together from many traditions, fields of art practice and countries will be an important aspect as many individual artists work in isolation; groups are separated by distance, financial constraints and lack of networks encompassing the breadth of the weaving/tapestry/art field. Often artists are pigeon-holed in art, craft, design fields and not provided with the opportunity to cross-fertilise ideas and ways of working or practically work across/between or change disciplines. Participants will be able to engage in discussion, compare techniques and consider new approaches, stimulating ways to move forward. They will be able to practically engage in master classes to learn weaving/tapestry/art skills from their own discipline or another. Tapestry 2008 will re-invigorate the perception of the practice, introduce emerging artists to the field, arm professional practitioners with new perspectives and professional skills and confirm a valued place for tapestry in the cultural landscape.

****Information subject to change. Please e-mail: and ask to be added to the TAPESTRY 2008 group mailing list if you are not already on the list.*********************

Call for entry:

The Tapestry Foundation of Victoria
Award Exhibition
The Australian National University, School of Art
9 APRIL – 3 MAY 2008

Laura Stewart, “In My Garden” detail

A major tapestry event will be held in Canberra, Australia in 2008. There will be a program of
exhibitions, focussed talks with tapestries in collections and institutions, practical workshops, seminars and symposium, TAPESTRY 2008: The Fine Art of Weaving 1-4 MAY 2008. This will build on the momentum of previous events in Australia and will explore the relationships between Fine Art, Tapestry and Weaving. The event will bring together practitioners, educators, students, collectors, critics, theorists and historians for exchange of ideas, interaction, practical learning, exposure to new works and informed debate. In recognition of the strength of contemporary tapestry world wide, there will be an open submission award exhibition.

1. Tapestries must address the theme “LAND”. This could be but is not restricted to depicting the landscape from traditional or non traditional perspectives, dealing with issues of land
ownership, preservation of land, economics/social/cultural/spiritual issues relating to land,
ecology, environmental issues etc
2. The exhibition is open to all tapestry weavers internationally. Students through to professional weavers are encouraged to submit works.
3. The tapestry must measure 10 cm in height by as long as you want (i.e. horizontal landscape
format). Tapestries will be hung in one line with space between the works at eye level.
4. No frames, but tapestries finished off ready to hang by pinning or Velcro sewn on the back.
5. There will be a major award of $1000 and an award of $500 for an emerging artist (student or working in tapestry for less than 5 years).
6. The judge’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
7. Entries must be delivered to ANU, School of Art, Textiles Building 105 ACTON ACT 0200,
AUSTRALIA, by 21 March 2008. They must be free of all freight and other charges.
8. An A4 page with a title, an artist’s statement about the work, details of the artist, sketch or
design work for the tapestry, suitable to photocopy and present in a folder for viewers to access
should accompany the work in hard copy and in digital form on CD if possible.
9. Artist’s name and title of the work must be attached to the back of the tapestry.
10. Entry form must be returned with the work.
11. Insurance for the work in transit and while at the gallery is the responsibility of the artist.
12. Sales of work can be arranged directly between buyer and artist.
13. It is the responsibility of the artist to arrange and pay for the return freight of the work within 2 weeks of the exhibition closing.
Please distribute this information to anyone else interested.
Please e-mail an expression of interest in participating to:
The Tapestry Foundation of Victoria Award Exhibition
The Australian National University, School of Art 9 APRIL – 3 MAY 2008
Entries and forms must be delivered to ANU, School of Art, Textiles Building 105 ACTON ACT
0200, AUSTRALIA, by 21 March 2008. They must be free of all freight and other charges.
Phone number
Established artist or emerging artist/student
Permission to use image of tapestry for publicity yes no ?
Title of Tapestry
Date of production Dimensions
Details for return of work:
Artist’s Checklist:
_ Entry Form
_ A4 statement/bio/etc hardcopy and if possible on cd.
_ Tapestry finished and ready to hang with pins/Velcro on back
_ Artist’s name and title of work on back of tapestry
TO BE DELIVERED to ANU, School of Art, Textiles, Building 105 ACTON ACT 0200,
AUSTRALIA, by 21 March 2008.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DTW Newsletter, October 2007: Desert Meditations, part 1

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Desert Tapestry Weavers newsletter. We hope that this finds everyone happy, well, and getting some good loom time in!

We also hope that everyone is enjoying the shift into a new season—fall in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern parts of the globe. As all of us who love the desert know, the shift can be subtle, discernible only to those who know the land well, or perhaps not so subtle, as in the incredible burst of life that usually follows any measurable amount of precipitation or the increased plant and animal activity with the return of warmer temps, depending on the season.

What most of you will notice isn’t so subtle is the smaller size of this newsletter in comparison to our first. Thank you so much to those weavers who were able to submit articles and photos for the rest of us to enjoy. We know how hard it is to find time to do so when there are tapestries to design and weave, workshops to teach and attend, and all of the other issues that pop up in life. After much consideration as to why we didn’t receive as many articles and announcements as we had hoped for, we came to the conclusion that perhaps our goal to publish 4 times a year was a bit too lofty. As well, tapestry weaving is a slower process than other art forms, and tapestry weavers tend to be a busy bunch of people! So, taking those issues into consideration, coupled with our wish that the newsletter consist of submissions from as many members as possible in order to nurture the sharing and inspiration concept we had upon founding the group, we have made the decision to only publish twice a year at this point in time, May and November. If we see that submissions begin to become too numerous to be contained within one newsletter, we will expand the number of publications. We encourage everyone in the interim between newsletters to submit news of exhibitions your work is included in, workshops you are teaching or have heard about, or anything else that has a timeline which would be missed if it waited for the formal newsletter. We will post those types of announcements on the website in the same manner that the newsletters are now being posted.

Please enjoy this issue. It is our sincere desire that it will inspire everyone to consider participating in the online exhibit next spring!

Lyn Hart & Kathy Perkins


Desert Tapestry Weavers Internet Show
As announced in our inaugural newsletter, we will be sponsoring an Internet exhibit for members of Desert Tapestry Weavers. Although our goal is to eventually have an actual show in some fabulous desert gallery or exhibition space, our hope for this exhibit is that everyone participates.

The show’s title, Desert Meditations, was selected because it is inclusive of all things desert. Whether you interpret it as a specific thing or place, or as an abstract tapestry reflecting a mood or sense of place, it does not matter. All entries are welcomed.

~jpeg or gif format (include file name in your email, please!)
~name and size of tapestry, plus materials used
Some specifics:
~all entries will be accepted
~there is no size constraint
~the work can be current or from the past
~include a short statement (200 words or less) about the tapestry
Files are due to Lyn ( by May 1, 2008 so the show can be posted by our first anniversary, May 22, 2008.

We know everyone is busy with all the other deadlines out there, but this one is months later and, hopefully, can be viewed as an opportunity to unwind and weave a tapestry that reflects your connection to the desert.

Kathy P. & Lyn

Weavings & Wanderings

Rocks of the Colorado Plateau by Karen Page Crislip

Five of my tapestries (including my first large format piece, woven over a dozen years ago) and the very large tapestry I am currently working on are in my favorite, what I call my “Rock Striation,” series. I live part of the year in Estes Park, Colorado (the eastern gateway to the lush and fertile Rocky Mountain National Park) and part of the year in Albuquerque, New Mexico—yet it is the desert that most inspires me, not the mountains. In the beginning I thought it was because I had lived in the Rockies for 30 years, and the desert southwest contained “new” and surprising scenery for me—rock striations whose colors changed with the time of year, the time of day, the weather, my mood, etc. Then I thought that my fascination might have something to do with Willa Cather’s description of the landscape in New Mexico as being “unfinished” by its creator (in Death Comes to the Archbishop). What a challenge and ultimate high for an artist—to “finish” the desert landscape! But then I realized that my tapestries weren’t really finishing what I saw, smelled, heard, touched--even tasted. But I was expressing my own impressions of these sensory experiences—by the subject I chose to weave, the fiber I used, the size of the piece, the limitations I imposed, the artistic liberties I took, etc. We can’t always explain love—maybe it’s the emptiness we feel when who or what is loved isn’t present. I just know that I do love the desert and keep returning to it—and I love weaving rocks!

“Sweet Light on Sandstone” Karen Page Crislip
Wool Weft/Cotton Warp
2’ square

Bengt Erikson, AZ
I am a newcomer to the Southwest. I'm a little like the Isherwood camera, what you see is what you get!

The first tapestry completed after Bengt’s relocation to Arizona, seen here fresh off the loom, is based on his view of the Rincon Mountains from his studio.

An earlier Erikson tapestry.

My Desert Meditations by Lyn Hart

I’ve been practicing yoga about 8 years, more or less. I “discovered” it after moving here to the desert 10 years ago; in the small southern town where I lived most of my young adult life, things like “yoga” just weren’t done. Of all of the poses I’ve twisted my body into during these years, the hardest are still the meditation poses at the beginning and end of class. Try as I may, although I can attain perfect stillness of my physical body and maintain a deep relaxing breath, my mind scurries furiously from one subject to the next, like a hyped-up hamster in a very squeaky, wobbly wheel. The one place I have found that my mind can usually achieve its most still and calm state is outside in the desert.

In thinking about this, I have discovered that for me this feeling is a meditation of sorts and with further consideration I have identified that the experience is a moving meditation arranged in concentric circles, the innermost being very near my back door and the furthermost extending many miles beyond my home.

cactus wren, 4" x 6"

Most every morning, I sit outside with my coffee, while my dog, Roux, wanders about being a dog. I contemplate the environment near my back door and ramada, watching, listening to, and smelling the desert as it awakens with me. Each season brings with it its particular plethora of plants, insects, flowers, birds, animals, fragrances, and light. Morning coffee, evening wine and beer are enjoyed back here, and I do my natural dyeing in this area. Our property is large by city standards, almost 5 acres; my husband Dennis and I practice xeriscaping so that plant life (and everything associated with it) is most lush in certain areas nearest the house and then gradually transitions to pure desert, still lush because it is the Sonoran desert, but living life on its own without our assistance or interference.

Movement into the next circle occurs when Roux and I take walks around the perimeter of the area the previous owner had bladed in order to keep horses, something around the size of two acres. The path is a minimalistic labyrinth of sorts, the most complicated the walk becomes is maybe a figure 8. Over the years we have observed this area’s revegetation, measured small saguaro cactus against our own heights until they became taller than us and started putting on arms, come out to see water running in the little washes after storms, cherished every new plant that pushed its way up through the baked earth. But, while I take note of the immediate environment while Roux and I are walking, it is far and away that my eyes are drawn, to the mountains that encircle the Tucson basin. The Santa Catalinas to the east, the closest mountains at about 5 or so miles away, are usually featureless cardboard cutouts with either a sunrise or the sun itself shining from behind them in the mornings. During monsoon weather, more of their features can be seen in the morning light, but they may also be cloaked in clouds and mist. At times, they may be covered in glittery white snow. During the day they are fortresses of craggy granite. At days’ end, they may blush with the glow from the sunsets. To the southwest, Wasson Peak in the Tucson Mountains obsesses me as I continually try to capture with my digital camera its ridges and folds that stand out in such vivid, yet soft contrast in the morning light. Behind it, some 50 miles or so from where I can see it, Kitt Peak Observatory is a gleaming white dot, perched in the Quinlan Mountains of the Tohono O’Odham Nation. The other mountains aren’t as readily visible as they once were when we first moved here because trees have become taller—the Santa Ritas to the south and the Tortolitas to the north.

The outermost circle has no fixed boundary because it encompasses areas in the southwest were we’ve traveled and become enamored of, and I hope this circle becomes ever expanding. As of now, of all the places we’ve been my mind’s eye instantly thinks of the vast vistas of the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona where we have traveled through many times to make trips into the Grand Canyon, to Marble and Paria Canyons, and in the past when our other dog was still alive and they were both young, pontoon boat camping in Lake Powell. The views of the Echo Cliffs and Vermillion Cliffs sing in my soul and are able to most successfully put my chattering mind to rest. How can a person possibly think of anything else when those beautiful, eroded, magical, majestic, massive, rugged, earthen cliff faces are staring at you, shifting into myriads of shades of red, rust, orange, brown, and purple with every second of the sun’s progression across the sky or every cloud shadow, except… I want to weave that!

Sky Island Tapestry: Part 2 by Jane Hoffman
In my first article I talked about my inspiration behind the creation of my “Sky Island” tapestry. Currently six of the twelve 8 inch x 8 inch components are completed. Now I would like to share with you some of the technical aspects of this tapestry.

Back in the mid-1970s, when I first learned to weave tapestry as an art major at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, the trend was to weave highly textured pieces with loops, heavy yarn, beads and fringe. Slowly my work evolved away from texture, until in the late 1990s, I wove a landscape of all one brand of single ply yarn from Burnham Trading Post’s Wild ‘n Wooly Yarn. I dyed most of the yarn with natural dyes, which gave me the true colors of the high desert cinder cones near my home. After weaving “Cinder Cone”, I realized I really missed the qualities of texture in my work. Now, coming full circle, texture is very evident in “Sky Islands”.

Jane with Cinder Cone

As a designer of tapestry, the qualities that I am drawn to that texture provides include: more light reflection, more detail to the foreground in landscape, and surface depth with the combination of smooth and pile surface areas. As a weaver of tapestry, I enjoy handling a variety of fiber from fuzzy mohair, soft alpaca, luminous silk, smooth linen, and of course wool. For “Sky Islands”, I have superimposed predator and raptor tracks over parts of the landscape. The tracks are woven with silk, linen, and alpaca against the landscape background of wool and mohair. The depth of the mohair makes the tracks appear sunken into the landscape.

I have always used natural dyes and synthetic dyes to round out my color palette. I am not a purist when it comes to dyeing my yarn. As an artist, the priority is to have a full color palette whether the yarn is commercially dyed or dyed by me. Because I primarily weave tapestry or plant life, I do most of my dyeing with natural dyes. Natural dyes produce the colors found in my landscape – high desert to mountain mixed-conifer forests here along the Arizona/New Mexico border.

My design for “Sky Islands” began with a concept. It does not depict a real place as many of my landscapes do. Usually I begin with a photograph and then I paint a watercolor using the photograph as my guide. Starting with a concept rather than a photograph, freed me from realism and allowed me to design the tapestry with elements that represent my idea of reconnecting the fractured landscape. I began with a watercolor sketch that depicted a vista from the top of one sky island with a view across the desert floor to another sky island on the horizon. The watercolor was then enlarged to full scale and cut up into twelve separate 8 inch x 8 inch cartoons. Each cartoon was then removed from the maquette and hung behind the warp when it was its turn to be woven.

Weaving a composite tapestry such as “Sky Islands” has presented challenges. The overall design of the twelve 8 inch x 8 inch components must take into account the 1 inch separating space between each one when they are displayed on the wall. It is also very important to keep track of wefts that flow from one component to another. Each of the twelve components is numbered. I have a bin with labeled plastic bags to identify wefts and their location in the landscape. I write notes on the cartoon, my weaving time log, and in my notebook. I listen to the advice of my husband who has over 30 years of experience in managing, hiking, trail-building, and advocating for wilderness areas in the southwest. His passion for saving wild places inspired me to weave “Sky Islands”.

clockwise from upper left : Bear detail; Cougar; Racoon on loom

In a future article I will cover the challenges of mounting and hanging this tapestry composite.

I would love to hear from you!

Jane Hoffman

My websites: and

My email:

Desert Magic by Kathy Perkins
Each desert sojourner finds their own magic in the sand, rocks, and sky of arid environments. When I first met the desert I was most excited about the huge possibilities for exploration. But soon the desert started resonating in different ways and over time there came to be one thing more than any other that defined desert for me: silence. Silence from the modern world; silence from the daily chaos. I continue to long for that silence, I constantly seek it, but I rarely find it.

Eons ago when I lived in California, taught in an overcrowded Orange County high school, battled the nightmarish freeways twice a day and, basically, had no life of my own, I found refuge from this chaotic world in the desert. After a grueling work week we would escape to Anza Borrego Desert State Park or Joshua Tree National Monument (now Park). It was a total mood altering experience for me and I still recall the first hour upon arriving at our destination as the most glorious--most glorious because it was a place of silence, a place for meditation. I can still feel the stress falling away as I drank in the solitude of my favorite, hidden places.

Among the places of peace and serenity that I often sought were the boulder piles of Joshua Tree. With some agility, long since passed, I could crawl, claw and climb to a secluded alcove and listen to the sounds of nature. My favorite and the most memorable sound was the croak of raven and the wind whistling through his wing feathers.

Now I live in Santa Fe, a very high desert environment and here I am certainly surrounded by the noise of traffic and town. I find the croak of the raven daily, but silence is still hard to come by. I frequently go to the national forest, which by rainfall statistics is a desert, and it is most often quiet, but not same quiet as found in the deserts of long ago escapes. For those peaceful days in desert California I need to go to memory, for even now those very places have changed beyond recognition by the sheer numbers of people who visit. Silence, the soul of wilderness, is becoming increasingly difficult to find.

(Egypt’s Western Desert)


Sand speaks eternally of water. Wind-shaped into ripples,
it stretches far … white mimicking the ocean.

My fragile skin wrapped in yard upon yard of rainbow-
woven cloth, still the sand filters in as our little tin
oven on wheels rattles across the desert.

Bedouin acquire, young, the “desert eye” that reads
clouds, sun, the shadows on the dunes to find
survival’s landmarks:

the lone acacia, centuries old, twisted and black,
reaching deep beneath the desert floor to draw life
molecule by molecule from an invisible well.

And these dark, high-soaring desert birds?
Surely somewhere, in this infinity of dunes
they, too, find sustenance. Find solace.


Towering rocks, sand-bitten into parodies—
cobra, lion, giant mushroom—stand about,
stark and white.

Sun arrived at its blind zenith, a camel train rests
in their meager shade, five knob-kneed mountains
of dusty cloth crouched on the sand,
while a few yards off, their turbaned driver
sleeps and watches, watches and sleeps.


Dung beetle, disk of gold, this high, molten sun
is born each day, they way, of woman
and set to float in a mystical ship across the sky

from the black, basalt dunes of the East
to the blazing White Sahara. And here, at dusk,
the goddess Nut swallows it up again.

Legs, belly and rib cage stretched the whole length
of heaven, she lets its bright burning
move all night, invisible, through the core of her—

until, at dawn, the new sun emerges,
round, red and glistening,
from between her attenuated thighs.


This shell I plucked from the sand, small,
translucent, gently cupped like my fingernail—
it is a survivor, too.

And what am I in the desert? Sand grit
insinuated into every crevice
of my being, I cling to the thought
of the slender, black umbilicus,
all that joins us, mingy flea-
bitten oasis by oasis to—
far beyond our sight—almost
beyond imagining—
the lush, green belt of the Nile.


Sand erases tears and the incidents of our days.

Like years, the desert stretches before and behind,
potsherds and crumbled brick
all that remains of history’s brave outposts.

And yet, look, in a cranny scratched
out of the rock that rises close,
here, beneath earth’s crystalline skin,

a farmer and his infant son lie, spiced, wrapped
and buried for eternity, the tiny bundle placed to rest
on the breast of the large.

-- Mary Coolidge Cost,
from Goldfinch and Memory
(Steamboat Press, 2005)


to enter:

American Tapestry Biennial Seven (ATB 7)
Juror: Susan Warner Keene, Canadian artist, educator and independent writer/curator
Entry Form due November 30, 2007:
ATB7 Entry Form
University of Tampa Scarfone/Hartley Gallery in Tampa, Florida in conjunction with Convergence 2008. (June or July 2008)
Other venues to be announced.

Earth, Air, Fire, Water
Tohono Chul Park, Tucson AZ
January 17 – March 9, 2008

Tohono Chul Park, an arts and cultural center located within a 49-acre desert garden in Tucson, AZ is seeking submissions for Earth, Air, Fire, Water, an upcoming exhibit that will feature a range of styles and different approaches by Southwest artists.

Element (eľ ə-mənt)
1. A fundamental or essential part of a whole.
2. The forces that collectively constitute the weather, esp. inclement weather.
3. The physical manifestations or material substances, but also as spiritual essences

Earth (ûrth), n.
1. The planet on which human beings live, the third planet from the sun.
2. The land surface of the world; ground.
3. Soil, dirt.

Air (âr), n.
A colorless, odorless, tasteless, gaseous mixture chiefly nitrogen and oxygen.
The earth’s atmosphere; overhead space; sky; the firmament
A breeze, wind.

Fire (fīr), n.
A rapid, self-sustaining chemical reaction that gives off light and heat,
A destructive burning; conflagration.
To ignite; flame.

Water (wô΄tər), n.
A clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid that is essential for most plant and animal life and is of various forms of water, as rain.
A body of water, as an ocean, lake, river, or stream.

Through artists’ eyes, the exhibit takes a closer look at the four elements and the powerful forces that impact the planet, and specifically the Southwest region. Artworks may be inspired by the elements in action: the ripples in sand dunes, dust devils, brooding clouds and monsoon sheets of rain, reflections in a quiet pool, etched rocks from erosion, a fiery sunset, lightning bolts, wildfires. Or work may be more abstract: interpreting elemental symbols, sculptures made with earth, sand, pebbles, twigs, and other media that reflects the theme. Paintings, photographs, works in clay, fiber, metals, mixed media, and other media approaches are encouraged as submissions.

Submissions accepted: through Dec 1, 2007
To submit work for consideration, please provide full contact info (name, address, phone, email), object info (title, media, & size of work) along with visual materials and a brief statement about the work as it relates to the theme.

Slides, photos or CDs of completed work may be submitted by mail to: (Please include SASE)
Vicki Donkersley, Curator of Exhibitions
Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704
Or digital images may be submitted by email to:

Tohono Chul Park, where nature, art and culture connect, is a not-for-profit organization located in a residential setting in northwest Tucson. The Park is a 49-acre desert garden with a charming 75 year-old restored adobe building providing space for changing art exhibits. It has an active cultural program and a family-oriented audience. Gallery hours are 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily. Our website is

Questions: Call Vicki Donkersley, 520-742-6455 x 218 or email at above address.

Vicki Donkersley
Curator of Exhibitions
Tohono Chul Park
7366 N. Paseo del Norte
Tucson, AZ 85704

Woven Gems
American Tapestry Alliance - Small Format Exhibitions

• The exhibit is open to all artists working with small format handwoven tapestry
• Tapestry is defined as handwoven, weft-faced fabric with discontinuous wefts.
• The size of the tapestry may not exceed 10" x 10" x 1" deep (25cm x 25cm x 2.5cm).
• Artists may submit one piece. Group challenges and mentoring projects are encouraged.
• Work must be original, executed by the entrant, of recent completion and not shown in a prior ATA or HGA show.
• The tapestry must be available for the duration of the exhibit.
For more information and entry form, download the .pdf file, print it on your printer and follow the directions.
Entry Form due January 15, 2008:
Woven Gems Entry Form (color) .pdf
Venue and Exhibition Dates:
TECO Plaza Art Gallery, 702 No. Franklin St., Tampa, Florida
June 1 to July 31, 2008

to visit:

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead: The Gift of Remembrance
August 23 – November 4, 2007
Tohono Chul Park
Tucson, AZ
DTW members represented – Su Egen, Lyn Hart

to see online:

GRAND IDEAS 2006 - Small Format Tapestry
American Tapestry Alliance
June 18 - July 24, 2006 (was installed during this time, but it is still posted for view on ATA's website)


Channeling your Muse: Experimentation, Research, Innovation, Design
Educational Events at Convergence 2008: ATA Sponsored Programs
ATA's 2008 Educational Retreat
Tuck your muse in a beach bag and set sail for Tampa Bay to join talented tapestry artists Joan Baxter ( and Mary Zicafoose (! Dive into ATA's educational retreat and stuff your treasure chest of creativity with tools that will make your tapestries shine. Like hunting for buried gems, you will discover: strategies to identify, develop, and personalize design concepts and resources; skills and motivation to move beyond the initial design phase; formal tactics for concept expansion; image manipulation; dynamic use of color; and methods to catch and ride your wave of creativity.
Whether new, novice, or seasoned, all weavers will uncover pearls of wisdom during this tropical retreat! ATA's retreat will follow Convergence 2008 in Tampa Bay, from June 29 through July 1, 2008. Registration materials will be available by December 2008. Mark your calendars!



Tapestry Handbook: The Next Generation
Carol Russell
ISBN: 9780764327568
The newly released updated edition; it is a little different than the original Tapestry Handbook in layout and appearance. It has been expanded and includes much content the first did not, but the most apparent change is the updated tapestry artist representation. Congrats to fellow DTW artists, Elizabeth J. Buckley and Nancy Jackson! Each had two beautiful tapestries included in this publication. For those of you who are also ATA members, the many other familiar names and tapestries you will find within reads like a list of old friends!

Next Issue

The next issue will host and present the Desert Tapestry Weavers online exhibit, Desert Meditations. Please feel free to also submit other articles & news— it will be posted as “regular newsletter” content following the exhibited tapestries.
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2008.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

DTW Newsletter, July 2007: Who we are & how we define "desert"

For this very first DTW newsletter, we called on members to submit brief articles about themselves, their tapestries, their weaving lives, and how the desert influences all of the above so we could “meet” each other. Many members also sent images of their work. Thank you to everyone who took time away from the loom to contribute. If you are among those who weren’t able to chip in for this edition to introduce yourselves or write an article, keep in mind that you may always do so in a future newsletter!

Please remember this is an interactive newsletter… you may leave comments in regards to anything you read in this edition by clicking on the “comment” link at the bottom of this post. If you are unsure of how to do this, please visit this previous post which gives instructions.

We hope everyone enjoys this marvelous first issue!

Lyn Hart & Kathy Perkins

The Desert as Muse by Katherine Perkins
The word desert elicits a visceral response in most people. For some it is the epitome of negative: hot (or cold), arid, barren. Since one of the definitions of desert is “a desolate or forbidding area” it is natural some would view desert negatively. However, for others of us the vastness, ruggedness, stark beauty, solitude, and silence that make it forbidding for some are viewed by us as positives. We find the words “desolate and forbidding” mysterious, inviting, and surreal.

Although the desert was the birthplace of major world religions, site of numerous exploratory expeditions and subject for historians and novelists, many are still repelled by the awesomeness of desert. Brought up on a curriculum based on European history, literature, ethics, and art, most modern sojourners have little knowledge of desert. Verdure became the archetype of proper art, romance writers chose Paris or Rome as the center of their writings, the nations of Europe became the historical emphasis.

So, to be a desert rat, a lover of barren tracks of land, an artist who celebrates desert, you will have found your own sources of inspiration. Perhaps it is your years of living in the desert, or the search for books and movies that inspired desert travel.

But, the question remains, what is it about desert that nourishes the soul and acts as muse to the artist in us? The light, the color, the air, the aridity, the vastness and the barrenness, the wind, the silence and the sounds, the horizon, the shapes, the smell, the geology.

Upon arriving in the desert we are instantly aware of the air. It touches our body and our mind. Our skin feels the essence of sun, shade, aridity, wind. Everything is in sharp relief and the colors are enhanced by the lack of humidity. We want, somehow, to share this feeling in our art. We try to get the feeling of the light, the colors, the space we are in. Georgia O’Keeffe comes to mind as an artist who captured the colors and light of high desert country in her paintings of the area around Abiquiu.

Because the air is dry, the land is barren and little populated, much of the desert has a vastness that can chill the soul. Paul Bowles, in his book “The Sheltering Sky,” uses his two protagonists to illustrate this power of desert. The desert vastness and its far reaching horizons serve as an inspiration and all powerful force for one character, and as a source of terror and suppression of soul for the other. Bowles shows how the endless expanse of desert can manifest itself upon the human psyche.

Sand/Stone Motif
19" x 29"
Mary Cost
Santa Fe, New Mexico

The movies “Lawrence of Arabia” (from the writings by T.E. Lawrence), and to a lesser extent “The English Patient” (from the novel by Michael Ondaatje) are masterpieces of desert photography. If you are exhilarated by wide open, arid, “lifeless” land, the incredible scenes of the vast North African deserts and the sense of man’s insignificant place among the towering sand mountains will mesmerize you. It is also clear in both movies how the desert played on the psyche of the characters. The English patient revels in the awesomeness of desert, having his favorite quotes from Herodotus read to him over and over until the day he dies. T.E. Lawrence, on the other hand, is driven mad by his years in the desert. But, there is no escaping in either movie how intense the landscape is, and how it plays on a person’s inner soul--and how much the artist in us wants to depict that which touches our senses.

The sound of desert stirs us to try to convey something far more difficult--the sound of wind, sand storm, rain, thunder, flash flood, wind moving through flapping raven wings, and myriad other minute noises that will stay with us long after our desert days have passed. If one has been in a sand storm and then sees an image of a storm can one hear the sounds? Can a viewer of a tapestry of a flying raven hear in his/her mind the sound of wings upon the wind? Can images depicting wind actually awaken that sound in the mind?

Windy Ridge
c 2006, 28" x 36"
Katherine Perkins
Santa Fe, NM

The smell of desert is even more difficult to convey, but it, nonetheless, acts as muse in subtle ways. To this day, for me the smell of sage is associated with my childhood summer vacations in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. It reminds me of traveling up Hwy. 395, but does an image of sage act in the same way? I contend that some things cannot be conveyed through art. I do not smell sage in my mind when I see an image of sage. But if I actually smell it, then I do experience an internal image of the Eastern Sierras.
I suggest that some things of desert that we hold dear cannot really be considered as muse. Some things can be depicted successfully--shapes, horizon, color, land--and can be shared, even in dramatic and soulful ways. Things you hear and smell are much more difficult to convey. The more subtle muses serve us in far more intangible ways. They help us center on place, give the feel of the surroundings, maybe even serve us in selection of subject, color, mood.

However, those very things of desert that do serve as muse are so incredibly powerful that they move us to create. Sometimes we might wish to create a tapestry of a brilliant sunset. Other times it might be the subtleness of a mariposa lily among the sand dunes, or the soft colors of a rock formation. Our deserts are so unique and picturesque that we want to invoke the very essence of the land in our tapestries.

A Desert Primer by Lyn Hart
1. dry area: an area of land, usually in very hot climates, that consists only of sand, gravel, or rock with little or no vegetation, no permanent bodies of water, and erratic rainfall

2. deprived place: a place or situation that is devoid of some desirable thing or overwhelmed by an undesirable thing

3. lifeless place: a place devoid of life

Three concepts to consider, assess, and transform.

Kathy Perkins and I first met at the recent American Tapestry Alliance’s Silver Anniversary Celebration held in April. At the beginning of the day, there was a break for a “networking session” in which regional groups were given time to meet. Someone looked at my name tag that identified me as being from Tucson, Arizona and said, “Oh, the southwest doesn’t have a group, but there’s some weavers from New Mexico over there.” Certainly feeling like definition #2, I went over and introduced myself to Kathy and Elizabeth Buckley. As we talked, we quickly realized a shared aesthetic and passion for our respective deserts and their influence to be found in our tapestry designs. Kathy and I made plans to contact each other after we returned home to pursue the idea of creating a regional group for tapestry weavers who felt as we did about the desert.

Kathy and I began communicating by email and began tossing ideas around for the group’s formation. We immediately realized we would have to declare the boundaries of our region, and just as quickly decided we didn’t want to do that. Deserts didn’t recognize city, state, territory, or country boundaries so why should we? Inspired by the visionary goal to some day “go global” announced at the ATA celebration, we decided to include weavers from desert areas worldwide. As word about Desert Tapestry Weavers spread, our membership quickly sprouted like plants after the monsoons. We found ourselves reveling in the fait accompli, and I began to wonder just how many deserts are there in the world?!?

I must admit that I “skipped” taking geography in school, so I had to do a little research to answer my question. I was amazed and intrigued to learn that there are deserts on every continent on Earth! The incredible list of deserts includes the well known and not so well known, some in unbelievable locations… the largest (Antarctica’s interior), largest dry desert (Sahara, Africa), one of the most isolated (Tanami, northern Australia), largest in the Americas (Patagonian, Argentina), largest sandy desert (Taklamaken, Central Asia), greatest biological diversities (Mojave, U.S. - 1750 to 2000 plant species; Sonoran, U.S./Mexico - 60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, 100+ reptile species, 30 native fish species, and more than 2000 native plant species-- so much for definition #1!), driest place on Earth (Atacama, Chile—100 times drier than Death Valley), as well as Europe’s largest (Hálendi, Iceland). Visit the Wikipedia web page where I gathered this info to read about all 36 deserts and to view some gorgeous photos.

It is also important to note that within these arid regions Desert Tapestry Weavers has chosen to embrace exist areas known as “sky islands”, isolated mountain ranges encrusted like jewels within desert systems. Because sky islands have existed and evolved segregated from nearby mountain environments by the surrounding deserts, their ecosystems develop unique flora and fauna, similar to, but distinctly different from other mountainous regions’ ecology. Sky islands exist in North America, South America, Africa, and Asia (Wikipedia). Although many sky islands are considered alpine environments they are situated in desert geographical regions and often share ecological relationships with their surrounding deserts; Desert Tapestry Weavers embraces the inclusion of tapestry weavers living in sky island areas.

Seems it is safe to say that definition #3, along with definitions #1 and #2, have been definitely refuted. Perhaps msn’s encarta needs to come up with a new description. The quick enthusiasm demonstrated by all of you who have joined Desert Tapestry Weavers in the short time since it became a tangible entity is proof enough that deserts are places of diversity, inspiration, and life, where creative passion flows as a constant, thirst quenching river.

American Tapestry Alliance’s next edition of Tapestry Topics will include articles about regional tapestry groups; Desert Tapestry Weavers will be included!

Online exhibition for Desert Tapestry Weavers members! We would like to start making plans for the exhibition to take place next year, the exact date to be announced in the next newsletter. We will host the exhibition here on our website and it will be open (non-juried) for all members to participate in. The theme for the exhibition is Desert Meditations, and will be open to your own personal interpretations.

Did you know?...
Since becoming an "entity" as of May 22, 2007, Desert Tapestry Weavers has:
27 members
31 subscribers
been visited a total of 359 times
visits from 10 countries-- Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States

Weavings & Wanderings

Christopher Allworth, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Working in a theological school these last twenty years alerts one to life questions and raises many fascinating subjects. I have been attracted to metaphor as a means of expression. “Desert” has been viewed as a place destitute of life. After visiting both Arizona and New Mexico, I found that this popular view was no longer tenable for me; that the desert is indeed life giving or, perhaps one might say, soul giving.

An earlier exploration of the realities of metaphor was that of weave, ‘the warp (woof) and weft of life’. I decided to take on this metaphor and sought out weaving lessons. That was six years go and I have not stopped! Tapestry or picture soon became a sub-theme as I abstracted ideas in my rug making.

Soon, however, I talked turkey about tapestry and spent a week with Irish weavers in Co. Donegal where Blackface sheep far outnumbered the villagers of Malin Beg. Since then I Have learned from Anke Fox, Archie Brennan and Susan Martin-Maffei and, currently, from Thoma Ewen of Moon Rain in the Quebec Gatineau Hills.

Desert and tapestry have thus come together to find expression in the tapestries I make. Despite being a professional church musician, I seldom listen to recorded music; rather, I listen to the ambience of the loom and the world around me. I am perhaps still in the desert listening to it.

Bonnie Best, Arizona
I started weaving in 1996 when I took a fibers class at the University of Arizona taught by Ann Keuper. I have woven on free standing frame looms, floor looms, a table loom, vertical tapestry looms that have harnesses controlled by foot treadles, as well as tension adjustment systems, all while a student at the university where I ended up taking 8 semesters of fiber classes.

AZ Sunset

This is a picture of the tapestry that I wove last summer - it is 3ft by 4ft. I bought some pine lumber for the frame loom that is 4 ft by 5 1/2 ft. I have some smaller frame looms, but I wanted to weave something a little larger and I enjoyed weaving what I call the “AZ Sunset” stripes tapestry. The warp is linen and the weft is mostly wool yarn, but I did incorporate some synthetic yarn in some areas. I have this on the wall above my computer desk and I enjoy seeing the various colors everyday. I have several of my tapestries on the walls of my house.

After I make a Navajo style loom and learn how to string the warp, my next weaving project will be weaving an Indian style tapestry. I found instructions on-line on how to make a Navajo Loom and I just need to get over to Home Depot to buy the lumber/brackets/dowels/screws/etc, and put it together. I will probably wait until fall to get this started when it's a little cooler outside where I will cut the wood and assemble the loom.

I had a knee injury and knee surgery in January and I've been recovering from that. I'm doing OK now and I hope to get back to weaving on one of my frame looms soon. I have something in mind so will have to decide the size, colors, etc.

Do hope everyone has a wonderful summer.

Elizabeth J. Buckley, New Mexico
I have been weaving for nearly 40 years now. I first learned when I was 10 years old, on a small frame loom made of wooden stretchers that my mother warped up for me one summer. This was during the 7 years when she went away during the summer to work on her master’s degree in art education at the University of Colorado. I spent those hot, humid Kansas summers pretty much like any kid trying to find ways to stay cool, especially since my house had no air conditioning. I remember my mother showing me the basics of over and under, and giving me a pile of assorted yarns to play with. Over the weeks that she was away, I figured out how to make angles, hills, insert flat, dried seed pods, and anything else that occurred to me to try. I have been weaving ever since then.

Now, I have projects going on three different looms, plus ideas I am trying to get onto paper via watercolors and drawings. On my 60 inch Aubusson loom, I have a 4 x 5 foot tapestry started, exploring the idea of transparency, earth and shell shapes emerging from ocean waves, and the veil between this earthbound world and the beyond. On the Larochette sample loom, I am working on a small study for the piece for the Aubusson loom. On the 60 inch Cranbrook, I am in the process of launching a commission for a private collector who wants a tapestry of the Sandia Mountain, which borders the east edge of Albuquerque. She spent this past winter walking its foothills with her daughter, and observed the amazing light and colors cast on the mountain in snow at sunset, and wanted a tapestry of this mood.

I love the many moods of the desert, and the incredible clarity of light here. I never grow tired of the rugged terrain or the texture of the grasses, nor the colors of the sky at sunrise or sunset. There is so much sky, so much space, so much horizon.

I live in the South Valley of Albuquerque, a few miles west of the Rio Grande River. Cottonwood trees border the small irrigation ditch that runs along the east side of the acre I live on, and my studio is near these trees where a Cooper's hawk family built a nest last year. My studio is a converted 3-car garage, located maybe 50 yards from my back door. My studio is my haven, my place of contemplation and meditation, as well as a place where students come periodically. Often when I work, I listen to acoustic guitar, jazz, Andean flutes, African rhythms. Sometimes, I work in silence, so I can hear the wind rustle the cottonwood leaves, the chatter of birds, the quiet stillness that can occasionally happen in the middle of this urban environment. The writers I am reading right now, include: Pema Chödrön, Mary Oliver, books on medieval life and women troubadours.

I will have work in an upcoming group show this October, along with other tapestry weavers of the Las Arañas Spinning and Weaving Guild. It is called, "Doors, Gates, and Windows", and included in it will be a display of the small format group challenge and exchange we are doing with Canadian tapestry weavers. Those of us here in New Mexico are weaving New Mexico doors, gates and windows; while the Canadians are weaving ones of their area. We will then exchange tapestry images, and weave responses to each other's tapestries. By October, the New Mexico and Canadian "Doors, Gates and Windows" tapestries will be ready (approximately 24 pieces) and maybe some of the response tapestries in addition. By March of 2008, we anticipate having all 48 or so tapestries completed, to be displayed in the ATA Small Format Tapestry Exhibit: "Woven Gems" at Convergence 2008.
ATA artist page

Karen Crislip, Colorado & New Mexico
Hello Desert Tapestry Weavers!

My name is Karen Page Crislip ( I've been weaving tapestry for a quarter of my life although I've been creating art, working with fiber and teaching all my life (which is getting close to 60 years). I majored in art, design and education--twice!
Yellowstone Canyon

I'm been told that I'm very prolific in my production of tapestry and that my design strength lies in color. The "prolific" may be a result of trying to weave on a poorly made loom for the first 4 years, getting nowhere and then trying to catch up; and the "color" may be a result of moving to tapestry from black and white lithography.

During my 14 years of tapestry weaving I've taught, exhibited and sold internationally. I've actually met all of my original goals and now spend most of my time just weaving. I limit my teaching to two workshops per year although I continue my work with an apprentice(s). I write an occasional article and review new tapestry books for Interweave Press, and I have contributed to Tapestry Topics (ATA) over the years. My next big exhibit will be the month of September in Estes Park, Colorado, where I will show my "Antiques as Inspiration" series along with a dozen or so miniatures. This year I taught a "Beyond the Basics" class at the Estes Park Wool Market, and I will teach a beginning workshop at IWC in July (full circle for me as that is where I took my first class--from John Pierre and Yael). My latest book reviews will be in the fall issue of Handwoven.

Sweet Light Beyond

Last fall I was "Artist in Residence" at a national historic site in Iowa (where I grew up), and I am currently finishing the top hem on the 5th tapestry in my "Early Iowa Autumn" series. I have "Canyon Color" on my large (8' x 8') tapestry loom--my very colorful rendition of one of my desert lithographs, which I enlarged and am using as a cartoon. This will be another in my favorite "Rock Striation" series based on light and rocks that I find mostly in desert areas. These are images of two tapestries from this series.

That's me--a little bit of this and some of that, along with a lot of tapestry weaving! It will be a pleasure to meet all of you!

Su Egen, Arizona
I began to weave in 1971, 36 years ago. Prior to that I was a painter. I began with tapestry and continued with it throughout through the present.

Works on display during a Tohono Chul exhibit

In 1972 I studied what we called then, “Scandinavian Art Weaving”, which included some thirty plus techniques, some quite old and rarely woven any longer. I taught weaving in my own studio for over twenty years, until women went back to work as a single income would no longer suffice. Students became irregular, and weaving began to fall out of favor, so I closed my shop, sold the student looms and worked full time in my studio ever since, sharing the studio with damask drawloom weaving and tapestry. I am currently working on studies in optical illusion, and have been so for over ten years, resulting in numerous tapestries.

One of my former students designed and built the gallery and re-designed the workshop. Outside the look is Spanish and inside, Scandinavian, a wonderful contrast. The studio is composed of four rooms; one for embroidery, drawing and design, one for office and yarn storage, one weaving workshop and a gallery, designed and built by one of my former students. Housed in the workshop are three countermarch looms, one tapestry loom, and one 55 shaft damask draw loom. Presently three looms are on the floor and two are stored on the beams in the workshop, but within reach.

Currently I am designing a complex piece for embroidery, which will involve much digitizing and computer work for the design. Should this go well, I will design a piece for the damask loom of the same theme, El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) for possible inclusion in a show this fall in Tucson. Also in the works are two tapestries, both optical in nature, from the optical series. Both are being woven on Glimåkra countermarch looms. Last week, two pieces were cut off the damask drawloom, both experimental optical damask woven hangings.

Simply said, my inspiration is the light and the openness of the land, when it hasn't been destroyed by development. When I came to Tucson in 1970 desert surrounded town. Now that very desert has the unthinkable - homes, massive and cookie cutter, perched on top of destroyed desert, on hills and climbing up our once pristine mountains, driving wildlife and nature ever further back to ultimate destruction. Nevertheless, they have not yet managed to massacre the light, though the night stars are all but obliterated by the growth, lights and subsequent pollution. On native land, one can still remember what it was that was inspirational about the desert. The other inspiration is color, the glorious colors that hail from the indigenous people of Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Arizona. It is their culture that has been most inspirational as well as the way they appreciate and protect the natural world.
Tree 1

Tree 2

One could say that all of my work has been inspired by the light and color of the Southwest. What comes to mind are two tapestries I completed and sold years ago, three sunset scenes, two imaginary and one of a pier in Mystic CT. Not a new theme, and not terribly sophisticated, but special in its own way. The first Tree tapestry was taken to a quilt show in NJ and sold immediately. The second was a commission for a similar piece with different dimensions. I am including a photo of each. The Mystic Pier (2) tapestry, is one of a series of three, taken while teaching a workshop in Mystic, CT on Finnish double weave pick up, with a small part of the workshop lecturing on figurative triple pick up.

Mystic Pier (2)

Presently I have three damask hangings at the Tucson Museum of Art, in the Arizona Biennial '07, chosen from over 2000 submissions. There are, I believe just over seventy pieces in the show from 53 of 700 applicants. I am pleased to be among 53 artists chosen and to be able to represent weaving as well as "craft", in a show, that might be said to be heavily leaning toward "art". I think of myself as artist, craftsman or artisan...all. My work can be seen at Solar Culture, Tucson AZ (two damask hangings), Tucson Museum of art Craft Gallery (three framed optical embroideries and in the Arizona Biennial ’07 (three woven damask hangings).

In the studio I presently am listening to the music of Ernest Stoneman (1928 Edison recordings), and the work of the Carter Family from 1927-1941. I am a traditional "folkie", and am currently practicing banjo, guitar and autoharp, time permitting.

I have thought about putting up a web site, as I design websites for others, mostly non profits and performing groups, but have not made it a priority.

As you can gather, I am short of one thing...time.

Lyn Hart, Arizona
I was first introduced to weaving in the form of reed basketry while living in northwest Florida, during a break from nursing school. Upon graduation and entering the workforce, however, I was too busy honing my nursing skills, not to mention recovering from long shifts, to have much time for creative endeavors. All of my artistic pursuits— basketry, drawing, painting, quilting, were put on a very distant back burner.

desert birds postcard series: verdin

My husband, Dennis, and I relocated to Arizona 10 years ago and completely fell in love with the desert. Whenever we had time off from work, we planned backpacking and travel trips to see as much of the west as we could (we’re still not done!). A few years ago, I took some courses at the University of Arizona, one of which was Southwest Lands & Society which examined the origins of man in the southwest. During the class, I was exposed to Navajo weaving for the first time and was immediately captivated. I thought I would write the required abstract on that subject, but little did I know how much information would confront me when I went to the library to research it! So I chose another topic to write on, but came home with a book containing plans for building a Navajo style loom. We built a very large one, and it took me 3 years to weave my first piece. I discovered I like weaving, but was frustrated by the Navajo technique and did not want to emulate another culture’s art form.

A couple years ago, I made the decision to leave my nursing career to pursue my art full time… I knew I wanted to weave and work with fiber, but wasn’t sure in what capacity. I started out by taking workshops to “sample” techniques so I could figure out what resonated with me. My epiphany came when I took a natural dye workshop during Intermountain Weavers Conference in ’05 taught by Jane Hoffman. Not only did I discover I loved natural dyeing, but when I visited Janie’s artist website and saw her tapestries depicting the environment surrounding her home on the Blue River, I was totally captivated and knew I had to learn to weave tapestries of the things I love here in the Sonoran desert. I initially studied with Ann Keuper at Desert Weaving Workshop here in Tucson and later with Jane on the Blue River.

My tapestry designs are largely inspired by the flora and fauna here on the 5 acre patch of desert where we live, but I am also very enamored with and want to weave tapestries based on the larger Arizona landscapes I have seen on some of our travels… the Painted Desert, the Echo & Vermillion Cliffs on the Navajo reservation, the Grand Canyon, the many mesas, basins, and mountain ranges. For me, tapestry weaving embodies every aspect of art I’ve ever pursued and I am completely absorbed by it.

desertsong studio

I just finished a Georgia O’Keeffe biography by Roxana Robinson, supposedly the only author that the O’Keeffe family has ever cooperated with—it was very good. I don’t read much fiction; usually it is anything I can find about the desert or southwest… I’ve listed some favorites in the Media section of the newsletter. When I weave, I usually listen to instrumental world, electronic, jazz, or new age music. Favorites right now are Lanterna- Desert Ocean; Dean Evenson- Peaceful Pond & Eagle River; amethystium- emblem. If I am doing something more active, like designing or warping, I will listen to world, Latin, or pop… some of my faves are-- Charanga Cakewalk- Lotería de la Cumbia Lounge; Putumayo compilations; Annie Lennox- Bare. If I just can’t settle down to concentrate, I always reach for Steven Halpern- Perfect Alignment.

recuerdos de georgia

Last year, I set a goal for myself to “get serious” and weave works that I could submit for exhibition. I was very fortunate and thrilled to be accepted into both national and local exhibits. I experienced my first tapestry sale at one of the local exhibits, during the artist’s reception— if I wasn’t already bitten with fiber fever, the adrenalin rush from that moment would have cinched it! Fresh off my small loom is a mixed fiber piece with a tapestry as the base, recuerdos de georgia, a work I have submitted for Tohono Chul's Día de los Muertos: The Gift of Remembrance exhibit that celebrates the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead.

Jane Hoffman, Arizona
Dear Desert Tapestry Weavers,

I am so happy to be connected to other tapestry weavers in the Southwest. I look forward to meeting other members in the future.

For the past thirty years my work has represented the beautiful area where I live on the Arizona/New Mexico border next to the Blue Range Wilderness Area. My home and studio are situated in a lush riparian area along the Blue River at 6,400 feet. Recently I have had a desire to make a stronger statement about conservation and protection of our environment here in the Southwest.

maquette for the 12 tapestries

The tapestry I am currently weaving represents the importance of protecting the Sky Islands of the Southwest. You may have not heard of Sky Islands, but if you live here or have visited the Southwest you are bound to have noticed them. The numerous mountain ranges that rise from the desert floor are called Sky Islands because the mountains, like islands in the ocean, have their own unique environment which is surrounded by the vast desert that stretches between each separate range.

Many species depend on the habitat provided by the Sky Islands. In fact larger mammals and raptors must be able to travel to and from the Sky Islands in order to sustain themselves. Unfortunately, due to a growing human population, development of the desert and other incompatible uses of the land, species are getting cut off from their habitat. Individuals and environmental groups are educating the public of the importance of these wild areas and their connecting corridors. For more information about the ecological significance of the Sky Island Region go to: and

cougar track on loom & detail

wolf track on loom

My tapestry represents the idea of reconnecting “the pieces of the puzzle” in the fractured landscape. The work actually consists of twelve 8 inch x 8 inch tapestries that depict a vista from the top of one Sky Island across the desert floor to another neighboring Sky Island. Each of the twelve tapestries are like pieces of a puzzle that when hung together will form the landscape. Superimposed over each 8 inch x 8 inch segment of the landscape is an animal track. Each track represents an animal whose very existence is threatened by developing encroachment that blocks their access to their habitat.

In a future article, I will talk about my progress on this piece and some of the technical aspects of its development. I will also talk about the variety of fibers and textures that I use.

I would love to hear from you!
My websites: and
My email:

Pam Hutley, Australia
While now living in a more 'civilized' area of Queensland, Australia, I lived the first 40+ years of my life on a cattle station battling droughts that made it feel like the desert it never was. I have the bush in my blood and it has influenced nearly all my work, even without it showing in every tapestry.

80cm high x 58cm

Nancy Jackson, California
My name is Nancy Jackson and I have worked under the name Timshel Studio for over 25 years. I live and work in Vallejo, CA, at the northeast tip of San Francisco Bay, where I also teach regularly. Most students fly or drive from far places and stay at the homes of two of my friends at about half the cost of local motels. Some have come from outside the US from as far as Panama and northeastern Canada.

I teach a full curriculum of Aubusson & Gobelin tapestry methods to students at all levels. I enjoy providing a strong foundation for beginners and a challenging opportunity for more advanced students. Some people come to study to master weaver level and hope to exhibit and take commissions, but most people want to acquire excellent skills for their personal expression. I prefer to teach no more than three or four people at a time so I can offer custom-tailored instruction for each person.

I weave tapestry commissions, speculative tapestries and sometimes contract with other tapestry artists to weave my cartoons. In more recent years, I have collaborated with students on tapestries also. Aubusson & Gobelin tapestry is my main expressive medium, but I also teach egg tempera and gilding methods and do commissions in these media also.

My valuable education came in the 1980’s where for three years I was the sole apprentice to Jean-Pierre & Yael Lurie Larochette. I thank them always for their kindness and generosity in educating me in this fascinating medium.

I am most interested in how human beings alter the desert and then how that alteration sometimes creates beauty. I am also interested in how the desert, how Earth in general, rejuvenates itself after human beings have altered its native shape. In “City/Country II,” 1996, I have enjoyed the human structuring for food production (wheat farming) of the high desert prairie of Montana where I lived in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I noticed how quickly the land recovered from this human invasion and was relieved to see that healing occurred so quickly.

City/Country II

Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, IA, will show “Saint Olav King of Norway,” in the National Exhibition of Folk-Art in the Norwegian Tradition July. See , for details.

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is exhibiting “Consanguine” and “Incarnation,” the two side panels from the “Incarnation Triptych” through July 7, 2007, as part of American Tapestry Biennial 6. See

Music: Ali Farke Toure, an African blues guitarist
Zap Mama, an African women’s vocal group
Native American music (not synthesized)
10th-14th century European music (Medieval)
Fairuz, female Lebanese vocalist

Audio Lectures: Ancient Near Eastern Mythology

Kathy Perkins, New Mexico
I have been weaving since 1993, tapestry since 1995. I just cut off two pieces that I will trash since they were color and design compromised. (How is that for saying I hate them?) I am trying to get past those two to start something new. I have made numerous designs in the past two weeks, but can't settle on anything that moves me. I love the silence of the desert. That is my fondest memory of the numerous camping trips to Anza Borrego State Park, Joshua Tree National Monument (now National Park), Canyonlands, and all of the other wondrous places in the Colorado Plateau. I also love the starkness, colors, and especially the flora and fauna.

Sky Island

I wove a piece I called Sky Island, because they are such an oasis in the vast deserts of the Southwest. It is of an opuntia cactus that appears to be flying on a cradle of land, which is much my feeling when up high on a sky island looking out to the vast desert beyond.

I prefer to listen to nothing but the birds while weaving. However, since our quiet oasis on a dirt road has been turned into a paved freeway I will listen to music to drown out the hideous sound of the traffic. It is always classical. I do not listen to books on tape, because what I do is so intense that I can't concentrate on French tapestry and a book. Currently, I am reading the book "Mrs. Mike," about the far Northwest Territory in Canada--to get in the mood for my Canada trip.
No website; ATA artist page.

Stacey Redmond, Arizona
Currently, I have a tapestry of stripes in progress. My inspirations come from characteristics of Sonoran desert flora and fauna, including color and shape. When I’m weaving, I listen to a mix of music from folk and country to instrumental and Latin.

Janine Skov, California
I don't have my cd player on, I prefer nature sounds when I'm doing artwork. Some singing birds right now, with orchestration provided by crickets. (Unfortunately there is the occasional percussion section of lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, etc. that has to be tuned out).My reading list?!?! All 100 books?? Seriously, I have a very large backlog. Science, science-fiction, art, even a book on weaving! (Rachel Brown's Weaving, Spinning, Dyeing -- excellent descriptions of different types of looms, they're all so fascinating!)

Kathy Spoering, Colorado
Desert ‘Travel Sketch’ Tapestries
Although many people may not realize it, the American desert region is filled with beautiful and breathtaking spots, many of them designated as National Parks or Monuments. A number of them are in Utah, a state of great landscape variety. Like my neighboring home state of Colorado, Utah has high mountains peaks, high mountain plains, and vast areas of desert filling the spaces in between. Because the city where I live is only about 20 miles from Utah, it is one of our favorite short-trip destinations. When I travel, I always have a sketchbook and watercolors with me, as well as my digital camera. Several years ago, I decided to turn sketches from my favorite Utah Parks into small tapestries. I did one from Zion National Park, of the White Throne peak; one of Bryce Canyon National Park, of the amazing rock ‘hoodoos’ dusted with winter snow; and one of the Arches National monument, of the Window Arch. All of these rock formations rise up from the sandy desert floor, created by erosion of the soft red sandstone. They are constantly evolving. Each of the tapestries is 8”x10”. They were loosely inspired by travel posters and postcards, so each has the name of the park woven in at the bottom. After weaving the three Utah pieces, I decided to mount them each on a watercolor sketchbook page, with images I had sketched on location during our trips to the parks. The three ‘sketchbooks’ were then mounted side-by-side on a foam-core base covered with a fabric
‘map’. They were then framed together. I called the framed piece “Utah Sketchbook Triptych.” It sold in a multi-media exhibition.

Utah Sketchbook Tryptich

(If you know of other exhibits not listed here, please send the info to us so we may add them to the list!)

to enter
American Tapestry Biennial 7
entry deadline November 30, 2007
The American Tapestry Alliance is a not-for-profit, member-supported organization seeking to exhibit the best of contemporary tapestry. Since 1986 ATA has sponsored a biennial, juried exhibition. ATA invites submissions from all tapestry artists for ATB 7. Entry to ATB 7 is open to all tapestry artists who design and weave their own tapestries (defined as "hand-woven, weft-faced fabric with discontinuous wefts") either individually or collaboratively (all assistants shall be named). Entries must be one-of-a-kind and have been completed after January 2004. Artists may submit two entries for consideration.
American Tapestry Alliance
ATB7 Entry Form

ARTapestry 2: European Tapestry Forum
entry deadline December 31, 2007
Open to artists living or working in Europe.

American Tapestry Alliance Woven Gems Small Format Tapestry
entry deadline January 15, 2008
The exhibit is open to all artists working with small format handwoven tapestry. Tapestry is defined as handwoven, weft-faced fabric with discontinuous wefts. The size of the tapestry may not exceed 10” x 10” x 1” deep (25cm x 25cm x 2.5cm). Artists may submit one piece. Group challenges and mentoring projects are encouraged.
Work must be original, executed by the entrant, of recent completion and not shown in a prior ATA or HGA show.
The tapestry must be available for the duration of the exhibit.
Woven Gems Entry Form

Small Expressions 2008: Handweavers Guild of America Annual Exhibit of Small Scale Works deadlines- international entries: January 11, 2008; U.S. entries: January 18, 2008
Small Expressions is an annual international, juried exhibit featuring high quality, contemporary small-scale works. Small Expressions is sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. to showcase fiber art of a small scale not to exceed 15 inches (38 cm) in any direction.
Handweavers Guild of America Convergence Conference 2008

to visit
Arizona Biennial ‘07
May 19 – August 19, 2007
Tucson Museum of Art
Tucson, AZ

Sea of Cortez: A Desert Sea
May 24 – August 19, 2007
Tohono Chul Park Exhibit Hall
Tucson, AZ

Fiber Celebrated 2007
Intermountain Weavers Conference
July 10 – July 31, 2007
Durango Art Center
Durango, CO

In the Making: Contemporary Canadian Tapestry
July 14 - September 11, 2007
Reception September 9, 2007 2 pm
Publication in PDF
Burlington Art Centre
AIC Gallery
Burlington, Ontario, L7S 1A9 905.632.7796

National Exhibition of Folk-Art in the Norwegian Tradition
Rosemaling, Weaving, Woodworking, Knifemaking

A competition and sale of works by contemporary artists in the Norwegian tradition.
July 21 – July 28, 2007
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
Hauge Gallery, Westby-Torgerson Education Center
Decorah, IA

Small Expressions 2007
Handweavers Guild of America
July 27 – September 2, 2007
Indianapolis Art Center
Indianapolis, IN

Antiques as Inspiration
September 1 - 30, 2007
will feature more than a dozen of Karen Crislip’s new tapestries
Artist Talk and Reception September 6th, 2:00 to 4:00pm, Hondius Room of the library
Estes Park Public Library
Upstairs Gallery
Estes Park, CO

Tapestry: People and Places
*this exhibit will feature works by tapestry weavers from our sister tapestry group, Tapestry Weavers South
Invitational Exhibition
September 27 - November 8, 2007
Opening Reception
September 29, 2-4pm
Artisans Center of Virginia
Waynesboro, VA540.946.3294

Las Arañas Tapestry Group
September 28 – October 22, 2007
Arts Alliance Gallery
Albuquerque, NM

Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor
October 17, 2007–January 6, 2008
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Special Exhibition Galleries
New York, NY

to see online
Barbara Heller: Work Over Time
Tapestry On Edge
American Tapestry Alliance Web Gallery

May 15 – July 15, 2007

(If you know of other workshops not listed here, please send the info to us so we may add them to the list!)

Archie Brennan and Susan Maffei Workshop: July 28th - August 1st, 2007
Archie & Susan will give an intensive five day session at the Damascus Fiber School near Portland. $450.00 includes all yarns and a loan of a loom. Lunches are included as well as a host home if needed and transportation from Portland. Damascus School is a wonderful dreamy experience. It is an old school house with a great atmosphere. Last years session was said to be a life changing event for several of the participants! They are returning! A $100.00 deposit is needed to hold a place. The session is limited to 18. To find out more please contact
Pam Patrie
4314 NE 22nd Ave
Portland, OR 97211

Mathematical Design: Symmetries, Tessellations and the Golden Proportion - Jennifer Moore: August 10-12, 2007
A class for any artisan (not just for weavers). Have you ever wanted to work with these wonderful tools forvisual design but been scared off by a lack of drawing or math skills? We will take a visual approach to working with symmetry movements, tiling patterns, and harmonious proportions, including the Fibonacci series. Through a series of fun exercises using drawing, rubber stamps and paper cutouts, you will create a toolbox of skills to use in creating your own designs. Jennifer has an MFA in Fiber, specializing in mathematical patterns and structures of music in weaving.
Española Valley Arts Center
Española, NM

Pictorial Tapestry - Robin Reider: September 8 – 11, 2007
Explore tapestry techniques and color grading. Using a photograph or picture of a landscape, the student will make a cartoon and create their own pictorial or abstract woven image. Participants will use prior tapestry knowledge to learn to follow curved lines as they grade and combine colors chosen from the instructor’s hand-dyed collection of wool. Both vertical and horizontal grading techniques will be taught. Robin shows and sells her tapestries and has wonnumerous awards.
Española Valley Arts Center
Española, NM

Weaving as Art, Weaving as Metaphor – Gerry Myers and special guest James Koehler: October 6, 2007
In this seminar, we will use slides and short readings to explore some important concepts about art as it pertains to weaving. We will address the translation of art (paintings, poetry, etc.) into weavings. Participants can bring their favorite examples. We will also make inquiry into weaving as metaphor. Gerald Myers taught aesthetic philosophy at St John’s College, was director of the Community Seminar Program, and holds a PhD in biophysics. He now weaves in retirement.
Española Valley Arts Center
Española, NM

Connecting Image To Process/Process To Image - Susan Martin Maffei: October 16, 17, 18, 2007
Andean tapestry exhibits a stylized form of image, or mark making, that relates directly to the underlying structural grid of the weave and the techniques of woven tapestry. In this workshop we will explore these medium specific characteristics through hands on sampling of techniques, e.g. slits, interlocking, simple shape making and four-selvedge construction. Slide presentations will enrich our understanding of how the imagery in tapestries produced by different cultures is influenced by technical and structural constraints. Visits to museums, conservation labs and/or galleries will allow the examination of actual textiles. The knowledge gained in this exploration will be used to explore how these relationships might influence contemporary work. The workshop will be geared both towards those who are conversant with Andean textiles, but are not necessarily tapestry weavers, and to tapestry weavers whose familiarity with Andean textiles is limited. Participants are limited to twelve.For information and registration visit, or contact
Mary Lane at

The workshop is timed to coincide with the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition, Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor. Tapestry in the Baroque which opens October 17th. On October 20th and 21st the Met is hosting a two-day symposium in connection with the exhibition.

Intermediate Tapestry with Ann Keuper: November 2, 9, 16, 30 & December 7, 2007
This class is an exploration of non-traditional and texture techniques in tapestry. During this six week session, students will dive into more adventurous tapestry techniques. Continuing to use the frame loom, students will weave another sampler using eccentric weaving techniques and texture techniques while also exploring the use of an assortment of weft materials. Students can be as adventurous or traditional as they would like. Designing intuitively is uncomfortable for many weavers. We will look at the weaving process and design an intuitive tapestry based on materials as time allows.
$135.00. Includes use of a frame loom, warp and weft materials, and handouts. $50 deposit required to hold your place, with the balance due upon the first day of class.
Desert Weaving Workshop
512 S. 6th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701

Hachure and Color Blending with James Koehler: Feb 23-27, 2008
Participants will weave a sampler to learn various color gradation techniques and their uses in tapestry. Techniques taught in the workshop will include: hachure, hatching, the use of demi-duites, horizontal and vertical color gradation, and color mixing in weft bundles. A small scale tapestry will be woven incorporating the various techniques.
Participants should have a basic knowledge of tapestry techniques.
$400. Register before Jan 1, 2008 and save $25.
A $25 materials fee will provide for warp and weft and a folder of handouts.
Desert Weaving Workshop
512 S. 6th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701

Arizona Federation of Weavers & Spinners - Fibers Through Time 2008
Natural Dye Workshop with Jane Hoffman: April 3-6, 2008
Discover nature's sources of color. Trained artists know that muted, natural colors are the workhorses of their palette. A good color palette consists of harmonious hues and a range of value and intensity that frame and offset intense pure hues. Yarn shops offer limited choices of colors; however you can fill in the blanks by learning to dye. This comprehensive workshop shows you how to create beautiful, lightfast and washfast color from natural dyes. The emphasis in the workshop will be to create a range of value and intensity of colors. Jane will bring natural dye plants from her own dye garden, and native and imported dye material. You will learn to prepare the dyes, to mordant, to dye protein fiber, and to experiment with color by using postmordant baths, afterbaths, and exhaust baths. Handling dyes safely will be covered.
*workshop will be held at Desert Weaving Workshop
512 S. 6th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701

(Know of any other fantastic reads or resources? Share them!)

the Crafts Report
A monthly business magazine for the crafts professional.

Contemporary textile art and craft.

A textile publication directed towards an international, discerning audience, Selvedge covers fine textiles in every context: fine art, interiors, fashion, travel and shopping.

Textile Fibre Forum
The aims of the magazine are eclectic, assuming the reader has a passion for textiles in many forms - the historical along with the contemporary - some curiosity about Australia and New Zealand in particular - empathy with the struggles of others (plus their successes and failures) in the textile journey - and a wish to be informed and entertained.

Art & Fear: Observations on The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking – David Bayles & Ted Orland

Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California – Bruce Berger

The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky – Ellen Meloy

Barren, Wild, and Worthless: Living in the Chihuahuan Desert – Susan J. Tweit

Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest – Mary Sojourner

Desert Passages: Encounters with the American Deserts – Patricia Nelson Limerick

The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in O’Odham Country – Gary Paul Nabhan

Fear Falls Away & Other Essays from Hard and Rocky Places – Janice Emily Bowers

A Full Life in a Small Place and other essays from a desert garden - Janice Emily Bowers

Getting Over the Color Green: Contemporary Environmental Literature of the Southwest- Scott Slovic

The Mountains Next Door - Janice Emily Bowers

Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert – Terry Tempest Williams

Photographing Arts, Crafts & Collectibles: Take Great Digital Photos for Portfolios, Documentation, or Selling on the Web - Steve Melzter

Next Issue
Our current intent is to publish quarterly in January, April, July, and October.

The deadline for the next newsletter is September 30th.

October's newsletter theme will be Desert Meditations, with the focus being centered on planning our online exhibit.

Please submit:
Any articles and images you would like to write surrounding that theme.
Any other topics pertaining to tapestry that you may feel inspired to write.
Info about where your work is currently showing.
Info about exhibits, workshops, or if you are teaching a class/workshop.
If you don't feel comfortable writing an article, send a few lines to introduce yourself if you haven't already done so, or to share with us what is current in your weaving world.
Remember, one of our group goals is to share and inspire each other!