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Fiber Arts/Weaving

Rio Grande Weaving

The Rio Grande Valley has long been considered a mecca for skilled Native American and Hispanic weavers. At Northern, we are drawing upon this rich local talent and expertise in the Fiber Arts Department.

Northern New Mexico College’s Fiber Arts Department offers the weaving student:

  • a full-time, 2 year Fiber Arts Associate Degree
  • a 1 year Weaving Certificate
  • a variety of short-term intensive Fiber Arts courses

The Fiber Arts program encourages both personal artistic growth and the development of technical skills. This program provides a strong foundation for successfully pursuing textile weaving as a career. Course offerings, in addition to required courses such as Weaving I, Weaving II and Spinning, also include Loom Construction, Natural and Synthetic Dyeing, Rug Restoration, Rag Rugs, Ikat and Basketry. There are occasional guest instructors and an annual field trip to the Crownpoint rug auction. Students are encouraged to participate in a number of weaving shows and studio tours during the year. Classes are held at Northern New Mexico College’s El Rito Campus in El Rito, New Mexico. The town of El Rito is about two hours north of Albuquerque, one hour north of Santa Fe and one hour west of Taos. For further information or questions about the program please contact Karen Martinez at 1-575-581-4113 or kmartinez@nnmc.edu

INSTRUCTORS

Karen Martinez - Department Director - is a 7th Generation Hispanic Chimayo Master Weaver, weaving for a period of 38 years and specializing in Rio Grande, Saltillo, and Vallero designs. She began her teaching career in John Hyson Elementary School, then with New Mexico Arts Division for an apprenticeship program to teach cultural techniques in Rio Grande style weaving, and is presently directing and teaching at Northern New Mexico College’s Fiber Arts Department. Her work is featured in books and magazines such as “Chimayo Weavers” by Lucero and Baizerman, “Across Frontiers” by Dexter, Su Casa Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, La Herencia, Vista Magazine and Cowboys and Indians Magazine. Her awards include:

  • Utilitarian Award in reviving old techniques, 2001
  • Grand Prize, Best of Show in Textiles - Spanish Market 1999
  • Honorable Mention Award 1998
  • 1st Place Award in excellence in weaving 1997
  • Purchase Award by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society 1996
  • 1st. Place Award in excellence in weaving 1995
  • Purchase Award from Colorado Springs Museum
  • 1st Place Award at State Fair Exhibit
  • Jake O. Trujillo Award in excellence in weaving 1994
  • E. Boyd Award for originality and expressive design

kmartinez@nnmc.edu

Liesel Orend has a B.F.A. in modern dance. She was trained in weaving at Northern New Mexico Community College in El Rito, New Mexico, and has been weaving for six years. Her tapestries have won first place awards at the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta and at the Taos Wool Festival. In 2001, her tapestry entitled “Hunter Spiders” won a silver medallion grand prize at the Taos Wool Festival. In 2003, her piece entitled “Women from the North” received the same award in Taos, and was chosen to be a part of the “Spirit of the West” exhibit connected with Convergence 2004 in Denver, CO.

www.earth-arts.com

 

Katy Blanchard has been knitting for over 40 years and spinning and designing one-of-a-kind hand knits for over 12 years. Her work was included in the book “Knitting in America” published in 1992. She has been working with natural dyes and growing dye plants for over 10 years and uses naturally dyed yarn exclusively in her fiber. One of her main interests is in multi-use herbs: herbs that are used medicinally as well as traditional dye materials. Growing multi-use plants on her farm is one of her priorities.

www.urbaneagle.com

 

 

Cornelia Theimer Gardella has an Associate’s Degree in Fiber Arts from NNMC and a Master’s Degree in Literature and Art History from Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Cornelia weaves contemporary tapestries using hand-dyed wool. She has been an instructor at NNMC since 2006 and her classes include tapestry weaving and synthetic dyeing.

www.corneliatheimer.com

 

 

 

 

Associate of Applied Science
Fiber Arts (El Rito)

This program trains you to work in galleries, with other weavers, or to start your own business at home.

GENERAL EDUCATION (24 crs)

Communications (6 crs)

  • ENG 111 English Composition I (3)
  • Choose one of the following:
  • ENG 112 English Composition II (3)
  • ENG 116 Technical Writing (3)
  • SPCH 130 Public Speaking (3)

Math/Computers/Lab Sciences (6 crs)

  • Elective: (6)

Social/Behavioral Sciences (6 crs)

  • Electives (6)

Humanities and Fine Arts (6 crs)

  • Two courses from Humanities or Fine Arts (lecture only) (6)

HEALTH, PHYSICAL EDUCATION & RECREATION (1 cr)

  • Elective (1)

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (49 crs)

  • FA 101/L Weaving I with lab (7)
  • FA 103 Spinning I (3)
  • FA 105 Dyeing (3)
  • FA 107 Textile Color & Design (2)
  • FA 110 History of Textiles (2)
  • FA 208 Marketing of Woven Goods (2)
  • FA 210/L Weaving II with lab (7)
  • FA 213/L Weaving III Lab (7)
  • FA 225 Four Harness Weave (4)
  • FA 230 Weaving Practicum (4)

Choose 8 credit hours from the following courses:

  • FA 109 Loom Building (1)
  • FA 112 Vegetable Dyes: Identification. and Selection (5)
  • FA 116 Quilting (2)
  • FA 202 Spinning II (2)
  • FA 216 Rug Restoration (2)
  • FA 218 Rag Rug Weaving (2)

TOTAL CREDITS: 74

Certificate Weaving (El Rito)

This program prepares you for entry-level jobs in the weaving industry, working with others or on your own.

GENERAL EDUCATION (6-7 crs)

Communications (3 hrs)

  • ENG 108N Basic English I (3)

Mathematics (3-4 crs)

  • MATH 100N (4) or a higher level math course (3)

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS (41 crs)

  • FA 101/L Weaving I with lab (7)
  • FA 103 Spinning I (3)
  • FA 105 Dyeing (3)
  • FA 107 Textile Color & Design (2)
  • FA 110 History of Textiles (2)
  • FA 208 Marketing of Woven Goods (2)
  • FA 210/L Weaving II with lab (7)
  • FA 213/L Weaving III with lab (7)
  • FA 225 Four Harness Weave (4)
  • FA 230 Weaving Practicum (4)

TOTAL CREDITS: 47-48

Course Descriptions

The following classes are offered at various times throughout the spring, summer and fall semesters. Please check the current schedules in the “Upcoming Events & Classes” section of our website or join our Newsletter Mailing List for latest dates and times.

NNMC’s Fiber Arts Department offers the following courses:

Color Theory for Textiles
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

This class will explore the principles of color theory and their application to textile design. Students will learn color terminology, explore color relationships with paints, and will learn tools for creating harmonious color combinations. We will also look at the properties of fiber as they impact color.

Natural Dyes: Local Plants
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

Students will dye wool using locally available plants. First, students will go on gathering excursions to identify and collect dye plants in their natural environment. Then, students will learn how to process the plants and how to dye with them, including preparation of the wool yarn, mordanting procedures, dye bath procedures, finishing the yarn and record keeping.

Design for Textiles
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

This class will cover the principles of design and their application to textiles. We will learn to identify various elements of design, including line, shape, pattern and texture. Then we will explore the use of these elements to create focal points, balance, accent, contrast, movement, depth, and unity within textiles, as well as examining how the use of fiber impacts design.

Four Harness Weaving I: Weave Structures
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

This class will introduce the theory and application of weaving on a four harness loom. Drafting and basic weave structures, such as twills, will be covered, as well as project planning and the mechanics of weaving on four harnesses.

Four Harness Weaving II: Jerga
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

This class will focus on the jerga, a traditional Spanish New Mexican 2/2 twill woven in wool. Students will learn about the history of this weave, and will make a striped or checked jerga shawl or throw. Beginning weavers welcome.

Four Harness Weaving III: Saddle Blanket
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 2

Explore the many design possibilities of the weft-faced twill weave structure as it is used in traditional saddle blankets. Students will use a light, medium and dark color to create different effects, such as undulations or waves, diamonds, ovals and others. These are very sturdy, thick weavings, suitable for rugs and mats, and of course, saddle blankets.

Intro to Weaving
Instructor: Karen Martinez
Credits: 1

Students will be introduced to warping (dressing) a loom. Students will learn the four shuttle techniques while constructing a striped Rio Grande Style weaving.

Loom Construction
Instructor: Marcos Martinez
Credits: 1

Students will construct a two harness, high tension, Rio Grande Style loom and learn loom parts and learn how to maintain and repair any problem that may arise with a loom.

Natural Dyeing: Ancient Dyes
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

Students will learn to use natural dyestuffs that have been used historically around the world. The unique properties of cochineal, madder, logwood, alkanet, brazilwood, cutch and osage orange will be learned, and students will dye larger quantities with each material. In addition, students will learn to prepare an indigo vat, and will learn techniques for dyeing with indigo. Mordanting, safety procedures, and record keeping will be covered.

Natural Dyes: Color Combinations
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

Students will build on their basic knowledge of natural dyes to combine dyestuffs in varying proportions and over dye yarn with indigo to create a much larger range of colors. Gradations, where the color changes in increments from one hue to another, will be explored. Students will also learn to shift colors with different modifiers, including pH and iron, to further expand the variety of colors they are able to produce.

Synthetic Dyes - Part 1
Instructor: Cornelia Theimer Gardella
Credits: 1

This course teaches students the basic techniques of dyeing wool and using acid dyes (Lanaset) along with step-by-step instructions on yarn preparation, dye methods, and finishing methods. Students will create yarn samples of each Lanaset hue and learn about the three characteristics of color hue, value, and chroma.

Synthetic Dyes - Part 2
Instructor: Cornelia Theimer Gardella
Credits: 1

Building on the basic dye techniques taught in Synthetic Dyes Part 1, students will explore color relationships through color samples. They will be introduced to gradation techniques which allow them to produce a color atlas which will serve as a reference tool for future dyeing.

Synthetic Dyes - Part 3
Instructor: Cornelia Theimer Gardella
Credits: 1

Building on the basic dye techniques taught in Part I and the color atlas created in Part 2, students will learn how to creatively apply their knowledge of the dye process and how to create any color they wish using Lanaset dyes. The main focus will be on methods of experimentation with color and the effects that can be created by changing very small parts of the dye formula.

Techniques for Contemporary Tapestry Weaving I
Instructor: Cornelia Theimer Gardella
Credits: 1

In this class, we will study non-Rio Grande tapestry weaving techniques which include several joining techniques, angles and curves. More advanced students will be able to work on a design and weave a small tapestry.

Techniques for Contemporary Tapestry Weaving II
Instructor: Cornelia Theimer Gardella
Credits: 1

In this class, we will continue to explore non-Rio Grande tapestry weaving techniques which can be applied in contemporary and pictorial tapestry weaving. In addition to a review of techniques covered in Contemporary Tapestry Weaving I, we will focus on creating angles, curves, and circles and study various color blending techniques. You will also learn to create a cartoon from your design and weave a small tapestry following the outlines of the cartoon on the warp.

Four-Harness: Doubleweave Poncho
Instructor: Liesel Orend
Credits: 1

In this special form of weaving, fabric is woven folded in half on the loom, and then can be unfolded once it is off the loom. In this class, students will learn the technique of double weave, and will design and weave a poncho or blanket, incorporating vertical and/or horizontal stripes. Some weaving experience is preferred.

Four Harness Plain Weaving: Color & Weave
Instructor:
Credits: 1

Color and weave is a weave structure that creates infinite design possibilities using a light and a dark color on a four harness loom. The pattern looks complex, but it is actually a plain weave structure, without the floating threads a twill weave would produce. Students will learn about this fascinating weave structure, and create one scarf or shawl to take home. Simple patterns, such as log cabin, can accommodate the beginning weaver, but the more complex variations will bring something new to those who are more experienced.