Craft is alive and well in New Mexico. The home of Pueblo pottery and colorful Diné tapestry, this part of the world has a heritage of craft and design that continues to inspire artisans to practice old trades or create something entirely new. Often some mixture of the two.
These are just a few of the craftspeople in New Mexico who are creating one-of-a-kind goods by hand. You can find all of them on Instagram and at local markets.
Christine Hernandez, Lil Weavy
Weaving is an artform that requires patience in spades, as Christine Hernandez well knows. Thankfully, she enjoys the slowness and calm of the process. As Lil Weavy, she creates one-of-a-kind tapestries and clothing in Santa Fe and Chimayo.
When did you realize that weaving was what you wanted to do?
In 2015, when I was twenty-six or twenty-seven. You know when you’re just waiting for that one passion to be revealed to you? I’ve always dabbled in a bunch of things. I like creating art, and I’ve always made things, but when I started weaving it was just so sweet and lovely. And all the people in the weaving department [at the Southwest School of Art], at least eighty percent, were older women. Everyone is really slow and sweet and able to untangle things in a really graceful way. In a metaphorical way and a literal way! A woman there gave me a loom at the end of the semester. She said she was upgrading and had an old loom to give me. Another woman gave me boxes full of yarn. It was almost like the higher powers were saying, “Cool, you’ve found it. Now let us help you stay in this craft.” It was amazing. And it still is.
What brought you out to New Mexico [from San Antonio, Hernandez’s hometown]?
One of my good friends from San Antonio moved out here a few years ago. So I had been visiting a lot, and I knew that Santa Fe was a really magical place in the summer. I visited Chimayo [where Hernandez apprentices with master weaver Irvin Trujillo] on one of those trips and just fell in love.
What does a typical week look like for you?
I come into town a couple days a week and do production weaving for a lady in town who has a shop in the Loretto Hotel. I weave her designs and get paid hourly. I’m sort of at the point where I want to step back from that and put the energy into myself, because I haven’t woven anything on my loom at home in months and it’s sort of sad. But it’s nice to know I have that steady income. I do that two days a week, and then I go out to Chimayo another two days a week. And I weave over there—we were doing a lot of dyeing this summer, using natural dyes. I think Irvin’s going to stop now that the first freeze has come, though.
View the full article here.