Every time Joe walks into our shop, a smile spreads across my face. He is a wealth of fascinating stories. Spending five minutes with him makes me wish I could have walked a day in his shoes during some point of his lifetime. He is an incredible man and approaches weaving from a unique standpoint. Every piece he brings us is hand-dyed or hand-spun and intricately woven. At first glance his designs seem simple, but upon further investigation one will realize the technical lengths he has gone through to create his stunning designs.

I would like to introduce you to one of our incredible artists, Joe Bacon…

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Joe Bacon

JB Bio

Joe Bacon, Photo by Daryl A. Black

I started weaving 10 years ago when I retired from a business career and moved to the northern California coast. I started on a Navajo loom but switched over to a Rio Grande walking loom when I moved to Taos a few years later. My design inspiration has always come from the ancients: the Mayans in Mexico, the Incans in Peru, the Navajo in the American southwest, and the Hispanic Weavers of northern New Mexico. The design elements these gifted artisans created are more than decorative, they have political, cultural and religious meaning and reflect the rich traditions of these noble people. I use wools from the Churro sheep which were introduced to northern New Mexico by the early Spanish settlers. Most of my colors come from using natural dyes obtained mostly from plants native to this area.

JB Weaving

Tapestry by Joe Bacon. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

Ciao,
Teresa

PS What inspires your weavings? Do you love natural dyes and hand-spun yarn? Have you had the honer of meeting the wonderful Joe Bacon? We would love to hear your story! Leave a comment…

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And then there’s Jack, one of the youngest student’s I’ve taught. He came to Taos a while back to visit his aunt, a local fiber icon and all around wonderful woman. Over the last few months, he has fallen in love with the wonderful world of fiber in Northern New Mexico. He took his first class with us a couple months ago. Within his first few inches of weaving, I could tell he was a natural! A couple classes later, Jack had every technical aspect of Southwestern-style tapestry down. Just before we hung the show at Town Hall, Jack spent a couple days dyeing several beautiful shades of yarn and hopped on one of our looms to weave a larger piece. It was his first large rug and, in my opinion, it came out very well! However, Jack is a perfectionist and was not happy with his edges, so he didn’t enter the piece in the show. I believe, with a little more experience weaving large pieces, Jack has the potential to become an incredible weaver! So here you go, meet Jack Moody….

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Jack Moody

JM Bio

Jack Moody

Jack Moody, 23, is a young man from the Sandhills of Nebraska. He came to Taos to learn about the Fiber Arts. Not only has he started to learn about weaving, he has also delved into dyeing, spinning, knitting, and crocheting. The three pieces of his that are featured are from classes he took at Weaving Southwest in Arroyo Seco, with Teresa Loveless. Tapestry has been the focus of his weaving, but he also plans to try backstrap and tablet weaving, and rugs are sure to follow.

JM Piece 1

Jack’s first weaving, from our class Neptune, A Study in Building. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

JM Piece 2

Jack’s second weaving, from our class Habitat, A Study in Vertical Joints. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

JM Piece 3

Jack’s third weaving, an experimentation in design, from our class Interweave, A Study in Design. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS So, what do you think? Does Jack have what it takes to become a professional weaver? I think so! Leave a comment to help encourage him to weave another large piece. I am sure he will either way, but a little love always helps!

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Young Teresa Fiber

Teresa playing in a bag of fiber as a little girl

My Grandma Rachel took this photo of me when I was just a little girl, maybe three or four years old. Who would have thought that her letting me play in bags of fiber and teaching me to weave as a kiddo would have led me to where I am today? I can’t thank her enough for letting me be part of her world.

Ciao,
Teresa

PS How did you get into the fiber world? How did your grandma influence your life? We would love to here your story! Leave a comment to share it with us!

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Not long ago, Michal Anne Pepper came into our lives. From the first day we met, she showed a true enthusiasm for weaving. In less than a year from when she bought her first loom, she came by our shop in Arroyo Seco with her first large weaving (all woven with our yarns, of course).

Michal Ann's first large weaving

Michal Ann’s first large weaving

She chose another run of colors that day. A few phone conversations later, she had dove into weaving her first tapestry… this was the start of her Cabezon Series.

I would like to introduce you to the wonderful Michal Ann Pepper….

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Michal Anne Pepper

Michal Ann Pepper

Michal Ann Pepper

In January, 2011, my partner and I were visiting Taos from Santa Fe and were walking to dinner. We passed the erstwhile Taos Weaving Southwest. I was captured by the colors and demanded that we go in and explore. I was enchanted. I was stunned by the wealth of colors, the gorgeous rugs and the designs. I had never seen Modern fiber art pieces before. Teresa Loveless was there and let me finger every rug and poke at all the different color yarns. She showed me her wonderful looms. Finally I asked “Do you think I could learn to weave?”. Teresa sold me a small Schacht school loom and a book on tapestry weaving and told me to go buy some cheap yarn and practice.

The first of the Cabezon Series Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

The first of the Cabezon Series Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

My partner didn’t say anything, but later during dinner she asked me whatever had gotten into me to buy a loom. I have never done crafts nor shown any inclination towards knitting or crocheting or any other crafty-type thing. A few months later, my brother (who is a real artist), hesitantly asked me the same question. The two people who know me best, my brother and my partner of 32 years, were flabbergasted that I would start weaving at this stage in my life!

Cabezon Two on the loom

Cabezon Two on the loom

Later I bought a Mighty Wolf Schacht floor loom at a garage sale. I was excited that I would finally get to weave something with the wonderfully rich rug yarns from Weaving Southwest. Teresa talked me through the ordeal of warping my first loom and helped me pick out some colors. I bought Rachel Brown’s out of print book* on Amazon and it has become my bible. It sits on the coffee table in our great room.

The second of the Cabezon Series. Photo taken in Michal Anne's home

The second of the Cabezon Series. Photo taken in Michal Anne’s home

I am intrigued by the old Taos Modernists. I look at their paintings and wonder what the Taos Modernists might look like in fiber. After several small floor rugs, I started a series of wall hangings with Cabezon. I am almost finished with the third rug of the Cabezon series. Meanwhile I have moved to Phoenix for a new job, and have become fascinated with the Grand Canyon. My next series will use those colors and shapes. I think it will be less representational than the Cabezon series.

The sketch for Cabezon Three

The sketch for Cabezon Three

I told my brother that the reason I am fascinated by weaving is the colors–it gives me the opportunity to touch and fondle pure color. I love the colors Teresa makes at Weaving Southwest from her grandmother’s dye recipes. I don’t get to weave as much as I would like, but I am enchanted by my effort to translate a landscape into a Modern fiber art piece. The other aspect of weaving that I love is the community. I have met all kinds of weavers, and enjoy being part of a group of people who are as passionate about color and texture as I am. No, I am not the “crafty” type, and I am not the artist in the family. But I love weaving, talking about weaving, studying the work of great weavers, rubbing richly colored yarns and being part of a community who likes to do all the same things.

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*We are working on getting Rachel Brown’s The Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Book printed again.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know one of the wonderful people that works with our yarns. It just goes to show how a little inspiration, enthusiasm and a good book can change your life.

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Are you a self-taught weaver? (My Grandma Rachel Brown was, too.) Do you love Michal Anne’s work? Do you enjoy using our yarns? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

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We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with the Taos Arts Council to put together a beautiful show, now open to the public at The Town Hall of Taos!

A while back we were approached by Paul Figueroa, of the Taos Arts Council, to put together a exhibit to be hung in a large public space, The Town Hall of Taos. It sounded like a fun opportunity, so we agreed. We started out thinking we would approach this like any other gallery hanging, featuring all of our artists. Though this would be beautiful, after a lot of discussion, we decided to go in a different direction…

First Rug by Paul Tracy, photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall

First Rug by Paul Tracy, photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall

We wanted to make it an educational and interactive exhibit, featuring the work of some of the many wonderful people that are involved with Weaving Southwest. We invited several of our students, including Paul Tracy, who after a couple classes (with us and Tierra Wools) and weaving one sampler piece, created the beautiful rug shown here. We invited several artists that use our yarn, like Kay Harris of Taos who weaves beautiful afghans on a Weave-It Loom using our 2-ply Tapestry Yarns. Of course, we invited all of our artists!

We also wanted to tell the story of Weaving Southwest. Who we are, what we do and why we do it. We were able to get a couple of my Grandma Rachel Brown’s tapestries as well as pieces from my great aunt, Kristina Wilson, and step-grandmother, Joan Loveless. If you have read The Three Weavers or are from these parts, it is very likely that you have heard their names. Those three women had such a huge impact on weaving in Northern New Mexico and I felt their story should be shared.

Shortly before we started hanging the show, I came across a scrapbook that belonged to my Grandma Rachel. It contained newspaper clippings dating back as far as the 1940’s. We mounted these articles along with bios of all of the participants (thanks to Copy Queen of Taos and the Barry Norris Studio) and hung them throughout the show, in hopes of guiding the viewer through the wonderful and rich history that is Weaving Southwest.

We are having an opening at Town Hall, 400 Camino De La Placita, from 5-7PM tomorrow, Friday, January 24, 2014. If you are in the area, we would love for you to join us! The show will hang through March 28th, so if you can’t make it tomorrow, maybe you can make it some time over the next couple months.

We realize not everyone can make it to Taos on such short notice, so we have decided to share the entire show via our blog! Every couple days, we will have posts featuring our artists, students and weavers that use our yarn. I am also transcribing all of the articles, so you will be able to follow the wonderful story that brought Weaving Southwest to where it is today.

I hope you enjoy this exhibit, in person or virtually, as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you!

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At Christmas dinner a few weeks back my aunt, Weiping, called me into the living room to show me a video on her computer. Weiping, originally from Nanning, China, has lived in Arroyo Seco for many years. She uses our yarns to create (by knitting and crocheting) beautiful shoes that carry we at Weaving Southwest.

Shoes by Ping

Weiping’s Handmade Shoes

I sat down to watch the video, not knowing what to expect.  She told me that it was all in Chinese but thought I would enjoy it. Twenty-some minutes later, jaw dropped and eyebrows raised, I turned to her in awe and asked her to email me the link.

From what I got from our conversation and the video, this is a program that aired in China, depicting the style of weaving used in the countryside near where she grew up. The type of weaving in this video is so far from what I am used to or have ever seen. The loom alone makes me want to hop on a plane to Nanning. The warping and how they operate their sheds makes me realize how little I really know. This video gives us a glimpse into their world of weaving, a completely different world than the one I have grown up in.

I am sharing this with you, in hopes that it makes your jaw drop too. Enjoy!

China Weaving
Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Did your jaw drop? We would love to know! Post a comment to let us know what you think.

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A few months back the most wonderful young woman came into my shop. She spent a while exploring our yarns and weavings with a look of wonder upon her face. When we got to chatting and I could tell she was falling in love with the world of textiles.

Maria José came back a few weeks later and signed up for a class. It turned out she had taken up knitting since we last spoke and had already created a couple scarves and was working on a blanket. In class, for her first weaving ever, she chose a pattern inspired by her home country, Chile. The complexity of her design, her enthusiasm and determination intrigued me.

MJ's Weaving
MJ, as we often call her, didn’t know at the time, but I was trying to figure out some way to continue her textile education. A few weeks later, I got a call from a wonderful woman and friend who is equally interested in MJ’s fiber future and offered to gift her a second weaving class. MJ accepted graciously.

During lunch one day at her second class, MJ  found an incredible article on a Chilean website. (It takes a while to download, so be patient.) This is something I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to find on my own. This article or rather, book, beautifully describes traditional Southern Chilean weaving, spinning and dyeing in Spanish, English and through photographs.

Chilean WeavingI’m sharing this with you, in hopes that you will share this with others. In my opinion, there aren’t enough publications like this out there. Every region, every style of weaving, every collection of techniques should be documented like this and shared with the world.  I, once again, must thank the inventor of the World Wide Web for making information like this accessible to everyone (who can find it and has Internet, of course). I would also like to think MJ for sharing this with me so that I can share it with you.

By the end of her second class, I realized that encouraging Maria José’s love for textiles is not only important for her, but also myself. Before MJ left that last day, I asked her to be my first apprentice. I can’t wait to share with you how this all unfolds.

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Take a look at this article. In the comment section of this blog post, please let us know what you think. Does this inspire you? Did you learn something? Are there other articles like this out there that we may not know about that you would like to share? Thank you!

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As promised, here it is… my first real interview!

I met Sandi Klein a few weeks back while she was visiting with her son and grandbaby here in Arroyo Seco.  We got to talking about everything: growing up in Taos, New York City (where she calls home), how I got into the fiber business, travels to Peru, and her new career and passion… The 51%, Conversations with Creative Women.  When she left the shop I took a look at her website and tuned in to multiple interviews she has had with wonderful and inspiring women from many walks of life.

A few weeks passed and Sandi called me asked me to be part of her show. Of course, with complete excitement, I said yes! What an honor, to be included with such an incredible array of accomplished creative women.

This is my first interview like this and to be completely honest, I was very nervous. At the same time I am very excited to share with you a little bit more about the history of Weaving Southwest, who I am and why I do it.

I would like to invite you to check out the interview. Click here to be directed to Sandy’s website. Enjoy!

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Leave a comment to let me know what you think! Thanks for choosing to be part of the Weaving Southwest world!


A while back a wonderful woman, Sandi Klein, came into our shop and we got to chatting.
We talked a little bit about everything… her son’s family just moving to Taos, how it is
living in small town northern New Mexico, a little about New York City (where she comes
from) and, of course, a lot about fiber. She told me about a radio show that she hosts,
The 51%, Conversations with Creative Women. I hopped on her site after she left the shop and dove into one interview after another of just that, conversations with wonderful creative women.

Sandi

Sandi and her Grandbaby in Taos

Sandi called me a couple weeks later and asked me to be on her show! I am honored to
say that I am her first long distance interview (thank you Skype!) and that it will be airing
on January 7th. What a wonderful way to ring in the new year!

I would love to invite you to check out the interview! You will be able to find it on Tuesday at 10AM EST on Sandi’s website, The 51%, Conversations with Creative Women.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for us all! Thank you for choosing to
be part of Weaving Southwest!

Ciao,
Teresa, Joe, Elsada Rae and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Have you heard any of Sandi’s interviews before? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

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