“While I was weaving this design, there happened to be the forest fire in Llama (New Mexico) that destroyed many of my friend’s homes. I can remember stepping out of the studio while weaving the middle section and I decided right then that I would call it Habitat.” -Rachel Brown

This tapestry is woven with our hand-dyed Rio Grande 2-ply Tapestry Yarn. Enjoy!

Habitat, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown

Habitat, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown


“I had just installed a new program for my computer and I decided I would design something on it to weave. Well, I got about an inch worth of weaving done and realized that it didn’t work for me at all so I just wove whatever I felt like weaving.

As I was weaving it, it reminded me of a valley in Peru outside of Cusco where I was sitting, taking in the beauty of the valley. The transition from the yellows and gold’s, to dark grey and blues. While I was sitting there, there was a little boy on the other side of the valley singing at the top of his lungs while he was herding lamas. The little black and white squares represent his voice.” -Rachel Brown

This is another tapestry woven with our hand-dyed Rio Grande 2-ply Tapestry Yarn. Enjoy!

Andean Gold, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, SIZE, DATE

Andean Gold, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown


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

 


“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 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!


A few years ago we had a show at our gallery for my Grandmother, Tapestries of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective. We borrowed pieces from about twenty of her collectors throughout the country and had them hanging for several weeks.

Rachel Brown and Her Family during the Opening of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective

Rachel Brown and Her Family during the Opening of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective

I remember opening the first package we received with one of her tapestries rolled up inside. I hadn’t seen her work in person in several years. We were all amazed at the beauty and the quality of the weaving when we unrolled it. Over the span of about a month, several packages like this arrived at the shop. Each one was as exciting to open as the first!

Many of Rachel’s collectors in New Mexico invited us to see her work hanging in their homes. Each person shared beautiful and amazing stories with us about how they came to own their Rachel Brown tapestry.

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

We had a fantastic opening! People from all over New Mexico and the rest of the country came to see Rachel and show their love for her and her work. These photos were all taken during the opening (by Kathleen Brennan).

Seeing all of these tapestries in one place together was truly inspiring!

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

After my Grandma passed, I inherited thousands of her slides. A few weeks ago I decided to go through a few boxes and came across a collection of images of her tapestries. They were so beautiful! I spent hours sifting through everything and realized there were hundreds of slides, and most of the pieces I had never seen before. I was so inspired! I decided I needed to get back to the loom as soon as possible.

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

The feelings of inspiration that stirred inside me during my Grandma’s Retrospective and when I came across all these slides need to be shared! So, I sent the slides to be scanned…

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

I will be posting all the images here on our blog over the next year as inspiration for you! Some of the images are high quality and have been “cleaned up”, while others are old slides that have faded slightly over the years or are snapshots Rachel took of her process while the piece was on the loom.

I hope these inspire you and encourage you to get back to the loom… or learn to weave… or pick up a paintbrush… or just make you smile. Enjoy!