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Linda Running Bentley

My weaving practice is inspired by traditions, materials, and colors of the American Southwest.  I  weave with on two-treddle/two-harness Rio Grande-style walking looms. I've been nurtured by New Mexican master weavers.  I spin from wool from local Navajo-Churro sheep, and I dye wool with plants grown and harvested where I live in Colorado.

Artist's Statement:  I learned tapestry-weaving techniques at Ghost Ranch at Abiquiu, New Mexico and at the Tierra Wools Cooperative, in Los Ojos, New Mexico.  Master weavers Eppie Archuleta and Norma Medina have generously shared their family's weaving tradition while mentoring and encouraging me.

I weave with on two-treddle/two-harness Rio Grande-style walking looms designed and hand-made for me by a New Mexico craftsman using re-worked gears and used lumber. My rugs use two types of wool. Black, white, and grey wool I hand-spin from Navajo-Churro sheep raised by a family in the "Goat Hill" neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.  The colored wool I use are woolen mill ends dyed with plants harvested in the Southwest, primarily Colorado.

The natural wool is hand-dyed with plant materials gathered and harvested in the spring and fall.  The plants, flowers, and nuts are dried, then soaked and boiled in large pots.  Clean wool is added to the dyebath, boiled, soaked, and dried in the sun. The beauty of the process is watching the plants grow, scavenging for and harvesting plants, then watching the natural wool transform into colors that are often unexpected. Bright red hibiscus flowers dye green; walnuts hulls dye dark brown to black; dahlia flowers dye bright orange; rabbit brush from the Platte River bank dye an intense gold. Combining this very down-and-dirty plant processing with the soft fiber of the clean wool is my work, my process and my expression.

Although I create textiles in the tradition of Southwest Rio-Grand-style weavers, my designs are influenced by Bauhaus textile artists, Anni Albers and Gunta Stolzl; also by contemporary and traditional Danish design and Scandinavian rug weavers. While admiring the colors and patterns created in Medieval European manuscripts and vellum musical notation,  I limit my materials, colors, and processes available to me in my urban Denver, Colorado community.

Location:  Denver, Colorado, USA
Online shops:
Languages spoken:  English

Detail of a weaving by Linda Running Bentley

Tags:  weaving, rugs, rag, churro, wool, hand-dyed, southwest, natural dyes, vegetal, weaver, handweaver

1 comment:

  1. I knew that Gunta Stoelzl was involved!
    Great weaving.


“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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