Weaving in Beauty Navajo Weaving Techniques Class (September 27- October 4, 2020)
September 27 @ 9:00 am - October 4 @ 12:00 pm MDT$700
A Navajo Weaving Techniques Class Like No Other: Where You Will Go
Our Navajo weaving techniques class in September 2020 is a seven-day total immersion into weaving and modern Navajo life in and near the Navajo Nation at our store in the very diverse and artistically vibrant community of Gallup, New Mexico. We stay in modern accommodations at the Best Western Plus about a mile from the store, and we will help shuttle you back and forth to the hotel as needed. There are six good places to eat within walking distance and we are located in the heart of the downtown arts district. Part of the day you’ll learn Navajo weaving techniques and another slice of our time is spent exploring the weaving related attractions in the area. Our days typically start at 8 AM, and we call it quits at 9 PM. We weave on a traditional loom, sitting in a chair. You may sit on the floor if you would like to, but it is not a requirement. We seek out special events that occur during our class and this class will include a visit to the Friends of Hubbell Native American Arts Auction
Our field trips for the Navajo Weaving Techniques Class September 2019 include
- R. B. Burnham Trading Co.
- Bill Malone Trading (walk next door)
- Perry Null Trading
- Richardson’s Trading Co. (the Sistine Chapel of Navajo weaving)
- Lunch and dinner at Earl’s in Gallup, NM (you might complete ALL your Christmas shopping! Really!)
- Navajo Nation Museum
- Window Rock Tribal Park
- Friends of Hubbell Native American Arts Auction
- Visits from and with weavers and artists
- Going to the front for MORE YARN (the class is in a yarn store!!!)
All field trips are optional but darn near impossible to resist so it may be best not to try. We carpool our private vehicles for field trips. Generally, this means that we have our company van (7 passengers) plus one car driven by a student on each trip. If you are willing to drive, we’ll be glad to help with the fuel expense. Please let us know if you’re a potential driver for your session. Carpooling means that we don’t have to rent large vans, which are difficult for some students to access and are less safe in certain road situations. Traveling in small groups allows more flexibility in destinations and itinerary, and that means a more personalized experience for you. Most people drive only once or twice during class unless they prefer driving. Don’t worry about it if you don’t want to drive.
A Full Week to Learn
- Loom warping
- Diagonal, interlock and dovetail joins
- Elements of design
- Problem-solving (limited to weaving related problems)
- Carding and spinning
- Rug finishing
- Adaptation of Navajo techniques to non-traditional patterns
- Vegetal dye techniques
Navajo made looms and tools will be available for purchase. We encourage local weavers to visit us in class, and we do adapt our itinerary to invitations and opportunities which arise during the week. Spouses, friends and significant others are encouraged to come along and are very welcome to join us on our field trips. Those accompanying you may need to use a separate vehicle for field trips, so please plan accordingly.
Navajo Weaving Techniques Class Tuition and Housing Costs
Tuition is $700 with a $250 deposit for new students and a $25 deposit for previous students due on registration. The fee includes the use of a loom and tools for the week and a $25 store credit. You will also receive a digital download of our book with the rights to print one copy of it if you wish. Tuition also includes one group meal. Our student to teacher ratio is one to four or five compared with one to 10 or 12 students that you may experience in other venues. Our teaching day extends from 8 AM to 9 PM, hours longer than the seven-hour teaching day that is standard for most other classes. Housing Cost for Best Western: $80 per day. There are also numerous hotels and Airbnb accommodations (including a cool hogan in the vicinity). The estimated cost of meals is around $20-35 per day. Breakfast is free (and edible) if you are staying at the Best Western. If you’d like to share a room, please let us know. We’ll try to pair you up with another student. No guarantees about snoring or sleepwalking.
Registration, cancellation and refund policies
A deposit is required to hold a seat in any class. Deposits are non-refundable but may be transferred to another class if you are unable to attend the session you are registered for as long as pay any difference in tuition. Tuition must be paid in full 15 days before your class begins. If we cancel a class due to low enrollment, you’ll receive a full refund of all the fees you’ve paid, or you can transfer to another session that has space. We will make this determination six months before your class, and we will inform you immediately should we need to do it. Since your ability to attend any class session may be affected by unpredictable conditions like weather, employment, and medical emergencies, we highly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to cover the portions of your trip that may not be refundable.
Getting to Gallup
Gallup is in northwestern New Mexico, about 135 miles west of Albuquerque, NM, and about 300 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. Amtrak provides train service to Gallup. The train arrives from Flagstaff, AZ and points west at about 9 AM and from Albuquerque at about 7 PM. There is no train service from Phoenix. We will be glad to pick you up at the train with notice. If you are willing to provide a ride for another student from either Albuquerque or Phoenix, please let us know, and we’ll try to match you up with someone.
Vitally Relevant Details: You’re Not in Chicago Anymore
Some of our class activities occur on the Navajo Nation, which is a sovereign entity. While on the Navajo Nation, we are subject to the laws of the Navajo Nation and alcohol may not be purchased or consumed. The elevation in Window Rock and Gallup is about 6500′ above sea level, and you may find that you need a day or so to adjust to the altitude. The climate is high desert and temperatures can vary as much as 40 degrees over a 24 hour period. It is not unheard of for us to have snow during our May class and in fact, we’re kind of getting used to it. The average temperatures in May and October are 30-35 degrees at night and 60-65 degrees during the day. In June, July, and August, the nighttime temperatures are 50-65 degrees and days average 85-95 degrees.
Jennie Slick is at the left in this picture. She is born to the Coyote Pass people and born for the Bitter Water People. She resides in the Querino Canyon area near Sanders, Arizona. Jennie has been teaching for over 20 years. She has taught all over the United States. Jennie loves sharing her weaving knowledge because she says “you’re not supposed to be stingy with it.”
Jennie is a very patient teacher, so her students come back for more classes to increase their knowledge. She is fluent in Navajo and can teach in either Navajo or English.
Gloria is at the left in the picture. Her maternal clan is Mountain Cove, and her paternal clan is Towering House. She is the daughter of the famous weaver Nellie Joe. Nellie schooled all of her daughters in her exacting techniques of weaving and design. Gloria’s Chief Blanket and Burntwater designs are outstanding. She experiments with design, and she loves natural dyes.
Gloria is very encouraging, and so her students love her. Her rugs and weavings are in collections all over the world. She is continually increasing her weaving expertise and loves to learn about new yarns and dyes. Gloria strives to be a better weaver, so the chances are that you will be too!
Gloria is fluent in both Navajo and English and teaches students in both languages.
Pictures from our July 2019 class