Master artists share their skills and cultural foundations in a range of textile workshops from weaving to basketry.
Navajo Weaving Beginning & Intermediate
Barbara Ornelas & Lynda Pete
One or Two-week session
Learn the art of weaving from master Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete, originally from Two Grey Hills and Newcomb, New Mexico. While instructing and demonstrating, sisters Barbara and Lynda will share their family’s personal weaving stories and experiences, giving you a view into the world of Navajo weaving. According to Navajo oral tradition two holy people, Spider Woman and Spider Man, introduced weaving to the Navajo. Spider Man constructed the first loom, which was composed of sunshine, lightning, and rain; and Spider Woman taught the people how to weave on it. Spider Woman was discovered by the Holy Twins, the culture heroes of the Navajo Creation Story, in a small opening in the earth surrounded by an array of beautiful weavings. Entering her dwelling, the Holy Twins descended a ladder made of yarn, whereupon Spider Woman offered them knowledge of the world of weaving.
Beginners: Learn the traditional method of Navajo weaving and begin weaving with a pre-warped, upright Navajo loom. The majority of the week will be spent designing and learning how to weave a 12” x 16” rug. There will be a lesson on warping a loom later in the week. Beginning weavers may enroll for the full two weeks or only the first week.
Intermediate: If you have previously taken the course or have had basic Navajo weaving training on an upright loom, you will explore more advanced weaving techniques and patterns, and your rug may be any size. You may bring rugs from previous summers to complete, or may begin a new rug. Intermediate students must bring their own looms, and they must be set up for weaving before class begins. Alternately, they may order a pre-warped loom at registration. Intermediate students may enroll for the full two weeks or only the second week.
Tuition: $735 per week
Lab fee: $80 beginners, includes the use of a pre-warped loom and all tools in class, four skeins of wool. Looms, additional wool, battens and combs will be available for purchase.
Intermediate students: no lab fee; wool and warp will be available for purchase. If you wish to order a pre-warped loom for $45, you must do so when you register.
Enrollment limited to 10 students per week
Barbara Teller Ornelas is best known for her Navajo tapestry weavings (95–120 weft threads per inch). She has set several records with her weavings: she has won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market twice; she set a new record in 1987 by selling a weaving for $60,000 that she and her sister Rosann Lee made; and she wove the largest tapestry-style Navajo weaving on record. Barbara is a fifth-generation weaver who was raised near Two Grey Hills on the Navajo Reservation, where her father was a trader. She has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Americana and Native Peoples magazines, as well as many books. She has won dozens of awards, and has demonstrated and lectured at many museums and institutions around the world. She recently participated in a cultural exchange with Peruvian weavers at the request of the US State Department. Barbara and Lynda have taught their popular workshop at Idyllwild Arts for 18 summers.
Lynda Teller Pete began weaving at age 6 and won her first major award at age 12 at the Gallup Ceremonial. She has gone on to win many awards for her weaving, including Best of Classification for Textiles at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. Lynda collaborates with museums, schools and art venues in Colorado and around the country to teach about Navajo weaving. She is also known as an accomplished beadwork artist and has won many awards for this work.
Rose Ann Hamilton
The Native American tribes of California produced baskets of great diversity and beauty, and the exquisite work of the Cahuilla is highly regarded. In recent years, the Cahuilla have experienced a revival in the art of basket making. Learn how to create your own Cahuilla style coiled basket using yucca, sumac, juncus and deer grass. On a field trip to the nearby Cahuilla Reservation, you will learn how to identify and prepare plants used in basket making.
Skill Level: All levels are welcome
Lab fee: $45, includes materials, field trip and use of tools
Enrollment limited to 10 students
Rose Ann Hamilton (Cahuilla, Apapatkiktem clan) learned from renowned Cahuilla basket weaver Donna Largo at Idyllwild Arts 22 years ago. She has taught Cahuilla basket classes and presented at Cahuilla, Santa Rosa, Ramona and Agua Caliente reservations, as well as the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Autry Museum, Agua Caliente Museum, and San Manuel conferences at CSUSB and Crafton Hills College. She has participated in gatherings at Los Coyotes, Santa Ysabel, and Soboba reservations. She is the granddaughter of Rosanda Apapas Hopkins Tortez Lugo and the great-granddaughter of Antonia Casero, Cahuilla master weavers.
Anishnabe Black Ash Basketry
The Anishnabe of the Great Lakes have been using black ash trees for centuries to weave sturdy, beautiful baskets for utilitarian and later, decorative purposes. You will learn to weave and embellish a traditional-style Strawberry Black Ash Basket, combining both function and beauty, in this new, original workshop. Your instructor, Kelly, is well known for her unique, one-of-a-kind Strawberry Patch baskets, for which she holds a registered copyright. Each basket will begin with a traditional round bottom pattern, which will be built up using a plaiting technique. You will add embellishments on top of the plaiting in curlicue designs, which add strength and beauty. You will learn to dye materials, and add the final touch to the berry, a green lid with a stem and leaves.
Kelly will discuss and demonstrate how the materials are processed into workable weaving strips of ash from the growth rings of the black ash tree. She also will explain the effects of the emerald ash borer on these diminishing materials and traditions, as well as important steps being taken to sustain the traditions.
Skill level: All levels
Lab Fee: $150, includes all black ash splints (gathered by instructor from a sustainable forest source 8 hours from her Michigan home) to make the basket, lid, handle and to embellish; you may be asked to purchase and bring additional materials.
Enrollment limited to 15 students
Kelly Church (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians) is part of the largest extended family of black ash basket makers in Michigan. She received the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) Fellowship, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Artist Leadership Program. Kelly has won many awards, and her work is in collections including the NMAI, MSU Museum, and Autry Museum. She exhibits in the US and Europe. She earned her AFA from IAIA and BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. www.woodlandarts.com