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TECHNIQUES IN WEAVING ON A NAVAJO UPRIGHT LOOM with Mary Pahl
During the first class, students will dive right in and learn to prepare and mount a warp onto the Navajo-style upright looms. Then they will prepare the heddles, and get set up with the proper tools (batten and weaving fork). This is a time-consuming process, so this first class will be 4 hours long ending at 7:00 pm. (***Please note these classes meet on Wednesdays from 3 - 6 pm. and will not meet during Churro week Oct. 3)
In the subsequent weeks, the class will learn and practice weaving technique, and the efficient handling of tools. Begining with weaving fundamental elements; several inches of stripes followed by learning vertical and diagonal tapestry joins, simple designs can be created. Along the way will be discussions about yarn choices, design, troubleshooting weaving problems, and finishing techniques.
In the Navajo culture, weaving is deeply integrated into everyday life and has a strong spiritual component. Although Mary is not Navajo, the skills she learned from her Navajo teacher and developed on her own are Mary’s treasure to share. EVFAC is thrilled to offer this class. However, in an effort to honor the Dine’ people and allow them strict ownership of their cultural traditions, this class is presented as a technique class only. The rich cultural and spiritual story around Navajo weaving traditions will be reserved to be offered only from a person born to the Navajo culture.
Looms and tools will be provided by EVFAC. A $200 refundable deposit is required for looms to be taken home for use through the duration of the class.
Materials students should bring: a tape measure, scissors, pen and notebook to each class.
Mary Pahl has been playing with string for as long as she can remember, as a kid weaving hundreds of potholders, crocheting, knitting, and being totally fascinated with playing Cat's Cradle. Her first encounter with a Navajo rug was at the Field Museum of Natural History, in her hometown of Chicago. She recalls thinking "I’m gonna learn how to make one of those someday." Years later Mary took a trip to New Mexico where she happened upon the monthly Navajo rug auction and again fell in love with these “beautiful creations”. Then, through a series of serendipitous circumstances, she met a dear little Navajo lady named Sally Curtis. Sally, an accomplished weaver, agreed to take Mary on as a student. Although she spoke very little English, they became fast friends and under Sally's patient tutelage, Mary became an accomplished Navajo weaver. Sally passed away in 1991. Mary, although not Navajo herself, loves to share this beautiful traditional craft as way of honoring the precious gift of weaving that Sally gave to her.
This class requires a minimum of 3 students for the class to run. See our Class Payment and Refund Policy.
This class is currently full. Call EVFAC at (505)-747-3577 to be put on a waiting list.