Rag Rug Festival 2013

Here is Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles at her loom at the Festival.

Here is Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles at her loom at the Festival.

This was my first year assisting my mom, Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles, with Rag Rug Festival held by the New Mexico Women’s Foundation in Santa Fe, NM August 9th, 10th, & 11th. This year the Rag Rug Festival was held at the International Folk Art Museum on Museum Hill, instead of the Udall Building as in years past. The artists, somewhere between 30-40 (my guess), had most of Friday to set up prior to a special ticket preview night that went to 8PM. There was light food and a small bar and a full array of fashions on display by artists and patrons alike. I live an hour and a half north of this shin dig and I was beat by the time I got home. I was quite surprised by the variety of arts on display as I had assumed the bulk of the wares would be some sort of woven art. While there were perhaps 6 rag rug weavers on display, there was also felting, gourd art, silk painted clothing, jewelry, hats, bags, scarves, quilting, and a number of other things.

Some Enchanted Weavings brought her stripper and sewing machine to demo.

Some Enchanted Weavings brought her stripper and sewing machine to demo.

Both Saturday and Sunday the Rag Rug Festival, sprawled over three rooms, was open to the public 10-4 and the museum from 10-5 for free. My mom brought one of her looms to demonstrate making a rug. All artists were asked to bring something to demo, so I saw a spinning wheel, some henna art, sewing, and a stripper (not as exciting as some of you are thinking – it’s actually a wheeled blade for cutting fabric into strips). I brought some sock loops to show customers the basics of creating long strands of sock loops for weaving. I also had some left over warp that I made into braided plant hangers. But, really, folks were way more interested in watching me untangle Pendleton shag (the selvedge edge of the blanket that usually goes to the landfill if not put to use by artists) for my mom to weave. By far, the loom was a draw. I let little kids climb on it as I know how tough rag rug looms are. Several adults wanted to give weaving a try too.

Here is an UpCycled Fashion felt owl.

Here is an UpCycled Fashion felt owl.

Saturday had more sales for Cabin Textiles, but less traffic. There were lulls where either one of us could go walking for an hour or so and see the other artists. This is where I walked around taking pictures for this blog. Most folks were quite happy to let me take pictures. Some wanted to know why and I told them because my grandma reads this blog and most found that quite amusing, even sweet. If anyone still had doubts as to my innocent silliness, I told them who I was and that I was helping my mom for the weekend and once folks heard my mom’s name, everyone was cool with me taking pictures. Someone was kind enough to explain to me afterwards that sometimes nefarious types take pictures of folk art with the intent of reproducing that type or style and selling their items as original ideas. If I find such nefarious folks, I will personally tweak their noses. Anyway, this points to just how much I have to learn about shows.

The ladies of the NaNeelzhiin Women's' Craft Circle put on a beautiful display.

The ladies of the NaNeelzhiin Women’s’ Craft Circle put on a beautiful display.

Sunday had more traffic, and plenty of it chatty, but less sales. We heard the same from more than one vendor. In some ways, we were busier because we had more folks wanting to try the loom or talk about local weaving classes (like at the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center). I had another bag of shag to untangle. I also brought some chocolate candies to share with artists and patrons alike, though I think we and our neighboring vendors ate more chocolate than the wandering customers. I got to do plenty of people watching over the weekend, a favorite past time. It was very interesting to see the huge variety of people who came through the doors. Some were just visiting the museum and happened upon the Rag Rug Festival, while others are repeat customers year after year. Some folks spend much of their year in other countries and make a point of visiting Rag Rug Festival when they are in NM. I did manage to break away for about an hour Sunday to see the rest of the museum. They have a very eclectic doll and figurine collection in a very, very large room. Also there was a Japanese kite show on display that was quite something.

Quilt work by The Common Thread.

Quilt work by The Common Thread.

The museum provided large dollys for bringing items in and hauling them out. However, the museum guys were not allowed to load, unload, or handle the items in anyway. They did make an exception for my mom’s loom. After all, it is unlikely the museum staff would be blamed if the loom went missing later, which I think was the concern for all of the smaller items. They did have a nice big freight elevator we got to ride in with our items. As you can imagine, the artists had to dress not only to impress but to also be able to haul their own wares about. Many vendors said that attendance was way down from years past, though the museum said their average weekend attendance was up (remember, this is the first year having the Festival in the museum). Also, there was very little advertising. I don’t know the reason for this, but even an internet search turned up very little information. I also overheard a few patrons expressing their frustration at the limited number of rag rug vendors (6?) on display compared to the rather eclectic variety of arts on display.

Gourd antler mask by Eye of the Beholder. Stunning!

Gourd antler mask by Eye of the Beholder. Stunning!

This being my first time helping out with this Festival, I had a great time. I had intended to simply give my mom support during the core hours of the day (like from 11 or 12 to 2) so that she could take a break if she wanted. But all 3 days I found myself staying until closing because I was enjoying the camaraderie of the show, chatting with the customers, letting kids use the loom as a jungle gym, and exploring the museum. One of my knitting friends was able to make it by and it was so great to catch up with her (thanks P.H.!). Taking pictures was also fun as it gave me a great excuse to talk with the other artists and ask them about their work.

Colorful bags by Subedi Enterprises.

Colorful bags by Subedi Enterprises.

So, who all did I harass for pictures? Let me say two things first: I am a bit shy in social situations, so if the artist was busy with customers, I didn’t approach to snap away pictures; second, I always made sure to ask if I could take pictures and a few folks were a little suspicious at first, which only increased my shyness. So, this is only a few of the many wonderful artists that were present at this show.

I thank each of these artists for indulging my latent reporter skills and letting me take pictures.

Necklace & earrings by Shamana Jewelry.

Necklace & earrings by Shamana Jewelry.

Eye of the Beholder, Fine Art Gourds, Joanna Bradley (lovely lady, my mom and I gave her some shag and left over warp for decorations, so much fun to joke around with). Contact info: swdirect@comcast.net, 575-522-3479

Shamana Jewelry, Rebecca Swallows (she shared an innocent thong, as in flipflop, joke with me, haha!). Contact info: rebzoe@hotmail.com, 575-921-5502, 575-585-9420, 204 St. Francis Dr., Tularosa, NM 88352

The Common Thread, Southwest Women’s Fiber Arts Collective (Granma D. – the picture of the mice is just for you). Contact info: http://www.fiberartscollective.org, 575-538-5733, 107 W. Broadway, PO Box 636, Silver City, NM 88062

These little Badgersong 'donuts' were quite the eyecatcher.

These little Badgersong ‘donuts’ were quite the eyecatcher.

Badgersong Art, Andy Hunter (I think the two of us laughed so loud the other room could hear us!). Contact info: hunteralh@yahoo.com

NaNeelzhiin Women’s Craft Circle (these ladies were right across the aisle from us and were often entertained by the kids playing on the loom). Unfortunately, they were out of business cards and I could not find any contact info on the internet for them.

Rag rugs by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Rag rugs by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Some Enchanted Weavings, Ann Lumaghi (her booth was right next to us & she let me take plenty of pics – thank you!). Contact info: annlumaghi@newmexico.com, 505-685-4503,

Subedi Enterprises, Duka Subedi (her son, husband, and mother were there with her and it was great to see the family effort). Contact info: duka_aarpan@yahoo.com, 505-948-6638, 8409 Gutierrez Rd, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

UpCycled Fashion, Anita Marie Moss & Jean Nichols (they let me chatter away about the farm & goats, because they are cool like that). Contact info: UpCycledFashion.com, jean@upcycledfashion.com, anitamarie@upcycledfashion.com, 575-587-0202, 575-587-2200, PO Box 237, Penasco, NM 87553

TDLT Fiber Artisans, Lise Poulsen (the felted vases were quite the eye catcher!). Contact info: lise.poulsen@mindspring.com, Tejedoras de Las Trampas, 575-758-1730, http://www.gauchoblue.com/TDLT.html, TDLT@GauchoBlue.com, PO Box 114, Penasco, NM 87553

Artist Renee Brainard Gentz showed off some fabulous pieces made from silk.

Artist Renee Brainard Gentz showed off some fabulous pieces made from silk.

Fiber artist Renee Brainard Gentz (such lovely silk pieces). Contact info: http://www.rbgentz.com, rbgentz@gmail.com, 505-242-5703

These felt 'vases' by UpCycled Fashion are great.

These felt ‘vases’ by TDLT Fiber Artisans are great.

The Common Thread mice were well behaved and too cute.

The Common Thread mice were well behaved and too cute.

Felt goats (I do so love goats) and felt baby boots by UpCycled Fashion.

Felt goats (I do so love goats) and felt baby boots by UpCycled Fashion.

Another cool bag from Subedi Enterprises.

Another cool bag from Subedi Enterprises.

Shawls & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Shawls & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Another beautiful piece from Shamana Jewelry.

Another beautiful piece from Shamana Jewelry.

Potholders & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Potholders & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

This gourd was cut open and decorated inside & outside by Eye of the Beholder.

This gourd was cut open and decorated inside & outside by Eye of the Beholder.

Here is the backside of that same hollowed out gourd, by Eye of the Beholder.

Here is the backside of that same hollowed out gourd, by Eye of the Beholder.

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Art Through The Loom Show: Setting Up at Ghost Ranch

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

As some of you know, the Art Through the Loom guild show at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM is the first show that I have my rugs in. This show runs from mid-July through mid-September. On July 16th, several of us made the trek to Ghost Ranch to set up the show. The reception for the show was held the following Saturday, July 20th. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the reception because we had a lovely summer flash flood the day before and I was still tending to the after math – both in cleaning and in recovering physically from my Friday exertions of shoveling and bailing water.

However, I did take lots of pictures the day we did set up, so I can share with you all some of the great art work that was displayed in this show. I am new to the guild, so I am still learning who all the other artists are; any mistakes in labeling the pictures or spelling folks’ names are my own.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

In a previous post, I expressed concern that I would forget to bring something important to the set up of the show, like business cards, water bottle, or even my rugs. So, I packed the truck the night before with everything but the water bottle. I even brought extra hanging tags just in case I needed to correct something or replace one on one of my rugs. I managed to have 15 rugs ready for the show. I hadn’t been out to Ghost Ranch in perhaps 7-10 years and I wasn’t sure which building we would be in. So, I planned to be 15 minutes late so that I would (hopefully) see several other vehicles, including my mom’s, in front of the correct building. It worked, though the sign on the building said it was closed. That was easily fixed by turning the sign around and lugging my rugs in.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

The ladies at ghost ranch who allow us to invade the space and help set up are awesome: Lorraine, Cheryl, and Judy – Thank you!

I also wish to thank John Curran for doing so much ladder work. Much of the wall pieces must be hung from the ceiling instead of attached to the walls. If John had not volunteered, I am sure I would have been sent up and down the ladder repeatedly as I was the youngest there. It’s a wee secret of mine that I have a ladder phobia, which I didn’t particularly want to share with the other guild members in full on color vision. I don’t know what the clinical term for this fear is, though climacophobia is close. If the ladder is anchored into a wall, etc., I have no problem. But a free standing ladder is extremely difficult for me to use. So, a big, big thanks to John and later, Cheryl for doing the ladder work.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

I learned the check in process for items. Several folks brought not only their own work, but the work of others. So we had plenty to check in, make sure all the items match the paperwork, and stick on the scannable barcodes. I do like sticky barcodes – makes things simple for whoever is doing checkout and makes me as an artist feel like we are in the 21st century.

I spent most of my time harassing three ladies: Michelle Rudy, Caroline Rackley, and Nora Curran. Michelle got me started on checking in my mom’s (Sandy Voss’s) hats. This was a good thing to learn on because it was hard to mess up. Next, I artistically mussed up the kitchen weavings table, which included items by Michelle, Caroline, and Nancy Woodworth, so that someone with a more critical eye could come along later and make it look nice. Then I had fun placing little baskets holding Hues by Heather skeins of yarn. Hues by Heather is created by Erika Schwender. These baskets were later consolidated and placed in other strategically located places.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

Caroline and I spent some quality time comparing pocket knives, checking in Debra Dubois’s items, hanging Pamela Colton’s dolls, and joking around. She makes the mullet look cool and I look forward to seeing her at future functions. So as not to pester Caroline the entire time, I then spent time with Nora tying knots, arguing with dowel rods, discussing pickles, untying knots, and fussing with clamps. We eventually got one, yes a single, item ready for hanging.

Eventually, we had a little lunch break in the partially covered center patio area. John & Nora’s sheep dog was out there in the shade. I shared an apple with her and gave her a back massage. She was very sweet. We watched the mud swallow chicks being fed by their parents. After lunch, we had a few more things to see to, cleaning up, making sure the Ghost Ranch staff had all the paperwork they needed from us, etc. After that, we peeled off here and there. I had planned to take pictures of us all dressed at the reception and capture a few pictures of the scenic landscape of the area when I came back for the reception. Alas, who expected flash flooding encroaching on my livingroom?

Wall hanging by John Curran.

Wall hanging by John Curran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

 

 

 

 

 

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nora & John's dog on a water break.

Nora & John’s dog on a water break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rugs mixed with other artists's rugs.

My rugs mixed with other artists’s rugs.

 

 

 

 

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping for My First Show

My first business cards.

My first business cards.

This month, I will be entering my first show, the Art Through the Loom Ghost Ranch Show. Now I grew up going to shows and art fairs, fiestas, and festivals, gallery openings, etc. with my mom for her weavings (Cabin Textiles). These things are usually pretty tame affairs; it’s a bunch of fiber artists being polite in public, dressed nicely, and usually worn out from trying to get their craft done earlier in the day and silently wondering how early they can duck out without being rude.

So, I have no real anxiety about the 2 hours at the reception standing around in a skirt making small talk about the weather. No, my anxiety is about the details of pulling my pieces together. Business cards, sewing the tabbies, using my new vacuum, selecting the rugs to go, and how to display them.

These rolled rugs are waiting to have their tabbies sewn.

These rolled rugs are waiting to have their tabbies sewn.

I finally have business cards and hanging tags. These were two important things. The business cards can have all my contact info, whereas the hanging tags simply have my name and business name on it, along with cleaning instructions. Each rug will get a hanging tag in which I will write the dimensions and price, leaving space for the Ghost Ranch bar code sticker. Of course, on set up day (a few days before the reception), I will forget my business cards and have to bring them at the reception. I think the Ghost Ranch staff keep a few business cards from each artist at the front desk? I will learn. Details.

Next is learning the sewing machine. I know. Some of you just had your eyes bug out. I grew up in a weaver’s house and never learned the sewing machine. I will probably do a separate post on this for comedy’s sake. Anyway, each of my rugs has tabbies at each end that need to be folded over and sewn. Straight lines, people. That’s all I need to master. Wish me luck.

These rugs are awaiting the sewing of the tabbies, a vacuuming, and tags.

These rugs are awaiting the sewing of the tabbies, a vacuuming, and tags.

I purchased a little hand vacuum specifically for my rugs. I have cats and dogs. I live on a little farm. Each rug WILL be vacuumed before leaving this house. So, the guest bedroom is pet free and the guest bed makes the perfect flat surface for vacuuming, measuring, and tagging.

What to take? Well……I have sock rugs and shag rugs right now. I am planning tentatively to take 10-15 rugs. I am also entering a show in August and I want to make sure I will have enough for both. The sock rugs are limited in number right now simply because they take so much prep. I have cut up and looped all the colored socks I had. I have a huge bag of light grey and white socks that need to be dyed before they can be turned into rugs – but that is unlikely to happen before either show. So, the Ghost Ranch show may get more shag rugs in the mix as I hold back more sock rugs for the August Rag Rug Festival.

WELCOME!

Here we have a black & white sock rug and a shag rug.

Here we have a black & white sock rug and a shag rug.

Welcome to Woven Hearth, a place of weavings and other fiber arts. Woven Hearth is a husband and wife team who obviously didn’t have enough to do between day jobs, a small farm, and volunteer activities. Focusing on rag rugs, Woven Hearth provides practical, sturdy rugs from recycled materials.

Have a look around, enjoy yourself. Contact information for business inquiries or simple curiosity is under the ABOUT tab at the top.