Posts Tagged With: guided tours Santa Fe

Landscape, culture, art and fibers in the southwest

IMG_0212Desert, mountains, waterfalls, ancient petrolgyphs and villages long IMG_0149
abandoned..and thriving native communities, opening up their pueblos and art to us….these are the elements woven into the tapestry of our
tours to the southwest! After many visits to the Santa Fe and Taos regions, I find this one of the most exciting places to offer travel workshops. The landscape is stunning, the light
unlike anywhere else, and the shapes and colors in the landscape resonate long after seeing them. After taking day trips to explore the area, meet with artists and visit galleries, we delve deeply into creating fiber art with our memories, photos, and sketches. Felt making is so “user friendly” that people with all levels of experience can achieve outstanding results. DSC_0825DSC_0453

IMG_0254With my ceramics and archaeology background I have been a student of rock art around the world, as well as pottery from many cultures. The abundance of both media in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas is truly amazing, and there is no experience quite like gazing at images pecked into rock, or drawn with oxides, and pondering the messages. One can feel the bond between humans, and our need to express ourselves through art. The pottery motifs date back thousands of years, and the rich contemporary traditions make a journey through the regions’ examples so enriching.

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Some of the patterns represent natural sites, weather, or animals, while other motifs are  sophisticated use of pattern and repetition. On our workshop tours, we bring this imagery back to our hands-on workshop, and hope the art of the ancients will inspire in us new ways to create in fiber.

Santa fe 2013 146A visit to Santa Fe would be incomplete without seeing the contemporary art scene, and plenty of time and opportunity will allow strolls through the Canyon Road and Plaza gallery districts, absorbing the interpretations artists are making of life, landscape and culture.

We hope you can join us on an outstanding tour and workshop in April 2016!

Categories: Fiber art tours, Santa Fe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fiber art workshop-Santa Fe overview

IMG_0147-001DSCF3970If you love art and travel, our upcoming fiber art workshops are for you! The Santa Fe workshop will take place in April and promises to be a truly unique and in-depth experience. Not only will we be visiting a wealth of regional sites, we will also be creating fiber art pieces to interpret the landscape in our workshop. Each day will be filled with time to explore, absorb and create. We will visit local galleries and learn about the intricate pueblo pottery designs, and visit to the area rock art sites will be sure to inspire.

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We will be delving into needle felted landscape “painting”, using colored fleece to create impressions of the region. I have taught this technique in many workshops, both regionally and nationally, as well as in Ireland. During two week long workshops at John Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, we explored a multitude of ways to work with fleece and create original designs. First, we discuss composition, color and size, and how to create the most compelling design. Students often use photographs or sketches of DSCF8228places we have visited as inspiration, composing from their “visual” notes. After laying the fleece on a pre-felt background, being careful to add enough layers, we begin felting. Layers and colors are built up and adjusted to create a background. 





Then, once the student is satisfied with the layout, more details can be added. All of this is done with various sizes of needle felting tools, and  truly, no experience is necessary to create a sDSCF8206successful piece. We take tie to step back and discuss the progress, make adjustments and continue on. Felting this way is so satisfying and exciting! While DSC_0627landscapes are the focus, we leave plenty of time and opportunity for students to explore further, expand an idea, and go down a creative path.








J. Campbell Felt class 027J. Campbell Felt class 035We hope you can join us for our Santa Fe workshop in April. Art galleries, ancient petrolgyphs, weavers, mountains, desert and valleys, pueblos, and fine cuisine guaranteed!  See all the details on out tour page about Santa Fe.

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Workshop AND Tour! Felting the Southwestern Landscape

Download the Brochure: Felting the Southwest Landscape


Authentic Travel and Tours presents:

“Felting the Southwestern Landscape”

A  workshop and tour in Santa Fe, New Mexico

April 17-26, 2016


The landscape of southwestern New Mexico is rich in color, form and ever changing light, and beautifully lends itself to interpretation is art. In this workshop we will explore ancient petroglyphs and pueblos where the past and present merge, learn about the history and culture of Santa Fe and surrounding areas, and experience the rich and vibrant art scene with visits to artists and museums. All of this experience will be brought back to our hands-on felt-making workshop focused on “Felting the Southwestern Landscape”.

Felt-making is an ancient art, used for thousands of years to create clothing, shelter and tapestries. In this workshop we will use needle felting to create art by painting with the fiber. Your instructor, Joan Molloy Slack, learned to felt in Ireland, where she has led art and cultural tours for 15 years. After exploring the variety of ways of working with fleece, from Turkish rug making to creating hats and mittens, she became fascinated with the possibilities of using the fiber “pictorially”. She has taught workshops using this technique for over 14 years, and enjoys using symbols, mythology and personal imagery in her landscapes. In the workshop we will bring our experiences in the landscape into our felt-work, and Joan will discuss and demonstrate how to bring a personal, unique and exciting dimension to the landscape format.  DSC_0422-001


The work shop will be held at the Inn of the Governors, which is our accommodation as   well. Amenities include a lavish breakfast buffet, complimentary afternoon tea or      sherry, computer use and free wi-fi in lobby, heated outdoor pool, and lovely rooms    decorated with a southwestern flair. There is also an on-site restaurant and bar.

Located just 3 blocks from the Plaza, it provides easy access to the vibrant city center,  with shops, galleries, museums and restaurants to explore. (

Local guides will enhance learning the history through a walking tour, and several day trips to surrounding areas will be included. We will make frequent stops for photography and sketching the desert, mountains, gorges and architecture that will be used from inspiration for the workshop projects. Visits to ancient petroglyph sites and pueblos, Georgia O’Keefe country, weavers and fiber artist galleries, and the entrancing Chimayo church and village will be sure to inspire. There will also be time to visit the excellent museums of the area, such as the Georgia O’Keefe museum, Contemporary American Indian Art Museum, and the Museum of Folk Art. A typical day outing will begin with a visit to artist Roxanne Swentzell’s gallery ( followed by the Poeh Center, which provides a visual description of pueblo life as well as an outstanding gallery of native art. We’ll travel the Rio Grande route, stopping in view of the mesa and Rio Grande gorge bridge to photograph and/or sketch. In Taos, we’ll visit the Millicent Rogers Museum and have some time to walk in the plaza and have lunch. Next, we will visit the Taos Pueblo and have a guided tour. We return on the High Road through the mountains (more photo opps!) and will spend time in the Spanish village of Chimayo, a sacred pilgrimage site. Robert at Ortega’s Weavers will demonstrate his art as we wind our way back to Santa Fe. A stop at a local winery for a wine tasting will complete the day.

One of our day trip guides will be Tom Gallegos, who also leads tours for the Story of New Mexico program at the University of New Mexico. He is awaiting publication of his first novel, Secrets to Tell about the early years of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. Tom is a native of Taos and currently lives in Santa Fe.

In the workshop, we’ll use the inspiration of our outings to begin the fiber “paintings” that we will develop throughout the week. All levels of experience are welcome. Needle felting is not difficult to learn, and one can expect successful results with no experience. However, those with felting experience will find the opportunity to delve deeper into new techniques, exploring composition, light, dimension and symbolism. We will begin with smaller pieces, experimenting with using specific themes, dimension and texture, and will develop these ideas into a large 18 x 24 landscape. All materials and equipment will be included.  If you have questions about the content of the class and tour please contact the instructor, Joan Slack, at 715-277-4224 or  Preparatory materials will be sent upon registration. If you enjoy learning and creating while traveling, this is the trip for you!

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