Saturday, March 26, 2011

Needle Rock gets some column inches!

A perfect blend of art, history and culture

Dear Editor, Kudos and many thanks to Ginger Snip and Ann Kennedy of Needle Rock Fiber Arts for bringing a fabulous Navajo Spinning class to Telluride. Even as a weaver trained in the Rio Grande tradition, rarely have I experienced such a perfect blend of artistic expression, rich history and cultural immersion. Pam Ramsey, owner of La Plata Farms in Hesperus, was our teacher extraordinaire. Pam raises Churro sheep and began the class with a rich oral history of this hardy breed brought to the Southwest by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century. Churro sheep became a mainstay of the Navajo culture, both for food and their fiber, and remain so today. After being brought to the edge of extinction several times, Navajo Churro sheep have made yet another comeback and are a favorite among many fiber artists for their fine, creamy wool.

Pam then taught us the ancient art of Navajo spinning on a spindle; a practice still used by Navajo we...

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