Here are two beautiful tapestries from Rachel’s Interweave Series. Both are woven of natural handspun Churro wool. Notice the fine strip of black (in Interweave White) and white (in Interweave Black) separating the the sections of the design. Enjoy!

Interweave, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Handspun natural wool, SIZE, DATE

Interweave White, Original Tapestry by Rachel Brown, all natural handspun Churro wool,
72″ x 20″, 1984

Interweave Shadow, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Handspun natural wool, SIZE, DATE

Interweave Black, Original Tapestry by Rachel Brown, all natural handspun churro wool, 72″ x 20″, 1984

 


This post is a few days late because we had a Tapestry Class last week that ended up being extended on through the weekend and and on into this week (more on this to come)! One of our students was going through the prints we have of Rachel’s work and came across Neptune. The beauty of this piece became a topic of conversation during the class. Thought it would be a good one to share. Enjoy!

Neptune, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 46″x36.5″, 1998

Neptune, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 46″x36.5″, 1998

 


“I created this design by making some simple forms such as ellipses and stripes. I put the designs in those forms in black and white. This weaving reminded me of a story that I read, called “The White Lady.” It was about a white bat a man befriended, that came flying into his house every evening to visit him.” -Rachel Brown

White Lady, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 43.5″x47″, 1994

White Lady, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 43.5″x47″, 1994

This tapestry is in a private collection here in Taos, NM. During the Taos Fall Arts Festival 2012 Rachel was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award for the Fiber Arts. White Lady was one of the tapestries featured during this time.

Rachel's Tapestries being hung at the Taos Fall Arts Festival 2012

Rachel’s Tapestries being hung at the Taos Fall Arts Festival 2012


“For this weaving, I started out with a geometric form design and planned to do the whole weaving in a symmetrical way were the top half was the same as the bottom half. But I got a little past one-third of the weaving and realized it was going to be too busy, so I decided to interrupt the design with horizontals. This was the first of my weaving’s were I interrupted the design with horizontals.” -Rachel Brown

Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 76.5"x41", 1991

Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 76.5″x41″, 1991

 

Detail of Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown

Detail of Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown


I had a beautiful morning at the Dye Studio today! The snow was melting, the birds were chirping and each color seemed to brighten up the February landscape just a little bit more…

Dripping wet Ivory Rug Yarn

Dripping wet Ivory Rug Yarn

Persian Lilac B, 2-ply Tapestry, Yarn fresh out of the dyepots

Persian Lilac B, 2-ply Tapestry, Yarn fresh out of the dyepots

A beautifully rich dyelot of Caramel C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn

A beautifully rich dyelot of Caramel C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn

Pinon C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn, ready to be rinsed

Pinon C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn, ready to be rinsed

2-ply Tapestry Yarn (Persian Lilac B, Caramel D & E) drying in the New Mexico sun

2-ply Tapestry Yarn (Persian Lilac B, Caramel D & E) drying in the New Mexico sun

Pinon D & E, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn drying in the sun

Pinon D & E, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn drying in the sun


When we moved in to our new space in Arroyo Seco last October, we set it up so we could have several of our Rio Grande Walking Looms available for classes. We are able to have up to three students at a time, so classes stay small, meaning there is a lot of one-on-one time between the students and the instructor.

Bill's First Weaving

Bill’s First Weaving

In our “Tapestry Weaving on a Walking Loom Class” we start out by tying-up our looms and talking a little about Design and Color.

Bill's Weaving

Bill’s Weaving

Then we jump into Plain Weave and talk about troubleshooting any issues that may arise (curvy edges, bubbly areas, broken warp threads, etc.).

Patsy cutting her weaving off the loom

Patsy cutting her weaving off the loom

Then we begin to weave Vertical Lines, using different types of joints that can be used to create different looks. Then on into Angles and how different types of angles can be used for an endless variety of designs.

Patsy's Tapestry

Patsy’s Tapestry

We also cover some fun design elements such as Pick-n-Pick, Wavy Line, Ojos and Building. Once the weaving is complete and class winds to an end, we cut the tapestry off of the loom and go over finish techniques and a few tricks of the trade.

Sue's Tapestry

Sue’s Tapestry

This class is great for Beginners and those who have never even touched a loom before… all the way to the more Advanced Weaver, who needs a refresher in the Southwestern Style of Tapestry Weaving!

Sue's Weaving

Sue’s Weaving


I just love this piece! I haven’t been able to find the name of it… but I am sure it will turn up eventually. I will make sure to update this when it does.

Handwoven tapestry by Rachel Brown, Circa June 1985

Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Circa June 1985

These are some of the images from the slides I had scanned recently. A couple of the slides have the date of June 1985 on them. So, I believe my Grandma, Rachel, wove this piece in the spring/summer of ’85.

Tapestry on the Loom in 1985, Woven by Rachel Brown

Tapestry on the Loom in 1985, Woven by Rachel Brown

Above, you can see that she wove this piece on a tapestry loom, using a building technique to create the design. With this technique, she was literally building up (weaving) one shape in the design at a time. This can be an easy way to approach weaving curves.

The Technique of Building Tapestry, Woven by Rachel Brown

The Technique of Building Tapestry, Woven by Rachel Brown

You can see Rachel’s love for light and natural colors in this tapestry.

Detail of Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, 1985

Detail of Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, 1985

This last picture, also from the recently scanned slides, is one of many taken in this space. I think this may have been an artist coop here in Taos back in the 80’s. I will be posting more images of this place and will include the name when I figure it out.

June 1985, Handwoven tapestry by Rachel Brown hanging in a gallery.

June 1985, Handwoven tapestry by Rachel Brown hanging in a gallery.

I hope you find this tapestry as inspiring as I do! Enjoy!


Happy Sunday! Today I am going to share with you part of my Grandma Rachel’s Manta Series.

Blue Lightening, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 39"x40", 2000

Blue Lightening, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 39″x40″, 2000

She designed this series to be stunning, yet affordable. You weavers (and probably everyone else) will be able to tell that 2/3’s of each of these weavings has little to no tapestry. The plain weave on either side of the complex center makes these tapestries a lot less work than a weaving that has tapestry throughout. Therefore, the price was very reasonable for a work of art this size. Most pieces in Rachel’s Manta Series are 40”x40”.

Tango in Red, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 40"x40", 2001

Tango in Red, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 40″x40″, 2001

With these three tapestries, you can see the stunning effect of the use of only two colors – a saturated base with a “white” accent. However, I don’t believe the “white” is actually white in any of these three tapestries.

Amazing Marigold, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 40"x40", 2001

Amazing Marigold, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 40″x40″, 2001

My Grandma developed a series of dye recipes for our Tapestry Yarn that allows us to get five shades of one color. So, for example, Amazing Marigold was probably woven with our Marigold A and Marigold E Tapestry Yarn. A true white against any one of these colors would probably be almost too much contrast. The tiny bit of dye used in the E’s of each series of our Tapestry Yarns, allows for a “white” color that works well with the other members of that series. Look closely at Tango in Red and Amazing Marigold and you will be able to tell that there is a little bit of color in the “white”.

These are just three of many tapestries in Rachel’s Manta Series. There will be more to come! Enjoy!