Irvin Trujillo

Artist Statement

After seeing a textile being woven with Ikat thread in the middle of the textile and a gold thread brocade on the borders, I started thinking of how an ikat thread would fit in a broken weft weave in a tapestry. Early on, I wove more than two hundred weft ikat threads in a tapestry and then shifted them to form small trapezoids. The trapezoids were about one quarter of an inch tall and about one inch long. Then I started to think about the problems of weaving a weft thread having a ikat design within a tapestry woven diamond. The thread in each woven row increased in length and I had to include extra thread in the ikat design to account for a weft face weave. My ikat designs have become more intricate with each tapestry that I weave. A more recent project that I have woven had the ikat design with shorter space between resists in the ikat thread and over 1600 resists in diamond design ten inches tall. This meant that I could not shift the ikat thread very much while weaving so as to line up the figure in the ikat design. I weave a weft face figure ikat design within a geometric tapestry structure.

Irvin Trujillo lives and weaves in Chimayo, New Mexico. Since 1985, some of his work has included weft figure ikat within a tapestry structure or tapestry, ikat, and twill structure together in one piece. His influences to use ikat with tapestry came from seeing the ikat technique used together with a brocade weave in textiles from India. Irvin uses ikat within geometric tapestry influenced by Rio Grande Weavings from Northern New Mexico in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most of his tapestry/ikats are in museum collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Irvin was a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow in 2007.