Source: The Taos News
Date: July 2, 1987

Brown Shows Woven Art
By Jean Nathan

Some say timing is everything, and Rachel Brown has it.

Brown has just realized a 10-year old dream to have a place where weavings would be displayed in a gallery setting as works of art in their own right.

Brown shows woven art article 1

Rachel Brown

Last month, she opened “Weaving-Southwest” a gallery next to her weaving supply shop on Paseo Sur. The response, she says, has been overwhelming.

The world may be ready to see tapestry and wall-hangings as something other than a cover for a blemish on a wall.

Aside from her mission to equate tapestries with art, Brown says a renaissance in Southwest tapestries is taking place.

More and more Hispanic weavers are reviving the weaving tradition of their parents and grandparents, creating entirely new motifs. Navajos and other Native American weavers are producing new and different designs, Anglo weavers continue to be influenced by this Southwestern tapestry tradition, and with their new approach to design and color are, in turn, influencing the more traditional weavers.

Brown says cross-cultural influences in weaving techniques and designs in the Southwest have played a role for more than two centuries.

Brown, who came to Taos 30 years ago, the same year she began weaving, is considered by many to be the weaving expert. Her Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing Book is a bible for weavers all over the country.

As a reigning expert, Brown explains tapestries in the Southwest are a separate and different technique from the European tapestry tradition where a design from a drawing or painting is created and then the tapestry is simply executed.

In the Southwest, Brown says, tapestry has always been an art form in itself, with the discipline of the weaving itself dictating design and form. Most weavers in this area, she said, dye their own yarns, and many hand-spin the yarns from the raw fleece shorn from the sheep of their own flocks.

Brown shows woven art article

Works by Lisa Trujillo (left) and Rachel Brown

Connie Taylor is a local weaver who does all the wool work herself. Taylor’s work includes abstract designs and pictorial tapestries, many of them with a strong political twist.

Her “Northern New Mexico Packaged for Sale” is a strong design created from handspun wool from her own flocks, with a black and white price code woven in the bottom corner.

Kristina Wilson’s works are brilliantly colorful animals and other creatures poised in whimsical stances.

Irvin and Lisa Trujillo of the Centinela Ranch in Chimayo, some of the most well-known weavers in the Rio Grande tradition, both have interesting works in the gallery. Lisa Trujillo’s Saltillo design is dazzling. She is the only contemporary weaver working in this technique.

Weaving-Southwest, representing 40 New Mexico weavers, also sell rugs and apparel, but the emphasis is strongly on the tapestries.

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



09 Baroque Landscape

Baroque Landscape,original tapestry by Rachel Brown,1997. Hand-dyed wool. 71″ x 31″

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



Source: The Taos News
Date: Nov. 7, 1991

Taos Artists Get Ready for D.C.
Author: Deborah Ensor

Many of Taos’ best artists are about ready to make their debut in the nation’s capitol.

In conjunction with the “Tree in D.C.” project, 44 Taos artists will have the opportunity to have their work seen in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.

This collection of art first will be unveiled at a fundraiser hosted by the Chefs of Taos at the Design Center of New Mexico. The show opens on Friday (Nov. 8) with a buffet from 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

DC Exhibit article 3

A photograph of R.C. Gorman, Rachel Brown and Veloy Vigil taken by Paul O’Connor to be used to promote the “Live from Taos” show on the East Coast.

The evening, which includes entertainment, food and door prizes, is to raise money for the Chefs of Taos. The chefs are putting on another reception in Washington on Dec. 11, after the official tree lighting ceremony of the live Taos tree. The funds raised here will help to defray expenses.

Also at the fund-raiser, the official “Tree in D.C.” poster will be for sale. Titled “Getting the Tree,” it is an 11×14 inch woodcut by Angie Coleman, depicting an old pickup driving up a mountain road with a tree in the back. Cost is $10, $15 signed.

The art show will hang at the Design Center from Friday through Dec. 1. It then goes to the Russell Rotunda from Dec. 9-13. The art show will be on view for all to see during the Dec. 11 reception in the caucus room adjacent to the rotunda.

The show then will travel across the river to Alexandria, Va., to the Buffalo Gallery, where it will hang from Dec. 16 through mid-January.

According to Bill Staniforth and Grace Rogers, co-chairmen of the exhibit, the exhibition was envisioned as an opportunity to use the rotunda outside the reception room for an exhibit.

“What more could we send from Taos than art?” Staniforth said. “The idea is to promote Taos, and New Mexico, and when it gets right down to it, Taos is art.”

The show is invitational, mixing traditional Hispanic art work with landscapes, sculpture, Native American works and contemporary Taos art.

“It is a cross section of works,” Rogers said. “Besides beautiful New Mexican landscape paintings, we wanted to see some contemporary work. I think we accomplished that.”

The show is dubbed “Live from Taos,” and features only living Taos artists who have distinguished themselves in the art world here. Due to space limitations in the rotunda, the show had to be limited to 44 artists. The committee chose living artists to dispel the myth that much of the eastern United States holds – that Taos art is comprised only of masters like Couse, Berninghaus or Sharp.

Both Staniforth and Rogers will be going to Washington to help install the art show.

“We’re trying to get some of the best art of Taos all together in one place, in a different place,” Rogers said. “We wanted a good, high quality art show of Taos in our nation’s captiol.”

The show is funded in part by artists’ contributions, private donations, the Tree in D.C. committee and “we also found many angels to help us,” Staniforth said.

Participating artists include William Acheff, Larry Bell, Rachel Brown, George Chacon, Angie Coleman, Leslie Crespin, Keith Crown, Robert Daughters, Robert Ellis, Alyce Frank, Lydia Garcia, Rod Goebel, Walt Gonske, R.C. Gorman, Valerie Graves, Chuck Henningsen, Fola Jaramilla, Scott Jennings, Jerry Jordan, Gene Kloss, James Mack, Miguel Martinez, Ila McAfee, Ed Morgan, Margaret Ness, Tom Nobel, Paul Pascarella, Bill Rane, Ed Sandoval, Veloy Vigil, Ray Vinella, Rory Wagner, Jim Wagner, Barbara Zaring and Melissa Zink. Invited sculptors include Ron Copper, Ted Egri, Bill Gersh, Clark Jensen, Juan and Patty Navarrete, Aliah Sage, Leonard Salazar, Robert Shorty and Ben Wade.

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



2 Blue Lightening

Blue Lightning by Rachel Brown

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



Back in the 1960’s my Grandma, Rachel Brown, started her first fiber business here in Arroyo Seco… The Craft House. About 50 years later, I feel we have come full circle. When we decided to move Weaving Southwest from Taos to Arroyo Seco, we weren’t sure what to expect. However, to Joe and I (and my entire family) it felt really good. A year and a half has passed and we couldn’t be happier! Weaving Southwest has found its home in the little Quonset hut, directly across the street from where my Grandma started The Craft House about half a century ago…

Source: The Taos News
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 1968

Craft House Offers Choice Work by Many NM Craftsmen
Author Unknown

Craft House Offers article

The rich color and texture in bags of hand-spun and hand-dyed wool, by weaver Kristina Wilson, left, intrigue Betsy Cogburn as she views the many items by 80 New Mexico craftsmen at Craft House, Arroyo Seco. With other directors and exhibitors Mrs. Wilson takes turn as shop attendant while continuing with her weaving.

 

Craft House Offers article 5

Rachel Brown displays the luxurious, and at the same time decidedly practical, blankets and throws she has woven of hand-spun mohair in delightful colors. Mrs. Brown, who also helps with shop-keeping, is among directors. She is finding Craft House of much interest to skiers stopping in as they travel the road to Taos Ski Valley.

Craft House Offers article 2

Betsy Cogburn’s fresh-baked horno bread is another treat. Here Betsy holds a loaf from the big basket on the counter, as Mrs. Oli (Joan) Sihvonen, well known for her woven wall hangings, looks on.

Craft House Offers article 6

Stacked High within an interesting circular structure of native aspen poles are Kristina Wilson’s pillows, all of hand-spun, hand-dyed wool in lovely colors. Miss Alice Farrell, left, Taos Art Association executive secretary, favors the sunny orange tones of one held by Mrs. Wilson.

Craft House Offers article 7

Alyce Frank, exhibitor and director, stands beside a pale beige hand-spun caracul coverlet by Mari Grassi of Albuquerque. In the background are colorful handwoven ponchos by Jacqueline Bachels and bright-hued shirts by Evelyn Berdel of Valdez. Represented with items are craftsmen of the Taos area, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Vegas, but other New Mexico craftsmen interested in a permanent outlet may contact Craft House.

Craft House Offers article 8

Admiring an unusual pottery jar by Neal Townsend of Albuquerque, president of New Mexico Designer Craftsmen, is Grace Parr, whose handicrafts are available. The handcarved chair in Spanish-colonial tradition is by George Sandoval while the cradle board above is by Steve Hinton of Ranchos de Taos.

Craft House Offers article 10

Ceramics, woodcarvings and other widely appealing objects will the shelves, beside which Rachel Brown stands.

PS Did you ever visit The Craft House? We would love to hear your story! Special bonus points if you happen to have photos of that era!

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



When I came back to Taos in 2008, I was looking for work to fund my travels. My Grandma, Rachel Brown, hired me on to weave a rug for her at Weaving Southwest. It was the first time I had spent time at the shop (and woven a large piece) since my second year in college, six years prior.

When coming up with the design, my Grandma pulled out a section of the Taos News called The Tempo. There was an ad inside for Buffalo Thunder Resort that had an interesting black and white boarder. She said she had noticed it when it was sitting on her coffee table, half covered by the rest of the newspaper. We drew inspiration from that for our sections of tapestry.

When choosing the colors for the rug, my Grandma suggested using all the yellows in one portion of our sample card. (She knew I loved working with bright colors!) Below is what came of our collaboration… Thunder!

Thunder, handwoven rug, designed by Rachel Brown and woven by Teresa Loveless

Thunder, handwoven rug, designed by Rachel Brown and woven by Teresa Loveless

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Do you like this piece? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



Here is another beautiful tapestry, designed and woven by my Grandmother, Rachel Brown. Enjoy!

“This was another tapestry that was a derivative of the Hidden Symmetry tapestries and their forms. The curved forms that I came up with reminded me of Northwest coast Indian designs, which I realized are forms that are similar to natural scenes in the environment. There are some smooth rounded curves, which is the way the snow forms in the arctic.” -Rachel Brown

West by Northwest, Original Tapestry by Rachel Brown, hand-dyed wool 1996, 61" x 44"

West by Northwest, Original Tapestry by Rachel Brown, hand-dyed wool 1996, 61″ x 44″

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Do you like this piece? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



The Chief is one of our custom designs. We usually weave this piece using traditional colors… reds, blacks and whites. The simple design makes for a stunning center piece!

The Chief, custom design by Weaving Southwest

The Chief, custom design by Weaving Southwest

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Do you like this piece? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



María José… what can I say other than I feel so blessed that she has come into my life. I remember the first day we met, not many months ago. I could tell at first glance that she could find a love for and a life in the world of textiles. Shortly after we met, she picked up a pair of knitting needles, and as far as I can tell, she hasn’t put them down since… except when she is at the loom or dye pots.

I was lucky enough to have MJ (as we call her) in two of my Southwestern-style Tapestry Classes. Shortly there after, I asked her to be my first apprentice. Timing may have been perfect, or maybe I just see such potential in her that I couldn’t resist.

After a couple days at the dye studio, prepping yarn and dyeing what we could, I said to MJ , “So that’s the gist of it”, thinking she had learned quite a bit and may not want to come dye more in the freezing cold and potential snow storms. “Do you want to learn more?”, I asked. With an eager look on her face she nodded and said something along the lines of “Of course! I’ll be here manana!” The smile that spread across my face couldn’t express how happy this made me. Her words, as we stood there freezing while the last color struck in the pots, made me realize I had chosen the perfect apprentice.

I would like to introduce you to María José…

……………………………………………..

María José Urbina Estrada

MJUE Bio

María José Urbina Estrada

My name is María José Urbina Estrada. I was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. In the past three years, I have been blessed with a nomadic lifestyle which has taken me to many different places on this Earth.

I found Taos two years ago and I just recently came back to make it my home. In this new stage of my Path, I found myself loving and enjoying yarn, needles, and wool. In this way, weaving found me.

MJ Weaving 1

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

Being from a place so far away, where weaving is so alive, it is ironic to me that this passion has found me here. It is further ironic because I find weaving so deeply beautiful, however it never caught my attention before now.

MJ Weaving 2

María José second weaving, from our class Habitat, A Study in Verticals. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

I am a translator by profession, and in the process of growing in this area, I have learned five languages. Even though I am just starting to learn how to weave, I feel it as an instrument to speak a new language. More so, a new way of manifestation, a new start, and finally a tool of ancient discovery.

Ciao,
Teresa

PS What do you think of MJ’s work? Do you think she has as much potential as I do? We would love to hear what you think! Please leave a comment…

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required



The lovely nurse by day, mother of three, Cheryl Demas, manages to produce beautiful rugs and blankets… in her spare time. (This is where I would normally insert a smiley face.) Though her style is not necessarily in the realm of Southwestern-style tapestry weaving, the beauty of her work and her passion for weaving have brought her to exhibit as an artist at Weaving Southwest for many years now.

Cheryl uses our Rug Yarn and Apparel Yarns, along with a verity of other fibers, including chenille, to create beautiful weavings that can be used as rugs (in low traffic areas), blankets or wall hangings. Seeing her work displayed in a space with tall ceilings for our show, Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall, made me realize the full potential of these weavings. The beauty and texture in the fringe alone are enough to turn anyone’s head.

I would like to introduce you to the wonderful Cheryl Demas…

……………………………………………

Cheryl Demas

CD Bio

Cheryl Demas

I have been a weaver for thirty years. I discovered “the loom” in Creede, CO, where I spent every summer of my childhood. The moment I saw my first loom, I was fascinated and hooked on the possibilities that a loom and I could produce. As a lover of rugs and blankets, that has always been my passion on the loom. I have been in New Mexico for thirty years, raised three children here, went to the University of New Mexico and received my bachelors of Science in Nursing.

CD Amythist

Amethyst by Cheryl Demas. Photo taken at Weaving Southwest @ Town Hall.

I have always been intrigued with Weaving Southwest and was delighted to join the gallery in 2006. It has been a joy and a pleasure to work with Teresa Loveless, the granddaughter of Rachel Brown. Teresa has done a splendid job of taking over the gallery and promoting my work. She’s a talented weaver and entrepreneur and a joy to work with. I hope you find my work interesting, comforting and pleasing.

Ciao,
Teresa

PS Have you had the pleasure of seeing one of Cheryl’s pieces in person? Does that fringe make you as happy as it does me? We would love to know what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…

Would you like to receive free fiber related information & inspiration from us? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

* indicates required