optical illusion of pick and pick

August 08, 2022  •  6 Comments

Although the fun of working on the Blurb family reunion book mentioned in last week's blog continues, cameras emerged to photograph Fred's latest Navajo-Churro wool rug and details of it.  He used a weaving technique called "pick and pick" exclusively throughout the piece.  I searched the web and found an explanation of the process.  

"With Pick and Pick you weave one weft in one direction in one color and then another weft in that same direction in another color to make a line instead of weaving in one direction and then back in the other direction."  What the technique does is set up a number of optical illusions from almost every direction.  Below are images showing two different details within the body of the rug.

Rug 373 detail BRug 373 detail B

Rug 373 detail ARug 373 detail A


As I watched Fred weaving this rug, I realized how much focus it took to get it right.  He couldn't even listen to music during the process.

Rug 373Rug 373


Rug 373 colorsRug 373 colors

From left to right the colors are natural dark grey (warp), Tierra Wools-dyed chokecherry heather, Brazos Cliffs, Yellow heather (dyed on charcoal grey), red heather, and calabaza


And when we took it to Tierra Wools to sell on Saturday, I realized how much the colors in their own way spoke of the natural landscape.  Years ago at Fred's Taos Wool Festival booth, a group of people were talking at length about color theory.  After they left, one woman who remained asked the question "Does it occur in nature?"  A sublime and straightforward way of explaining colors and how they work.  It was fascinating to see how the yellow heather and red heather worked to produce a combination straight from the New Mexico landscape.


Thanks to Lisa, Barbara, TTT, Christina, Steve, Ingrid, and Fred for comments and contributions to this week's blog.  I hope the beauty of August presents itself for your viewing and photography throughout the week!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©


Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan(non-registered)
All completely gorgeous--the colors, the weaving, the landscape. 'Tis a truly wonderful thing to have an activity that requires that much concentration. Good for the brain.
Lawrence Jones(non-registered)
Gorgeous rug Fred. You are the master!
Beauty Abounds!!!
Connie Taylor(non-registered)
My Fred Black remnant rug from several years ago is a timeless erasure at home anywhere. Darry, always scanning the landscape for light and color noticed the yarn colors mimic the landscape. As a person who has dyed for a living I will confirm that the pallets of Weaning Southwest, Tierra Wools and Cerro Mojino Woolworth were all based on landscape and and high desert plants. This was achieved by Rachel Browns complex mix of complete in the dye mix. Most of the original continue to be names for places and plants. Hats off to Fred and exceptional use of pink n pick. I must add that I hope Fred does most of the driving because I doubt Daryl seldom looks at the road.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Every week I learn something new like the pick and pick. Who knew of that little nugget? Tell Fred I like the offset effect very much. In fact, the treatment resulted in one my favorites of all Fred's rugs. Bravo! The process sounds grueling and intense, but the results are extraordinary. That he used remnants so that nothing is wasted makes this rug very special, indeed.
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