Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Rug Catalog

by John Aldrich

Early in the history of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program Linda realized that one of the important ways of helping Elders support themselves in their traditional way of life was to help create a market for their rugs. This came about when several weavers asked Linda to take their rugs to Park City and try to sell them. This effort evolved into the annual rug show which will be in its 21st iteration this November.

Although the rug show provides the largest outlet for the textiles of our Elders, this is a once-a-year event. To provide a market for rugs throughout the year the rug catalog was developed to facilitate additional sales.

The inventory of rugs held by the Program constitutes "the catalog". Rugs are added to the catalog continuously, but the bulk of the new weavings are acquired during the spring and fall food runs when Elders bring their rugs to the events. Most are purchased outright although a few are taken on consignment.

This photograph shows Elders and their families displaying their crafts at the conclusion of the Big Mountain food run this spring. Many items will be purchased by volunteers attending the run and Linda will acquire many of the remaining rugs for the catalog.

At any one time there are typically 250 to 300 rugs available for purchase. The weaver determines the price for the rug, and the Program adds no mark up. So every dollar spent on a rug purchase ends up in the hands of the weaver.

A printed rug catalog is produced once a year after the rugs that were acquired at the spring food runs have been processed. This tradition started years ago, and the Elders take great pride in seeing their rugs in a printed book. The current version of the catalog is sixty pages and contains pictures of all the rugs in our inventory when it was created in late June. The book can be purchased through the Trading Post section of the web site.

But since rugs are being added and sold throughout the year, the printed catalog is not the most up-to-date source of information. The web site's Rug Catalog represents the most current listing of available rugs.

In addition to the on-line rug catalog and the rug show, sales are made at a variety of special events such as the Park City Farmers' Market, annual sheep dog trials at Soldier Hollow, and other sales events.

Here rugs are offered for sale at a one-day sales event at the 10,000 Villages store in Sugar House last year.

Friday, July 2, 2010

At The Park City Farmer's Market

by John Aldrich

The Farmer's Market is a popular weekly event in Park City during the summer months. In addition to farmers with their produce, many other vendors come to sell a variety of wares.

For the past 14 years ANE has maintained a booth at the market as a means of selling rugs and jewelry for our Elders as well as promoting the Program. During most of that span of time Linda has done all of the work by herself although in recent years it has become a volunteer activity so she now has more help.

Cheryl Wehmanen and Suzy Bagley are two of the volunteers who regularly help man the booth.  The cost of the weekly space rental, $40, is generously donated by Volker's Bakery.

Besides rugs and jewelry a variety of other options are offered to market-goers who might wish to support the Program in some manner.

On this particular market day there was an added attraction at the ANE booth. For several years three Elders from the Big Mountain area of the reservation have come with their families to spend the July 4th holiday with Linda. The market gives them an opportunity to make sales directly to people attending the event.

Here is May Shay with one of her rugs and some of her jewelry.

May's sister, Elsie, also holds a rug along with some of her jewelry.

Katie Furcap is a third sister who proudly displays one of her weavings.

One of Katie's daughters, Lena Cowboy from Chilchinbito, shows her jewelry to a prospective buyer.

Katie's other daughter, Darlene, has set up a beautiful table display of her jewelry.

Darlene's daughter, Patrina, made these spectacular beaded necklaces. Each one involved two to three weeks of work.

The Farmer's Market wasn't the only chance these artists will have to sell their wares. On Saturday July 3rd they will set up in front of the Park City Clothing Company on Main Street. This opportunity was made possible by the owner, Doug Hollinger, who is a generous donor to the Program and the Elders and is also an ANE board member.