Rio Grande weavings by Dayna Fisk-Williams are part of the show “A Fusion of Color” that runs through December 30 at 7Arts Gallery.
“Rio Grande weaving is a tradition in Northern New Mexico from the early days when the Spanish settled in the area,” explains Fisk-Williams, who learned how to weave at the Tierra Wools weaving center in New Mexico’s Chama Valley.
“They brought churro sheep with them from Spain. It was a food source for them on the ships, and once they got here, they used the wool for weaving floor coverings for the dirt floors of the adobe homes here.”
Fisk-Williams uses local, hand-dyed churro wool in her wall hangings, rugs and pillows on display. She weaves with a walking loom, which is a large loom with pedals that’s made from very heavy wood. A weaver stands on the pedals to initiate the weaving process. In a Rio Grande-style rug, fringe is formed on both ends.
“My weavings are not done with traditional designs,” Fisk-Williams adds.” “My pieces for the show all have bright colors and random geometric patterns that have a resemblance to stained glass.”
Also included in the show are decorative and functional fused glass pieces by the husband and wife team of Maria McGrane and Rick Allen that were made by utilizing a wide variety of glass techniques.
“I started making fused glass three years ago when a work assignment took me to Portland, Oregon for three months,” explains McGrane. “While there, I had the opportunity to take a beginning class at the Bullseye Resource Center. I was hooked. I love working with the vibrant colors, shapes and seemingly endless techniques available to transform glass into artistic creations, functional decorative pieces or jewelry.”
McGrane and Allen, who have learned most of what they know about glass on their own, enjoy experimenting whenever they have a new idea. “In particular, Rick doesn’t allow the established rules of fused glass fabrication to stand in his way when he wants to try something new,” says McGrane. His favorite question is ‘what would happen if…’”