Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weaving Shops

The Santuario village, Chimayo, is also well known for it's traditional weavers. There are little shops and studios along the road, selling hand-woven goods. Many of the weavers trace their skills back many generations. My parents lived in the area for several years and got to know some of the weavers. Their favorite shop (and mine) is run by the Trujillo family. They sell woolen rugs, blankets, placemats, coasters, and wall hangings made on their looms.
The weavings are beautiful and the craftsmanship awe inspiring.
The shop also sells pottery from nearby Native American pueblos.
Artists from each pueblo create pots with particular designs, so it is possible to tell at a glance if a pot is from San Juan or Santa Clara. The pottery is all hand made and very beautiful. All of the designs  on the pots, even the intricate geometric shapes, are all painted free-hand - an amazing feat!
The shop is small and has half a dozen looms crammed into it, all in use.
Many of the weavers are from the Trujillo family, and all quietly allow you to watch them work and patiently explain what they are doing.
The oldest and largest loom in the shop was hand made over a century ago by an ancestor of the current owner. It is still in daily use!
The hand carved shuttles (is that the right word??) are nearly as old and have been worn thin with use.
There were extra shuttles in the back of the shop, some repaired with packing tape. I noticed that the stick the the spools of yarn slide on to is simply a twig, a little stick from a local tree! I suppose it works fine, so there has never been any reason to modernize this small, but crucial piece of equipment.
I loved the gentle creaking and clacking of the looms, the scent of the wool, and the simple beauty of the yarns stored on the back wall.
I am in awe of the sense of history here, of weavers quietly working wool into patterns just as their ancestors have done for generations. I could have stayed and watched forever...


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