I wasn’t sure I was going to write this post, mostly because I was not able to take photos at the exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Then I thought to myself, “I would be so disappointed if I had not heard about this exhibit. And even if you (this would be you) can’t visit it, at least I can point you in the direction of some wonderfully inspirational books, containing great images of collections of historical weavings!” I decided to call up the Denver Art Museum… and they sent me some great photos! So, here goes:

After days on the road in New England, visiting family and a couple mills, we hopped on an early flight back to the Southwest. Weeks before, we had planned to land in Denver, so we could go visit SPUN: Adventures in Textiles at the Denver Art Museum and then head south to Salida, CO for the Salida Fiber Festival… a wonderful end to a wonderful vacation. However, we did not plan for how exhausted we would be.

After weighing our options, we decided to just run into the museum real quick to see the exhibit Red, White & Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840-1870. After all, it seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity, to see all of these amazing Navajo textiles, in person, displayed in one place! I was so glad we decided to stop….

The first thing I came across was the Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef project! I had seen this on TED Talk a few years back and have had it in my head ever since.

The Institute For Figuring's Crochet Coral Reef project

The Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef Project

Then we headed on over to Red, White & Bold…

The sign outside the entrance to Red, White & Bold.

The sign outside the entrance to Red, White & Bold.

Now, it may have partially been the exhaustion or just the overwhelming beauty of the display, but as I walked through those doors tears welled up in my eyes… I was in awe. There was weaving, after weaving, after weaving of the most beautiful Navajo textiles I had ever seen… the kinds we only get to see in books. It was incredible! The Denver Art Museum (DAM) was kind enough to share the following photos with us. Though the photos are beautiful, seeing these pieces in person felt monumental.

Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840–1870. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840–1870. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840–1870. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840–1870. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

After absorbing the beauty of the display, we headed on into several other sections of SPUN. As it turns out, Nick Cave (another artist I have admired for years!) had an exhibit there too!

The sign outside Nick Cave: Sojourn

The sign outside Nick Cave: Sojourn

Every exhibit we saw was amazing! DAM included photos of a few of the other exhibits to share with you. You can click on the image to be taken to the article written about the exhibit.

Cover Story. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Cover Story. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag. PCourtesy Denver Art Museum.

Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Crocheted garden created by the Ladies Fancywork Society. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

Crocheted garden created by the Ladies Fancywork Society. Courtesy Denver Art Museum.

I could have spent an entire day just touring around, but the sun was setting low in the west and we still had a several hour drive ahead of us. Leaving the museum, I stopped in the gift shop to see if they had any books on the Navajo textiles displayed. I may have missed them, but I didn’t see any on my way out the door (more on this below)…

We hopped in the car, drove on to Salida and got ourselves a cute (if cute means to you a clean and cozy 1950’s, biker-friendly motel with a hot tub in the parking lot, as it does us) little room at the Circle R Motel. We settled into our room with a pizza, some wine and our very sleepy little baby crashed out on one of the beds.

The next morning, we woke refreshed and excited to visit the second annual Salida Fiber Festival. We were not sure what to expect…

 

Joe and Elsi heading to the festival.

Joe and Elsi heading to the festival.

We got to the entrance.. and, WOW!, what a treat! It was packed! And we got to see some of our favorite vendors including Greenwood Fiberworks, The Natural Twist and Lisa Joyce Designs.

Elsi giving me a high-five-for-fiber at the entrance of the Salida Fiber Festival

Elsi giving me a High-Five-For-fFber at the entrance of the Salida Fiber Festival

The fiber-lovin' crowd at the Salida Fiber Festival

The fiber-lovin’ crowd at the Salida Fiber Festival

Lisa Joyce Designs booth full of beautiful handspun novelty yarns.

Lisa Joyce Designs booth full of beautiful handspun novelty yarns.

We walked around and visited with everyone for a few hours, while I decided on my purchase: A Rug Punch, a Rug Punching Hoop and a huge piece of fabric to use as the base of my rug from a local business called The Bee Skep. Yes, I am going to try Rug Punching with our Rug Yarn! (I will make sure to keep you updated on the progress.)

Well, as it turned out, our visit to Colorado turned out to be a wonderful way to end a wonderful vacation!

Just a few notes before I wrap this up:
1) The Salida Fiber Festival is fantastic! We highly recommend it! And Salida is just the sweetest little town…
2) SPUN is a must see! If you are within driving distance to Colorado, consider taking the trip. FYI: this show ends September 22, 2013.
3) If you can’t make it to Colorado, the following books would be a great addition to your fiber library:

  • Spanish Textile Tradition of Northern New Mexico and Colorado by Nora Fisher (This is the original – and harder to find – edition of Rio Grand Textiles, they are more or less one in the same… but I love them both!)
    These are just a few of my favorite books... They are a great foundation for a diverse fiber library.

These are just a few of my favorite books… They are a great foundation for a diverse fiber library.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this as mush as I did! And, as usual, I would love to here from you! Have you visited SPUN? If so, what did you think? Have you been to the Salida Fiber Fest? What is your favorite Fiber Festival out there (we hope to be attending a few in 2014!)? What are your favorite fiber books? Have you written a fiber book of your own you would like to share? If you feel like it, leave a comment in the section provided. Thank you!

Ciao,
Teresa Loveless and the Weaving Southwest Crew

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6 comments on “A Fibery Visit to Colorado

  • Exciting to here about you trying rug punching. I find that your rug yarn works great with the rug punch and yields a fantastic results.

  • It’s such a thrill to have a friend forward your newsletter.
    Many years ago I lived on Lama and spent a lot of time with Rachel, spinning on the prototype of the rio grande spinning wheel and dying with Louisa in the early days of La Lana yarns.

    Your moving back to Seco and continuing the tradition is great.

    The newsletter will be an event i look forward to from now on.

    Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished,
    Cecelia

  • I vicariously enjoyed your Fiber Vacation, thanks for all those photos, Joe! The history behind those mills must be amazing, I’d love to go. The Red White and Bold exhibit was dazzling, the pictures were wonderful – to see all of those Navajo weavings in one place, if only they could talk and tell their stories! I saw the crocheted coral reef in Chicago a few years ago, wasn’t it something? I’m glad to find out that more people are able to see it.
    I visited your shop this summer and bought some more yarn, maybe you remember me! I have quite a stash now, my weaving class loves it and we have all the sample cards on hand. Maybe I’ll send a picture of the Pedernales weaving I did when I got home – I loved the Sandra Bot-Miller circle weavings and wonder how she does that.
    I picked up the book “Three Weavers” by your grandmother, Joan Loveless when I was in Taos at a B&B and bought it when I got home. It was such a wonderful story of three amazing women, you must be very proud to be a part of that history.
    Oh, and I just ordered two of the weaving books you recommended at the end of your Colorado piece!
    Thanks for all the information you pass on in such a fun way!
    K.Lisec

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