"I think of Rio Grande Blankets as landscapes." Bob Davis
All designs are my own, and the wool used in my blankets comes from my own flock of Navajo-Churro sheep. The process begins by feeding and caring for the sheep so that their wool grows long and lustrous, and in a way that keeps hay and other materials out of the fleece. A sheep is shorn, the fleece is picked and clouded by hand, washed and allowed to dry. Then the wool is carded and spun into yarn on my spinning wheel. Yarn then goes into the dye pot for colors other than the white, black, browns, tans, and grays my sheep produce. All of this has been accomplished before the weaving can begin.
My loom was made in the mid-1800’s in South-central Minnesota. The shuttles I use to throw the weft through the shed are ones I’ve made myself. When the weaving is done, it must be cut from the loom and finished. The warp ends are braided and tucked back into the web to make a strong end-selvage, and then the blanket is steamed flat.
I think of Rio Grande Blankets as landscapes, and I often name them after locations here in New Mexico. I tend to keep them fairly simple in design so that they more accurately reflect the feelings I get from the local landscapes. Most of the blankets I make are designed and woven especially for their owners.