Fiber Art, New Mexico Style

Last week Burton and I traveled to New Mexico for a vacation.  It’s a place I’ve been wanting to visit and this summer we were able to go.  We had hoped to go to Australia to see our son, but when that didn’t work out we made other plans.  Going from an altitude of 46 ft 74% humidity to 7000 ft (with excursions to 10,000) and 43% humidity was kind of rough on my body.  I had a few bouts of dizziness and mood swings–well maybe that was something else.  It did leave me exhausted at the end of each day, especially on days when we were hiking.  My favorite hike was at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque.  I had my sketch book handy and kept busy with recording some of the rock drawings.

I love both of these figures, especially the little fellow on the right.  He looks like he’s dancing.  With one foot on the ground and the other kicked out to the side, he’s a happy dude.

There were more images than I could draw.  We hiked on the Rinconada Canyon Trail.  If we ever go back again, I’d love to try another trail.

Another of my favorite places was the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe.  Folk art is kind of quirky and I guess I am too.  I was captivated by everything I saw, and there was a lot to see.  There were several signs that said “Please take pictures.”  Burton didn’t need another invitation.  He snapped shots until the battery died.  Although I found all the the wooden carvings and pottery interesting, it was the cloth dolls that fascinated me most.

Take a close look at the hands.  Many of the Indian dolls had embroidered designs on the hands, individual fingers, and fingernails.  The gentleman on the far right has buttonhole stitch eyebrows.

The dolls below have unusual eyebrows and chins.  I think I like that.

These beauties below are from either the US or Britain.  Since Burton took the pictures, my record keeping was lacking.

They look like they are going to a party.  Large scale prints for the dresses don’t seem to matter too much.  It adds to their charm.  The doll on the far right reminds me of an old china head doll.  The one I’m thinking of had a small face with glossy white skin and jet black hair.  I love the appliqued hair on these dolls.  It’s a technique I’ve been using on some of my dolls.  I need to make another play doll, quick!

I don’t know the country of origin of this pair.  I do wish I had written these things down.  They look more modern than the others.  It’s a little eerie looking at them; they are rather similar in style to some faces that I’ve done.   The solid stitching on the eyelid and head band is outline stitch worked in tight rows.   So is the man’s beard.  It’s striped like the beard on my camel totem figure “Sailing Through the Desert.”

A recurring symbol in my art is hands.  Depictions of hands were abundant everywhere we went.  Burton took this picture in Taos.

Hands are an appropriate image for a handcraft shop.

We were able to visit several fiber art studios and shops during our New Mexican visit.  In addition to the traditional weaving, I saw some modern felting that was inspiring, hand spun wools, and knitting.  I met a few artists and was happy to chat with them about the things that interest us most:  working with our hands in fiber.

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This entry was posted in art journal, cloth doll, embroidery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fiber Art, New Mexico Style

  1. Rachel says:

    My goodness, it sounds like an inspiring trip!

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