Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tapestry in New Mexico

Last weekend I had the good luck to be in Santa Fe during the first New Mexico Fiber Crawl.  While there were way too many sites, scattered all across the state, for me to visit in my limited time, I did get to visit the hub of the "Santa Fe Thread", a show sponsored by Las Tejedoras Fiber Arts Guild and held at El Museo Cultural De Santa Fe.  I was delighted to see a number of fine tapestries and other weavings and wanted to share them with you here.

I'll limit my commentary just to point out how many of these artists are captivated by effects of light and dark.  A natural consequence of living in New Mexico, I am sure!

Mary Cost, Skyscape.  wool, cotton 
I could look at the light and shadows in Mary Cost's piece for a long time. 

Donna Loraine Conrtractor, Koch Snowflake Fractal. wool, cotton. 
detail, Donna Loraine Contractor, Koch Snowflake Fractal. wool, cotton.

I got to see more of Donna Contractor's work at the Tapestry Gallery in Madrid, NM, just down the road from Santa Fe.  It was a pleasure to see her work in person after following it online.  I am curious to see where her new series based on fractals takes her.

Kathy Perkins, Summer Solstice in Cochineal.  wool, cotton 
I enjoyed seeing how Kathy Perkins used weft blending, hatching, and varied diamond shapes to make a lively surface.

detail, Kathy Perkins, Summer Solstice in Cochineal.  wool, cotton

Letty Roller, Iris I-IV. wool, rayon, polyester

detail, Letty Roller, Iris I-IV. wool, rayon, polyester
I love how these lushly detailed, gorgeous flowers contrast with solid gold backgrounds.  These are floral icons.

LaDonna Mayer, Orchidaceae.  wool, cotton
Speaking of icons, I thought the presentation of these pieces was interesting.  Both were mounted on deep frames, at least 2-1/2" deep, with black painted edges.  These tapestries had high-relief presence.

Jennifer Moore, Rhapsody in Red and Blue:  Triptych. silk, bamboo
detail, Jennifer Moore, Rhapsody in Red and Blue:  Triptych. silk, bamboo
Jennifer Moore's weaving wizardry is simply astounding.

Elizabeth Buckley, Ocean Memory.  wool, silk, cotton
detail, Elizabeth Buckley, Ocean Memory.  wool, silk, cotton
I really enjoyed exploring Buckley's use of various tapestry techniques to create value and color gradations, and of course her signature transparency and flowing, sinuous lines.  And I marveled at her exquisite technique in this tiny piece, so flat and perfectly finished. (Apologies for the shadow in the photo--unavoidable.)

Elizabeth Buckley, Mesa Moonrise.  wool, cotton

Lisa Trujillo, Always Greener.  Wool.
A cursory glance this may suggest this is a fairly traditional take on a Chimayo-style rug.  But look again--there are human figures, in enigmatic postures, scattered throughout.  I wonder what the two figures at the top are up to?

detail, Lisa Trujillo, Always Greener.  Wool.
detail, Lisa Trujillo, Always Greener.  Wool.

Finally, this piece reminds me how I first fell in love with New Mexico--by gazing on this mesa.

Sarah Warren, Sunset over Pedernal. wool, cotton
This detail shows the subtle gradation of color and the use of soumak to define the landscape.  The strong horizontal format is perfect for this subject.

detail, Sarah Warren, Sunset over Pedernal. wool, cotton
I hope you've enjoyed this quick tour as much as I did.  


  1. Terrific Virtual Tour!! Thank you for sharing these. I would like to take workshops with some of these artists.

  2. Thanks for sharing, these are some of my favorite tapestry artist's.

  3. Michiele and Dinah, glad you enjoyed these!

  4. Thank you for posting these. As a new tapestry weaver, I really enjoy both simply getting to see them, and also noting the techniques.

    1. Great! We can learn so much by looking at others' work, especially such expert weavers as these.