An Organic Experience
Excerpt from The Fine Art of Navajo Weaving, text by Steve Getzwiller, photos by Ray Manley
This incredible piece of art is featured at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum as part of the exhibit, "One Traders Legacy, Steve Getzwiller Collects the West"
Weavers are still weaving gorgeous Burntwater rugs today. Some still go to the extra mile and make their own dyes using native reservation plants and other natural materials. Using vegetal dyes, also known as natural dyes, plays a major role in the quality and value of Burntwater rugs. In fact, weaving a rug with hand dyed natural wool can double the amount of time it takes to complete a weaving. Therefore, weavings made with natural dyes are of much higher value. Important to note, when purchasing a Burntwater rug, be sure to identify if the weaver used vegetal dyes versus analine (commercial) dyes as it greatly impacts the value of the weaving.
Elvie Van Winkle, one of our contemporary weavers, is known for her very tight Navajo weavings, but this weaving was a whole new adventure for her. As she wove this rug, she also hand dyed the wool with natural dyes to create the most incredible colors and color combinations. She learned this regional style and family secret dye colors from Lillian Joe, her mom, who continues to weave today. Lillian is well known for weaving with fine wool, and usually produces small weavings.
This weaving is 3' x 4' and showcases Elvie's incredible talent. It is everything that a Burntwater should be, colorful, balanced and intricate! Elvie told us she used 60 different wool colors and except for just a few were all hand dyed with vegatal dyes!!!
Elvie won 1st Place and Best of Category at the 2018 Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial in August for this incredible weaving. Sorry, it's no longer available!
Below is Elvie's latest work of art. She is so talented! Not sure if this one will last until August..so that we can enter it into the 2019 Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial. No ribbon or not this is truly spectacular weaving!
As always, we'd love to talk about our weavings! Give us a call! 520-455-5020
- Beth Barth