ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The rhythm of the loom is like the pull of moon on tide.
Barbara Holloway has craved that motion since she began weaving 34 years ago.
The maker of contemporary handwoven wearable art, Holloway is one of 20 artists opening their homes at the Galisteo Studio Tour on Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14.
Visitors can view photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, glass, wood and New Mexican folk art nestled in the Galisteo Basin. Three food stops will offer New Mexican food, kebabs and Wisconsin brats with homemade sauerkraut and green chile.
Holloway has made her own clothing since she was a teenager growing up in Maryland. She’ll be bringing about 60 pieces to the tour.
“I always loved color,” she said, “I always loved textiles. I always had some project going, whether it was embroidery or crochet.”
After moving to New Mexico at 21, she realized she wanted to create her own fabric. She connected with a group of Santa Fe weavers who allowed her to apprentice and learn the craft. Few of the weavers she met could sew, so she traded weaving lessons for sewing.
She learned about color when a fellow weaver would drop some yarns on the floor, telling her to make a jacket.
If Holloway had time to weave her own work, she sold it in the weavers’ Canyon Road gallery.
Holloway earned her University of New Mexico degree in sociology and anthropology. It was a UNM Rio Grande weaving exhibition that helped cement her interest in fiber.
“There was such a long weaving tradition going on,” she said, “unlike any other place I’ve ever been.”
After working with an array of natural fibers from wool to silk, today she weaves with rayon chenille, creating scarves, shawls, vests, jackets and coats.
“It’s not worth doing all the work with cheap yarn,” she explained.
“It has a great drape and color. It takes color much more deeply than cotton.
“The industry doesn’t make a fabric like mine,” she continued. “Rayon chenille is too tricky for production looms.”