Enchanted Pathways

A new weaving generation

I had a couple days at home with Megan before she had to go back to her home in Mississippi this evening. She wanted to learn to weave on one of my big looms. Since I had a warp on the Macomber I wasn't using, I tied it up for her. I thought it would probably be pretty difficult for her to get her fingers around 10 epi and Harrisville Highland yarn, but she managed quite well!

I pulled out a bin of leftover yarn in various colors and she looked at what was there and announced she was going to weave an interpretation of a watermelon.
She is 10 years old. This is the result which took her just a few hours. If I can keep her off her horse long enough, she might be the youngest tapestry weaver in the next ATA non-juried show!

This is Megan with the Mystic Moon tapestry she designed at Enchanted Pathways. I wove this piece per her specifications. She is going to be weaving the next one though!

I (and I gasp and feel my heart sink when I write this) have to go back to work in two weeks... that is back to the job that pays the bills, which I like well enough, but summer was only 5 weeks long this year and that just doesn't seem quite right. This year I want to do some weaving projects with my kids (I am an occupational therapist in a small rural public school system serving a native american population). I am considering doing a project in conjunction with Mirrix looms, but even if I don't I will be bringing some various looms to school with me. Megan was my test pilot. True, she is much swifter than many of my kids who are in special education and often come to me with fine motor problems, but with a much wider sett and some fatter yarn, I think they will enjoy the weaving a great deal. I'm not sure how they'll do with the Mirrix and think I may also try a table loom as tapestry may be too complicated. I also have a couple inkle looms which may be useful. Perhaps I will try all three.

Home from the party...

Convergence ended yesterday afternoon. As the funny-man from Texas who volunteered to watch the entrance to the vendor hall much of the weekend kept telling me, "at 4:01 you won't be a newbie any more!" I had a first-timer sticker on my badge and he called me "newbie" every time I walked through the door. I warmed to the appellation after awhile. It is good to approach the world with fresh eyes.

There is much to say about the past week and I am not sure it is at all possible to get it down in any sort of coherent order. So here are some highlights for those of you who couldn't attend, and for those of you who did and perhaps had different experiences than I did.

I met many wonderful people this week. Many of them I had gotten to know a little bit online and it was a great deal of fun to attach a face to a blogger or body of art I had seen on the internet. I was also able to reconnect with some weavers I had met at Intermountain Weavers Conference and chat with old friends and teachers such as Northern NM College Rio Grande weaving instructor, Karen Martinez.

I enjoyed the ATA forum on Sunday. Lynne Curran and James Koehler gave lectures about their work. Mary Lane also did a digi slam with work of about a dozen tapestry weavers. I have some new perspectives on international tapestry weavers (okay, artists who are not American--I KNOW this is a long time coming, but sometimes it takes a lilting and lovely voice like Lynne Curran's to jolt my brain into recognition of a new perspective) which I will post more about after unpacking the dirty clothes and giving my new spinning wheel a whirl.

I took some fun classes which I talked about briefly in a prior post. Gregory Case's photo classes were extremely useful and I regret that I couldn't hear the last hour of the class Saturday afternoon. I did have an opening to get to.

Here are some photos from the Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus opening Saturday night. The gallery was keeping track of people coming in for the first couple hours and then the volunteer staff left and we don't know how many people came after that. At last count which was about 6pm I think, there had been 150 people to see the show. As the opening lasted another 2 hours, I think it likely we had over 200 people in one evening. I find that amazing considering how busy Convergence was and how far from the convention center the venue was. I was also so pleased to have people from other parts of my life attend. To those of you who came from places as far flung as Ojo Caliente and Gallup, thank you for coming! It meant a great deal to me to see your smiling faces and hear your words of support.

The following 4 photos of the show were taken by Chris Barber for the gallery. He graciously shared them with me since my camera stopped working about 5 minutes into the opening (yes, the new Nikon). His photos are likely better than any I would have taken anyway and it was a relief not to try to take any photos while at my own opening.
Thank you so much Chris for sharing these shots.

Copyright The CTB and SHR Trust, used by permission

Sunday evening we stopped at the Enchanted Pathways opening at William and Joseph gallery in Santa Fe.
This is Megan Swartzfager. She did the cartoon for the Mystic Moon tapestry (she also named it)
of the unicorn we had in this show. She was the artist. I wove the piece. I am happy to report that Megan has begun learning tapestry weaving herself and I hope that she may have a piece that she designed and wove herself in the next small format show. She is a young lady of many interests and talents, so it remains to be seen which ones get her time and attention.

I am sure that I will have much more to say about Convergence at least in my own head over the next week or two. Whether any of that makes it to this blog remains to be seen. The most important things are hard to capture in words or photos and my heart is full of gratitude for all the people who shared bits of themselves with me this week.