Fantastic fiber

Taos welcomes New Mexico Fiber Crawlers this weekend

By Virginia L. Clark
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 5/15/19

There is nothing more personal, more sensual, than the soft inviting sensation of fiber. If you want to find out how a wide variety of works in fiber are made and meet the artists …

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Fantastic fiber

Taos welcomes New Mexico Fiber Crawlers this weekend

Posted

There is nothing more personal, more sensual, than the soft inviting sensation of fiber. If you want to find out how a wide variety of works in fiber are made and meet the artists who create them, be sure to clear your calendar for this weekend. That's when the New Mexico Fiber Crawl weaves its magic Friday to Sunday (May 17-19).

The third annual, three-day statewide celebration of New Mexico's rich heritage of fiber arts and artists offers an opportunity to explore the studios, galleries and farms, touch the work, felt some fiber and win prizes.

"You'll meet the weavers, knitters, spinners, felters, embroiderers and new media artists who are sharing their love of the fiber arts at this event," press materials state. This year, each site offers a raffle or drawing to add even more fun to the tour.

There are six Taos fiber sites in this year's Fiber Crawl, and admission is free. Visitors receive a passport and travel to each site to obtain stamps, and also participate in some demos of weaving, felting, spinning, knitting, dyeing, quilting and more.

Detailed information can be found at NMFiberCrawl.org or by contacting each site directly. The following are all in the town of Taos unless otherwise noted.

Follow the Threads Gallery, 241 Ledoux Street

A brand, spankin' new fiber arts, textile and vintage clothing gallery will be open all three days of the Fiber Crawl, but owner-fiber artist Marci Lebowitz's grand opening reception is Saturday (May 18) from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Eighty-percent created by local artists, including Lisa Joy and Lebowitz (a self-proclaimed "fashionista, fiber artist and fashion stylist"), her products include one-of-a-kind hand-spun and commercial fibers, plus accessories, stylized outfits, colorful deerskin leathers and jewels, paintings, pottery, collage and photography by local and national award-winning artists.

The raffle prize at Follow the Threads Gallery is a "one-of-a-kind basket of goodies energetically charged," according to Lebowitz, "just for the winner to feel inspired with creative expansion, beautiful visions and great joy."

Call (630) 624-0143 or visit followthethreads.com.

Mooncat Fiber, 120-B Bent Street

Here you'lll find retail sales of local, hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns.

"We have woven garments from Heartwoven Designs, hand-spun yarns from Pam Wilkens, Kimberly Darling, Cathy Book, Michaela Hertrich, and Widdershin Woolworks," Mooncat press states. "Locally dyed yarns feature Wooly Wonka, Theodora's Pearls, Zia Woolz and Knit Stitch."

Mooncat's raffle drawing prize is a project bag and in the bag are knitting needles, yarn and a knitting book.

Call (575) 758-9341 or visit mooncatfiber.com.

Artemisia, 117-B Bent Street

Well-known for its casual to elegant "artwear" mostly in natural fibers, Artemisia has been a Fiber Crawl site since it began three years ago. This is unique, hand-woven and wearable art by well-established local and regional fiber artists, including Barbara Ehrlich, Elizabeth Jenkins, Kate Nilssen, Laura Quilligan, Sandra Doak, Cathy Swindle and many others. A "meet the artist" trunk show may pop up during the weekend, but no guarantees.

Artemisia's raffle prize is a $75 gift certificate for use in-store or online.

Call (575) 737-9800 or visit artemisiataos.com.

Tres Estrellas Design, 208-A Ranchitos Road

This Southwest textile and furniture gallery specializes in Río Grandé blankets, classic Navajo serapes (cloak blankets) and Mexican Saltillo serapes. "We have a Río Grandé loom in our gallery," co-owner Chris Ferguson said, noting that his partner Carla Bogdanoff will be weaving contemporary mantas, or shawls, and blankets during the three-day weekend. Ferguson said they have a more comprehensive collection of textiles than anyone else, including museums. "People should really come see this remarkable collection of historical textiles - all in historical context," he added, referring to their equally historic building, built in 1790.

Tres Estrellas Design's raffle prize is one of their handwoven, diamond-twill, churro wool mantas, woven on their Spanish Colonial treadle loom.

Call (575) 770-3262 or visit tresestrellasdesign.com.

Winter's Hope Alpaca Ranch, 232 Gallina Canyon Road, Valdez

"Home-grown, hand-spun and heart-felt" is the key to Winter's Hope, a small alpaca ranch in the foothills of Valdez in northern Taos County. They grow and process their alpaca fleeces and use them for spinning, weaving and felting, using eco-friendly methods throughout. "We are off the main path, but worth the trip," they like to say, so "bring your wheel and spin awhile."

As a special event, Josey Corral, a Taos Academy Charter School sophomore, will be making a case for eliminating the single-use plastic bottles used at her school. On Facebook, GoFundMe, and at Winter's Hope this weekend, she's hoping to get donations to help eliminate single-use drink-ware, ultimately raising awareness about overwhelming plastic abuse in the environment.

"Come needle-felt a coaster to take home," Winter's Hope invites folks over the weekend, and maybe even get to see some sweet alpacas. Valdez is located north of Taos off State Road 150 on the way to Taos Ski Valley.

Winter's Hope's drawing prize is one of their alpaca fleeces.

Call (575) 770-3132 or visit wintershope.com.

Vortexyarns, 218-A Paseo del Pueblo Norte

Vortexyarns features yarn and fiber and local artists Kimberly Perkins, Merce Mitchell, Valentina Devine, and Yampa Valley Fiberworks. You'll also find roving, spinning batts, hand-spun yarns and fiber art exhibitions.

All three days will be a Pattern Launch of Kimberly Perkins. "This new pattern works with Cat Mountain's Fusion 800 yarn," Mitchell said, adding that "plenty of colorways and patterns will be available."

For two days only, however, on Saturday-Sunday (May 18-19), from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Annie MacHale will be doing Inkle-weaving demos and signing her new book, "In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color and Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers."

At 17, MacHale discovered the "inkle" loom, "sparking a lifelong love affair," Mitchell says. "MacHale built her first loom in 1976 with the help of her dad and a library book. Since then she's woven miles of bands," which are also very popular with guitarists. "She loves to play with color and pattern and finds the inkle loom a very satisfying way to do this," Mitchell said, noting too, "Annie is known to many through her blog, ASpinnerWeaver.com."

Vortexyarn's raffle prize is a very special goodie bag, valued at $95.

Call (575) 758-1241 or visit vortexyarns.com.

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