We would like to invite you to join us for the tapestry weaving experience of a lifetime. Joe and I have planned a week of creativity, education, nourishment and relaxation, perfect for any experienced or aspiring tapestry weaver. Click on the Weaving SpringWild Retreat tab above for more information and/or keep on reading!
Growing up in Taos, I sometimes find that I take for granted the beauty and artistic draw of this small Northern New Mexican town. Once I stop and look around, there is no doubt why this jewel has drawn creatives and free spirits from around the globe throughout the last century.
From the Mable Dodge Luhan days, 1920-60’s, where Mable created a space for her talented friends (D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe, to name a few) to retreat and explore their creativity. On to the days of the Taos Moderns, 1940’s, when the area became a mecca for artists of all mediums. To the days of the Taos Hippie, 1960-70’s, where the Sterling Smiths (one of the many communes in Taos at that time) spent their days of communal living creating beautiful concho belts and squash blossom earrings, selling them off of impromptu blanket “galleries” in the plazas of Taos and Santa Fe. To the 1990’s when Taos became a destination for art collectors searching out historic and contemporary works of artists of the area. To today when you can still find famous artists painting their masterpieces on the sidewalks of downtown Taos, while local musicians play live on the stage of Taos Plaza.
My family settled in Taos during the time of the Taos Moderns. With backgrounds in the fine arts, color and design, my grandparents, Malcolm and Rachel Brown, moved to Taos to raise their family, live off the land and explore their artistic creativity. The beauty of Taos Valley, the simplicity of life, the cultural richness and the utopian visions of the area kept them both here to live out the remainder of their days.
After the kids had grown Malcolm and Rachel parted ways, yet remained close friends and continued their lives in Taos. My Grandpa created his hand-built masterpiece of a home with visions of the communal lifestyle and living the good life, while creating his collection of grand abstract oil paintings. My Grandma, delving deep into the world of textiles, built a mecca for fiber artists world-wide, while creating contemporary works of art using warp, weft and tapestry weaving as her medium.
Since I took over my Grandma’s business, Weaving Southwest, over six years ago, I have had dreams of bringing weavers to this region and showing them our beautiful world, the way we Taoseños see it. When my Grandpa passed, about a decade ago, my family sold his home to an amazing couple, Dan and Diane, who appreciated and preserved the beauty of the estate my Grandpa had created, SpringWild. Upon meeting Dan and Diane, about a year ago, and visiting SpringWild for the first time in ten years, it all came together. We decided to put together our first ever weaving retreat, held at SpringWild, giving the weavers a rare taste of the Northern New Mexico experience. After a year, or even decades, in the making, we are truly excited to invite you to our first ever weaving retreat, Weaving SpringWild!
During this week together we will dive into the world of the Taos Moderns, exploring your personal creativity through tapestry weaving with the guidance and support of myself, Teresa Loveless, while experiencing living off the land, in the utopia that is SpringWild. You will be living in somewhat of a communal sense, with a shared bathhouse and family style meals. Spending your days weaving on Walking Looms with the finest hand-dyed wool yarns. Your “studio” will be a canopy covered Walking Loom in the grass fields of SpringWild, with four opens sides, allowing for you to fully enjoy the beauty of your surroundings; Taos mountain, Red-winged Blackbirds singing in the willows, summer storms rolling in over the mesa, to name a few. If you have never smelled the summer rains, that is reason enough to pack your bags.
The day you arrive at SpringWild you will be greeted and shown your room. The rest of the afternoon you can spend exploring the grounds or taking a self-guided walking tour of Taos. In the evening, once everyone has arrived, we will all gather for a Welcome Feast. Everyone will get to know each other while Joe sets the table with dishes he has created from the freshest local foods around. We will wrap up the night with a viewing of the documentary Woven Stories, a glimpse into the textile richness that is Northern New Mexico. You end your day, crawling into your cozy bed, with views of the New Mexico summer sky and thoughts of the wonderful day you’ve had and excitement of the day to come.
Each morning you will rise to the smell of fresh coffee and home-baked pastries, followed shortly after by a home-cooked breakfast, a-la Joe. You will spend the remainder of the day weaving your heart’s desire, only to be interrupted by a delicious, nourishing family-style lunch. You are free to weave all day, or if you need a little more inspiration or a break from the loom you can venture into town to enjoy the museums and galleries or go on a short drive to take in some of Taos’ breathtaking sights. Once the day has come to an end, you will head out on your own or with a pack of your new friends and enjoy an evening on the town, finding dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants Taos has to offer. A few of the early evenings, before you head to dinner, will be spent at SpringWild, enjoying appetizers and a short presentation from one of our local fiber icons. On our final night together, we will all gather in the evening for a Farewell Feast to share our experiences of the week and show off our creations. The following morning, we will fill you up with one last breakfast and send you on your way, inspired, nourished and rejuvenated, for the journey home and months to come.
As I am sure you can tell by now, Joe and I will be your hosts. Joe will cook you incredible meals with fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses sourced from local farms, including our own. I will be there to guide you through your weaving process and help you with any creative or technical challenges. Dan and Diane, the owners of SpringWild will also be around to guide us through the adventure of living at this unique property. We will be visited by Brook and Roxanne, our two employees and experienced weavers. Both of these incredible and knowledgeable women wove for my grandmother at Weaving Southwest for many years. They will offer insight and inspiration of their own to all of the weavers that come to join us. Our little daughter, Elsi Rae, will be stopping by on occasion, I am sure, to further brighten up our days. We are also gathering together some of the most wonderful fiber folks around to come and inspire you during the evening presentations.
This retreat is geared towards any level of tapestry weaver. As this is not a class, I recommend knowing the basics of Southwestern-style tapestry weaving. If you don’t have this right now, not a problem… I can recommend a little homework to get you well on your way before the retreat begins. We will be weaving on Rio Grande Walking Looms, so you will be standing all day. This is much easier on your body than weaving on many other types of looms. So, as long as you are in relatively good condition, weaving for 5-8 hours shouldn’t be a problem at all, even for those with minor back problems. If you have a health concern that you believe would be an issue, let us know before you sign up, so we can make sure this will be a wonderful experience for you. Your “studio” will be equipped with everything you need for the entire week, including a huge selection of our beautiful hand-dyed yarns.
This may be an experience you want to have on your own, however if you have someone who you would like to bring along (that would share your bed) and doesn’t weave, they are more than welcome! If you would like, we can help to arrange activities for them to help to make sure their experience in Taos is just as magical as yours.
There is a lot more information in the remaining sections of this website (see the Weaving SpringWild Retreat tab at the top of the website). Please read everything thoroughly and let us know if you have any questions at all. Space is very limited, so if you would like to join us, please let us know as soon as possible. Experiences like this don’t come along every day… who would have thought you would be able to be transported back in time to experience the life of the Taos Moderns?
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