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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maybe's and other wonderful things!

I had such a wonderful amazing  time in Arizona.  Autumn came while I was gone. The trip back was all about amazing colour, light, and speed. I saw so many wonderful things-amazing things, curious things. Best of all I taught some amazing people. I hope they all enjoyed the classes as much as I did teaching the classes. 

 Everything is now about maybe's. Sometimes reality just plain sucks.


Only safe scorpions
They scurry really fast

Barrel  Cactus- 2 feet across

It’s still impossible for me to believe that some the cactus in Tuscon were real and not plastic decorator stuff that one see’s in offices in Oregon. Not so fond of the scorpions I kept running into if I stepped off some of the paths I was on trying to take pictures. I learned real fast to watch where I placed my hands and feet and what I leaned a against to steady myself.  So many new ideas-Thank you so much. If any one gets a chance they should go see Lynn’s pieces at Tholo Chula. Her night sky tapestry is incredible.  It took People’s Choice award at the conference in Durango a year or so ago. It’s well worth seeing along with her Cactus piece.   And one of my favourite things a small “sculpture” of an “older full figured women” that I love.  She reminds me of a modern Villendorf Venus, but with clothes.
Few from the top Lemon
Hoodoo's low on Mt. Lemon
One of my favourite places was Lemon Mountain.  It’s almost as tall as Mt Hood and takes in almost every climate from Mexico to Canada in a 3 hour drive.  For me it was kinda of interesting because I am vertigo challenged.  When we were in Moab all of the Hodoo’s and rock formations are pretty much vertical-close to 90 decrees so I didn’t have any problems with my balance. On Mt Lemon it took me a while to realize why I kept running into things and having trouble with my balance all the  rock formations look vertical, but are actually at 85 to 80 decree tilt because of geological deformation. SO visually my sighting was a little off. Still have a nasty bruise on my arm where I ran into a tree.   It wasn’t until we were at the top resort area that I realized what was going on. It was like being at Government camp-lush cold, ferns and springs and evergreens, stuff that looked like bear grass.
One of My favourite places in Tuscon!
Another wonderful discovery was an artist named Alexander Arshansky.( His paintings completely blew me away. I want one  of his paintings all for myself.  Couldn’t decide which one so I am going to buy it off the net.  The use of pattern to create images that were outlined left me thinking about so many possibilities that I am missing out on and really need to pursue.  Looking at his work made me realize that I wasn’t the only person working in what I call a controlled chaos style.

Mexican Tin Roses

Mexican  Repoussee
 PHOENIX  I even got some silver work study in. I watched Zuni, Hopi and Navajo silversmith’s working  at Dodge Chief in Phoenix. I was told that there are those who create and those who repair-each requires different skills then the other-usually a silversmith does one or the other.  Picked up a rose cross and a repouse cross at a Mexican furniture/pottery place.  I really want to try and make flowers after taking the class I took  in Tacoma that included repousse copper leaves. The two processes of the leaves and the roses look remarkably alike. Petals really aren’t that different from leaves.

Pop  up sheep by Emma Yanda
Cactus is bound weave embroidery floss
Sun City West Class-minus-the bicyclist.
Larry and wife
Bound weave by Emma Yanda
I met a women  one of a couple of dozen in my two  class-Emma Yanna that is incredibly interesting.  She weaves the most incredible little pictures in embroidery floss. At one time she designed cards for Hallmark. Best of all she also collects Sabuda cut paper pop up books. . Something of which I have a whole shelf of and enjoy immensely. I would have loved to have spent more time with her. There are others that I also have by several different artist, but he is by far my favourite. She reminded of Marge and my Grandmother  in some/many ways. I could easily visualize her with white cloves and tea and a wonderful creative sensibility and extreme intellect.  I hope that when I am her/there age I will have the complex intellectual curiosity and genteel  manners they-Marge, Emma and my Grandmother (until her Alzheimer's took over) had/have.   I had a lovely time with Phyll, Bob  Wolf,  Diane Wolf, Larry and his wife and so many others in Phoenix.
Another Namless beautiful flower,
but wasn't quick enough to catch the
hummingbirds feeding from it!
 Diane Wolf and I made this wonderful old connection! My Dad thinks he at one time knew the person she worked for in the airports when he was teaching flying at Evergreen. Dad was also wondering and thinking he might have met Diane  when he was flying through those airports. He said he kinda remembered this good looking young girl  gassing up the planes at one of the airports the man in question owned. I still want to her  elephant finished- Broken Rose path, soumack and tapestry a great combination!

Annonomous tree blossom in a
rest area.

fascinating rock near Old Tuscon
 Spencer who goes out and has fun while I teach found several  pueblo Kaschina’s , Koshares  and Kokashin’s(Japanese bobble dolls) for me.  My new Kachina’s looks more like an Apache ga-an dancer, but I am going to quibble. Spencer  went to Tombstone and all sorts of cowboy stuff and I got to see what I was interested in botany silver and ethnography. Thank you all for your suggestions, directions and help.  Spencer  hit close to every museum  and second hand shop/flea market plus garage sales in Tucson and Phoenix while I was teaching. So many thanks to Joyce and Peter for helping in the search for the  perfect Sonoran hot dogs and the introduction to green corn tamales. One of the other great discoveries  was two more people that read as voraciously as Spencer and I. Thanks Diane and Peter for the book suggestions. AND, of Course Cleo who reminded so much of a Gigantic Chene complete with carry around kitty.  When I got home and watched Chene I realized he is using his kitty in the same way as Cleo- Like a purse when we leave, puts it to bed when he wants to go to bed and drops it on his towel when he wants to be dried. Must be a dog language of some sort.  

 I did go to the Heard Museum  and quite a few others in the Phoenix area.  I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to see or find out any information on the Glory Ross Centre for Tapestries and or a collection of tapestries when I went to the museum in Tuscon.  Evidently it is by appt only and one of several calls to find out about it were not returned. To bad, but o, well. 

Woven by Louise yazzie
coal miners edge 1.5 in x 1.5 in 
 I finally was able to find an affordable sample of coal miners edge. When I was at Chief Dodge the lovely Hopi/Pueblo women clerk found a very small piece about an inch weaving by Louise Yazzie, which I promptly purchased along with several beautiful Silver amber and malachite pieces. Actually Chene purchased the earrings for Pat for babysitting him while we were gone.  Chief Dodge is cool because one is purchasing directly from Indian Artisans rather than non-Indian middle men.  A little gem of 4 sided weaving with twined edge and coal miner with edge.

 Thanks to Larry I now know that the coal miner does not refer to an area but the pick and pick. I also discovered thanks to the aforementioned weaver what crystals are. It is where the pick and pick or demi duites reverse and the colours shift.
Purple and lavender Prickly pear
with  Cochineal Lac encrusted
They had the most wonderful  sacred clown/contraries.  I would have loved to purchase the one with a sucker and the one with TV’s hanging off the contrary’s arms and necks, but they were completely out of  my price range around 800 a piece about half the price of purchasing one at the Heard Museum. But they did speak about my own and many others contraries.  There is something really wonderful about Contraries.  I own one sacred clown  a figure with a guitar and a spatula for a microphone that I bought many years ago when my youngest son was involved in CSG- Catholic school girls. Mine was carved by a Navajo women in a Pueblo style- a contrary itself. Pueblo Clowns (sometimes called sacred clowns) is a generic term for jester or trickster in the Kachina religion practiced by the Pueblo Indians of the southwestern USA.  Each figure performs a set role within the religious ceremonies; often their behavior is comic, lewd, scatological, eccentric and alarming.  Each figure performs a set role within the religious ceremonies; often their behavior is comic, lewd, scatological, eccentric and alarming.” Wikipedia
Something I had almost forgotten from long ago stories. I remember fire and ice for every positive there is a negative for every serious thought there is an opposite.  “In Lakota tradition the Heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟas also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame—they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.” wikepedia
      I am thinking about doing or at least designing some several  contrary tapestries. I wonder what my contraries will be. It’s so interesting sometimes to be a between.

I traded Larry a  tapestry for a tapestry shoulder bag that should fit one of my two traveling mirrixes.  I did this after seeing the beautiful bag that Diane Wolf has for lugging things around. It has a wide strap that makes carrying things much easier.  If it works I am going to have a second one made with colours that are opposite from the first one. I love the butterfly designs in traditional SW weaving. 

Thanks to the two groups. We are now creating a very small bobbin for very small hands after a conversation I had with another weaver about small hands and small bodies and a tool that doesn’t have a name yet.  Roxane  in my Tuscon gave me a metal tool that looks like a bent letter opener with a whole in one end.  It is so good for old hands. My older ladies in Phoenix loved it. It made it so much easier for them to pick the sheds and pull the yarn through. I gave the tool to Mr. Witt who makes our bobbins. My business partner, Pat Spark suggested that we try and make a wood proto type and a metal prototype. It seems some people don’t like to use metal weaving tools because they don’t like the smell of the metal on their hands.  So Mr. Witt is going to try making some out of layered veneer. I didn’t know that about some weavers. I just assumed people preferred wood because it felt more natural and beautiful.

Finally I am at the end. It has taken forever to find the time to write so little about so much.  I'll write the next installment in a week instead of the usual 2 weeks as I try to get back on schedule.
One of the exhibits I saw at the heard Museum was an incredible mural by Stephen Joe Yazzie on Fear of a Red Planet: Relocation and Removal. It was such a moving montage of images and symbolism. It's made me want to stop and do a few hundred hours of journaling about family and past.  It wasn't tapestry, but it was extremely thought provoking about the stories we tell in tapestry, why we tell those stories and how we tell our stories.