Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eva Salazar Baskets

Basket making is a fiber art that is part of the traditional culture of our local native people, the Kumeyaay Indians. Eva Salazar is an award-winning Kumeyaay basketmaker who happens to be working with my husband at this time.  He very kindly arranged for us to visit Eva at her wonderful home in eastern San Diego County so we could look at her baskets.

Here, Eva is showing me the plant materials that she uses to make her baskets.  She gathers and processes all the materials herself: Juncus textilis, Rhus trilobata (basketbush), and Muhlenbergia rigens (deergrass).  She has collecting permits from the necessary public agencies.  She dyes some of the juncus black using walnut shells, oak, and old metal. 

This is a very large basket that she spent many, many months working on.  

I was honored to be there, and she is the most kind, pleasant, and cheerful person I have met.  She loves to weave baskets, and it shows in the detail and quality of her work.  As they say, how you do something is how you do everything, and her work demonstrates her to be a careful, thoughtful person who uses traditional materials in traditional ways to create her baskets.  Thank you, Eva!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drum Carding

Today I carded a bunch of BFL roving that I dyed about 3 years ago.  I bought the roving online, it came, it was beautiful, but very thin.  So, when I dyed it, there was a felting issue.  It was challenging to draft.  I put it away.  I really liked how the dyeing came out, but it would just not spin unless I really worked at it.

Fast forward to today.  I found the bag with the roving in my stash, and decided to try carding it on my Patrick Green drum carder (c. 1987).  I have only had to replace the band once in all those years, by the way.

You can see how thin the roving is.  But how great the color and quality of the BFL is.  So, on I went.  I did four batches. Look how nice the blue turned out.

Here is the reddish one.

There were four colorways.  The dye work was good, but the rovings were just so thin, they felted a bit to the point where they would not draft.  I am very optimistic that the batts I carded will be great to spin.