TAOS, NM—The Town of Taos is continuing a 30 year tradition of weaving fiber arts into the community with the 30th annual “Wool Festival at Taos,” Oct. 5 and 6. With nearly 80 juried vendors, the free festival is one of the biggest annual events in Taos and is also part of Grand Fall Arts, a nine week celebration of music, art, food, literary events, and culture.
New this year, festival goers will have a chance to win a handmade wool quilt created by the North Texas Hand Spinner and Weavers Guild of Denton, Texas. Each ticket purchased will bring festival goers one step closer to winning the quilt. Tickets can be purchased at the information tent during the event.
Handmade, one of kind artistic creations will be sold at the event produced by wool and fiber artisans. Demonstrations of spinning, dyeing, shearing sheep and the art of fiber art will be ongoing throughout the festival and a “critters corner” will showcase live sheep, alpacas, goats, angora rabbits and other animals important to the fiber arts process. A silent auction will enable festival goers to bid on unique donated items, to benefit the Wool Festival.
Because this is a family event, there will be live music and a kids corner with hands on activities for the little ones. Workshops are available before and after the festival as well.
Spinners can show off their creativity and skills with a “Handspun Competition.” Bring entries to the central tent between 7:30 and 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Judging will begin promptly at 9 a.m., and the show will open for viewing after judging is completed. Fees are $2 per skein for non-MAVWA members or $1 per skein for MAVMA members. For detailed rules and information, visit taoswoolfestival.org/handspun-competition/ or contact Theresa Miskin at theresamiskin(at)gmail(dot)com.
The Wool Festival will be held at Kit Carson Park, an outdoor venue, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 5), and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 6). No entry fee. Visit taoswoolfestival.org for more information.
During the Wool Festival, noted master Zapotec weaver Florentino Gutierrez will host a weaving demonstration showcasing the traditional way of centuries old Zapotec Indian weaving. The demonstration takes place on both Oct. 5 and 6 at the historic courtyard of Starr Interiors, located at 117 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
Gutierrez is one of a new generation of Zapotec master weavers who has perfected the use of aniline dyes to make some of the most stunning colors ever seen in Zapotec weavings. Many of his works are geometric variations of the saltillo diamond and mitla fret designs. His reverence for traditional design while using his own modern color and form makes this weaver’s works important and unique, honoring his indigenous heritage while creating a vital new look. The history of the Zapotec Indians goes back many thousands of years. Parts of the original temple walls of the previous ancient cultures can be seen, showing their advanced geometric designs that are inspiration for the rugs being woven today.
Gutierrez' wife Eloisa, also a weaver, will be preparing and serving traditional Oaxacan hot chocolate, a delicious blend of hand ground chocolate, cinnamon and sugar, beat to a frothy mixture and traditionally served at all important Zapotec and Oaxaca events.