Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Masters of Rio Grande Weaving

Centinela Traditional Arts, Chimayo, New Mexico
We visited Irv and Lisa Trujillo in the fall as the chamisa was blooming and their apple orchard was in full fruit. They founded Centinela Traditional Arts in Chimayo on the farm that has been in Irv's family for generations. Irvin was a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow in 2007. Both Irv and Lisa, his wife, have revived and mastered the art of Rio Grande weaving, a hispanic tradition. Be prepared for colors and designs that awaken the senses when you visit Centinela. As an artist who loves pattern, color and decoration I find their work so inspirational. They are also both exceptionally sincere, talented and creative artists that have won many awards for their weavings. They also promote the work of other hispanic weavers in their shop. We shot some footage of them at work for our presentation to the New Mexico Arts Council. To see the 7 1/2 minute presentation go to
We will be presenting it this January 2012 now that Earthcare International is our fiscal sponsor for fundraising in New Mexico.

Irv showed me how he uses native plants such as chamisa to dye his yarns as well as using indigo and other dyes in combination with the subtle colors from the native plants. Irv and Lisa are known for the vibrancy of color and design along with innovation within the tradition of hispanic weaving.

Here is Lisa weaving. Some of the wool they use comes from the family sheep and Lisa also spins.

To see more about their work go to
You can see the weavings online but to truly appreciate them visit Centinela Traditional Arts where you will also find them hard at work.
We saw a wonderful display of Irv's weavings in the Hispanic wing at the Folk Arts Museum in Santa Fe. The exhibits there never disappoint. I recommend a trip there as well. 
I also recommend for those who love the fiber arts the New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail for those who want to explore the diversity of fiber arts in our state. 
New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails


THE NEW MEXICO FIBER ARTS TRAILS are a collaboration between New Mexico Arts and a grassroots network of fiber artists to cultivate awareness of our rich and unique fiber arts heritage and innovations, as well as opportunities for artists to prosper in their home communities.
Rural fiber arts destinations, outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, are highlighted in the trails guide and brochure.

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