Not long ago, Michal Anne Pepper came into our lives. From the first day we met, she showed a true enthusiasm for weaving. In less than a year from when she bought her first loom, she came by our shop in Arroyo Seco with her first large weaving (all woven with our yarns, of course).
She chose another run of colors that day. A few phone conversations later, she had dove into weaving her first tapestry… this was the start of her Cabezon Series.
I would like to introduce you to the wonderful Michal Ann Pepper….
Michal Anne Pepper
In January, 2011, my partner and I were visiting Taos from Santa Fe and were walking to dinner. We passed the erstwhile Taos Weaving Southwest. I was captured by the colors and demanded that we go in and explore. I was enchanted. I was stunned by the wealth of colors, the gorgeous rugs and the designs. I had never seen Modern fiber art pieces before. Teresa Loveless was there and let me finger every rug and poke at all the different color yarns. She showed me her wonderful looms. Finally I asked “Do you think I could learn to weave?”. Teresa sold me a small Schacht school loom and a book on tapestry weaving and told me to go buy some cheap yarn and practice.
My partner didn’t say anything, but later during dinner she asked me whatever had gotten into me to buy a loom. I have never done crafts nor shown any inclination towards knitting or crocheting or any other crafty-type thing. A few months later, my brother (who is a real artist), hesitantly asked me the same question. The two people who know me best, my brother and my partner of 32 years, were flabbergasted that I would start weaving at this stage in my life!
Later I bought a Mighty Wolf Schacht floor loom at a garage sale. I was excited that I would finally get to weave something with the wonderfully rich rug yarns from Weaving Southwest. Teresa talked me through the ordeal of warping my first loom and helped me pick out some colors. I bought Rachel Brown’s out of print book* on Amazon and it has become my bible. It sits on the coffee table in our great room.
I am intrigued by the old Taos Modernists. I look at their paintings and wonder what the Taos Modernists might look like in fiber. After several small floor rugs, I started a series of wall hangings with Cabezon. I am almost finished with the third rug of the Cabezon series. Meanwhile I have moved to Phoenix for a new job, and have become fascinated with the Grand Canyon. My next series will use those colors and shapes. I think it will be less representational than the Cabezon series.
I told my brother that the reason I am fascinated by weaving is the colors–it gives me the opportunity to touch and fondle pure color. I love the colors Teresa makes at Weaving Southwest from her grandmother’s dye recipes. I don’t get to weave as much as I would like, but I am enchanted by my effort to translate a landscape into a Modern fiber art piece. The other aspect of weaving that I love is the community. I have met all kinds of weavers, and enjoy being part of a group of people who are as passionate about color and texture as I am. No, I am not the “crafty” type, and I am not the artist in the family. But I love weaving, talking about weaving, studying the work of great weavers, rubbing richly colored yarns and being part of a community who likes to do all the same things.
*We are working on getting Rachel Brown’s The Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Book printed again.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know one of the wonderful people that works with our yarns. It just goes to show how a little inspiration, enthusiasm and a good book can change your life.
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest
PS Are you a self-taught weaver? (My Grandma Rachel Brown was, too.) Do you love Michal Anne’s work? Do you enjoy using our yarns? We would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment to let us know…