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New Departure for Navajo Weaving in Canyon de Chelly

CDC 2013 Canon 2 163 pic

Imagine yourself weaving at the base of ancient ruins in the Navajo tradition. Canyon de Chelly has long been one of my favorite places on earth. The quiet sacredness of the land seeps into one’s soul and transforms them forever. Passing through its towering sandstone portals is like entering the gates to another world. Massive cliffs dominate over the wide dry riverbeds lined with olive and tamarisk trees. Seemingly around every corner, tucked into the sheer walls, lie timeworn ruins and countless petroglyphs. You can almost hear the voices of the ancients and the laughter of children. Maybe it’s because Canyon de Chelly is one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America; a landscape composed of places infused with collective memory. It is truly one of the most magical places I have visited on this earth.

Our weaving adventure in Canyon de Chelly, taught by 5th generation Navajo weavers Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller, are such a privilege. It is so amazing, that we are offering it for a third time! Join us April 15 – 24, 2015 for an epic textile experience like no other. Click here to watch a short video.

CDC 2013 Canon 3 015

CDC 2013 Canon 3 030

CDC 2013 Canon 3 047

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New Trip: SAORI Weaving

We’re excited to announce a new trip for 2014! SAORI; The Zen of Weaving: Weaving Without Boundaries in British Columbia. This quick getaway trip is July 23-29, 2014. This trip is now open for registration, reserve your spot today!

An example of SAORI weaving

An example of SAORI weaving

In the language of Zen, “SA” is interpreted as “everything has its own dignity” and “ORI” means “weaving.” Therefore, SAORI weaving is not only a hand craft, but an art form.  This style of weaving places the highest emphasis on freedom of expression and inner creativity, rather than conventional textile rules.  SAORI is meditative by nature.

 

Misao, the creator of SAORI weaving

Misao, the creator of SAORI weaving

We owe the creation of this unique and liberating tradition of textile art to Japanese weaver, Misao Jo.  In 1969, Misao Jo created a special loom and style of weaving that was free of conventional boundaries.  Today, SAORI is practiced in more than 40 countries.   Misao Jo has received high honors from the Japanese Government for her contribution made through SAORI weaving. 
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With most traditions of weaving cloth, any loose thread or irregular pattern is considered a flaw or mistake. However, in SAORI the emphasis is on the spontaneous beauty created by an uneven edge or accidental thread skip.  These irregularities in the cloth are viewed by the Japanese as “beauty with lack of intentions” so highly esteemed by Zen-style art and revered in nature.  To Misao, SAORI weaving is the “creation of sensibility” with limitless possibilities.
This odyssey will take us to the beautiful Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada.
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Pictures from Scotland!

We are having a great time here in Scotland, and just want to share a few photos from our trip so far!

 

Cari feeding a lamb

Cari feeding a lamb

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Rufflets Country House Hotel

Rufflets Country House Hotel

Scotland sheepdogs

Scotland sheepdogs

Sunset over Lake of Mentieth

Sunset over Lake of Mentieth

The Hermitage at Dunkeld

The Hermitage at Dunkeld

Unicorn tapestry  at Stirling Castle

Unicorn tapestry at Stirling Castle

Whiskey Tasting and Tour of Edradour

Whiskey Tasting and Tour of Edradour

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Explore the Peruvian Highlands With Us

We’ve taken this trip to Peru before, and it’s always an adventure!  The scenery is unlike any other part of the world, there are llamas and alpaca EVERYWHERE, the people are unbelievably hospitable and the textiles … well … you get the idea. (There is a reason we keep going back!)

PeruIf you’ve always dreamed of visiting Peru, then now is your chance!  We’ve had a last minute cancellation for this trip, so we have two more spots left to fill!  Join us as we visit Chinchero, Lima, Machu Picchu and Cusco from May 13-23, 2013.  We’ll have the chance to learn natural dyeing techniques; we’ll have a workshop on backstrap weaving; a workshop to teach you how to make a Tubular Eye border; as well as visiting ruins, market places, and viewing demonstrations in weaving villages. Please visit our website for booking information and to view the full itinerary.

Peru 2   2011 105If you sign up for this trip before March 22, we will make a donation in your name to the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, Peru.  The CTTC’s overall purpose is to help preserve and celebrate Andean textiles, improve the economy of the villages and assist weavers in carrying on a tradition practiced for more than 2000 years.  Click here for more information on the CTTC.

Please visit our website to see all of the trips that we have planned for 2013 and 2014.

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Coming in 2013

We’re off to a really exciting start for this new year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Not only was our Scotland trip so enticing that we sold out already (don’t worry, we’re planning another one) – but we just had to take advantage of a quick trip to Victoria, B.C. to learn Ravenstail Weaving.

Cheryl and her replica of a Chieftan's robe

Cheryl and her replica of a Chieftan’s robe

Ravenstail Weaving is a nearly lost art, and has been re-ignited by the incredibly talented Cheryl Samuel.  When Europeans first visited the north-western coast of North America, the weavers of the area were making robes of exquisite beauty to adorn the wealthiest of their noble class. Patterned in bold black and white designs streaked with scintillating dashes of yellow, these robes predate the better known Chilkat Blankets from the same area. Today only 11 robes exist, three of them as fragments. Cheryl Samuel travelled to Leningrad, Copenhagen, and London to examine the six robes in Europe. She also studied the robes housed in museums in Canada and the United States. Using this research material she was able to reconstruct Chief Kotlean’s robe. In the process, she reconstructed an old weaving style no longer in use by the native people on the northern coast.

Fisherman's Wharf, Victoria, B.C.

Fisherman’s Wharf,
Victoria, B.C.

Part of our trip will include working with Cheryl and learning these techniques, as well as visiting the beautiful city of Victoria.  It’s a quickie trip, and we still have spots available.  Please contact us through our website for more information!

Maximo Laura

Maximo Laura

We still have availability for our trip to the Peruvian Highlands, May 13-23, 2013.  If you’ve been waiting and thinking, now is the time!  Please joins us on this exciting trip and take advantage of the private workshop we’re able to offer with Maximo Laura!  Full itinerary and booking details can be found on our website.

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Peru and Scotland

Our scheduled trips in 2013 have us really excited.  Kid in a candy store excited … or a weaver in a wool shop!

Our trip to the Peruvian Highlands from May 13 – 23 has got us really excited. There are so many treasures to be found between the breath-taking Andes, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the beauty of Machu Picchu — it’s a traveling wonderland!

Peru 2   2011 105We’re also teaming up with local legend Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez (author of Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands) and the creator of the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco.  Nilda will help us immerse ourselves in the textile traidions of the Peruvian Highlands.  We are also able to offer an exclusive weaving workshop with Maximo Laura, one of the most renowned weavers in the world! The workshop is an extension of the Peru itinerary — please visit our website for the full itinerary and details on how to book your spot.

hWe’ve just finalized the details for our Scotland trip, but what a trip it will be!  From October 8 – 24, we will explore the Highlands of Scotland. This is even a great one for the non-weaver … Scotland is rife with golfing, hiking, bike tours and horseback riding!  Who doesn’t love legendary castles, dramatic sweeping landscapes, mystical isles, deep misty lochs and rich textiles galore!  (Here’s a link to a short video we made.)  This is only a part of what makes Scotland seem like a dream – a true Brigadoon.  We will meander through the Highlands and islands of Scotland immersed in a variety of textile workshops that are sure to thrill any textile enthusiast.  You can contact us directly for a detailed itinerary, or visit our website.

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Oaxaca 2012

Check out this video from our trip to Oaxaca 2012!

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Canyon de Chelly

We really love visiting Canyon de Chelly! This year, we have a full itinerary planned, featuring a visit to the Durango Collection at Fort Lewis College.  This very valuable and magnificent collection includes textiles woven in the Navajo, Pueblo and Hispanic traditions by both male and female weavers and represents more than 800 years of weaving.

Canyon de Chelly

Renowned trader, Jackson Clark I, who established Toh-Atin Gallery in 1957, and Mark Winter, who now owns the Toadlena Trading Post, originally purchased this amazing collation of the rich textile history of the Southwest.

We will have the exclusive opportunity to visit the seldom-seen vault to view these remarkable relics along with a private reception featuring renowned Southwest Historian, Dr. Andrew Gulliford, Ph.D. Other historic textile highlights of our Navajo Weaving Tour include a private reception with historian Jackson Clark II at his highly regarded galley Toh-Atin Gallery,and an exclusive visit to the Todalena Trading Post hosted by owner, and original co-founder of The Durango Collection ®, Mark Winter.

Young Girl Weaving

Our trip to Canyon de Chelly is from April 18 – 26, 2013.  We limit this group to eight people and as of today only have three spots remaining!  Please contact us through our website for more information or to book your space.

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