Grand Canyon Historic Train Depot Project is Underway!

Editor’s note: We have been working with the National Park Foundation for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks through donations generated by purchase of select products. You’ve already read about the restoration of the Grand Helical Stairway at Many Glacier Lodge (now complete); this report concerns our second project, a major restoration of the Grand Canyon Train Depot. Here’s an update from the National Park Foundation. 

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With support from Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners, the National Park Service facilitated the kick-off of a multi-year project to restore the Historic Grand Canyon Train Depot at Grand Canyon National Park. The full scope of the project will allow future generations to experience and enjoy this popular landmark for many years to come.

Background

The Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark constructed in 1910, nine years prior to the Grand Canyon’s official national park designation. The depot is one of three remaining structural log railroad depots in America and still serves an operating railroad. Originally built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, it helped establish the rustic western sense of place for the Grand Canyon. The depot is one of the park’s “front doors,” serving not only as a major arrival point for thousands of visitors each year but a gathering site for over 100 years. Today, it is threatened by serious physical deterioration and fails to meet accessibility standards and adequate function for visitor enjoyment. The restoration project is an attempt to ensure this iconic structure remains accessible and intact in preserving the history of the park.

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Project Update

Initial work began in late 2017 to produce a scope of work for updating the Historic Structure Report and completion of structural analysis on certain sections of the depot to create an informed treatment plan. The National Park Service secured professionals for contract services to complete both tasks and entered into agreements to begin these assessments. In May of 2018, a structural engineer, architectural preservationist and wood scientist began visual analysis, condition assessment, and structural integrity testing – all necessary steps to evaluate the current building condition in preparation for restoration and preservation.

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Using information gathered during the on-site analysis, the team began to determine building decay patterns and draft a treatment plan. At the same time, an architect has continued to update the depot’s existing Historic Structure Report. This report now includes current structural condition assessment and treatment recommendations, with a special focus on the exterior building envelope which includes the roof, siding, log structure, doors and windows.

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Through these efforts, the National Park Service will have a comprehensive report on the status and integrity of the depot and will have expert recommendations for restoration and repair. Once the information collection and planning pieces are complete, the project will move into the repair phase. Depending on the extent of the treatment recommendations and funding, structural repairs are expected to begin in late 2018 or early 2019.

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The depot is currently open and in use for railway passenger services under the operation of Grand Canyon Railway. The hope is that the depot will remain open for the duration of repairs. The efforts underway will result in a restored and sustainable train depot, poised to educate visitors about the rich history of the Grand Canyon for decades to come. With over 6 million visits to the Grand Canyon each year, it’s a gift that will have a resounding positive impact on the park and visitor experience.

We appreciate the generous support of Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners on this critical project. Additional status updates will be provided in 2019 as implementation begins.

We are excited to watch the progress of this much-needed restoration in 2019, and will keep you all posted. Thank you for your support!

You can see our National Parks products here: Pendleton for the National Parks

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Plaid Tidings – The Best Pendleton Tartans for the Holidays

At Pendleton, choosing a favorite tartan is like choosing your favorite child. We just can’t! We have so many wonderful examples to choose from! But since the holidays are here, and we want to wish you all Plaid Tidings, here are a few of our favorites. And if you’re wondering which one is number one? Well, just like with our kids, we can’t pick. So here are our top three Pendleton Plaids for the Holidays, and why we chose them.

Buffalo Plaid aka Buffalo Check aka Rob Roy Tartan aka MacGregor Tartan

Rob Roy MacGregor was a Scottish cattle-dealer and outlaw who attained folk-hero status through his skills with a sword and his endless support of the poor. This bold red and black check became known as the “Rob Roy” tartan, after him. But this is an official tartan for the MacGregor clan, known as MacGregor Black. It’s also known as Buffalo Plaid and Buffalo Check, and can be found in many colorations under those names. Rob Roy is a customer favorite, so it’s not just one of our favorites—it’s one of yours.

Royal Stewart

At the holidays, Red Stewart is definitely another customer favorite, but the Royal Stewart Tartan comes in many colorations! Each is an official tartan—dress, hunting, and more. We are particularly fond of the Charcoal Stewart, but have used it in red, black and even camel (see the Sir Pendleton Shirt). As a plaid, it’s exceptionally balanced and pleasing. And here it is on the loom…

 

Black Watch Tartan

This is also known as the Government or 42nd tartan. It was developed to wear by the Black Watch, one of the early Highland Independent Companies. From a distance, the pattern reads as dark as night, so it is the stealth tartan, the ninja of tartans. It’s another one of our perennial bestsellers. Customers love how the green and navy is subtle, almost a solid. We have a loom shot of this one, too.

Three fantastic tartans for the holidays! Which is your favorite?

Wishing you Plaid Tidings from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

 

 

Five Best Pendleton Gifts for Hosts

They’ve opened their home to you for hospitality and celebration. What do you bring along to say thank you? A bottle of wine is welcome and traditional. Isn’t there a more lasting way to express your gratitude?

Here are our top five ideas for gifts for the host or hostess.

#5 National Park Coffee Mugs

Start the day with the Great Outdoors. These oversized mugs pay tribute to America’s Treasures with their designs based on labels for our popular National Park Series blankets.

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#4 Oversized Spa Towels

Whether used at the beach or as a bath sheet at home, there is a towel to suit everyone’s personality here, including fun collabs with Disney, Harry Potter and Tommy Bahama.

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#3 Pendleton x Yeti Yoga Mats

Namaste. Need we say more? Photo by Kristian Irey.

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#2 Roll-Up Blanket

A year-round favorite for picnics, concerts and sporting events, our roll-up will be ready to go anywhere with your host, thanks to its built-in handle.

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#1 – The 5th Avenue Throw

Luxury from our USA mills in 100% merino wool. Now, that’s how you say thank you!

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If you need more ideas, visit www.pendleton-usa. And have a wonderful holiday!

 

The Alpacas are coming!

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We’re excited about alpaca at Pendleton this year, because we have some truly stunning items that use this gorgeous fiber (see these and more here: Pendleton Alpaca) The sure-footed Alpaca originated in the Andes, where it grazes gently, without damaging root systems. Its fine, lustrous fleece evolved to meet the challenge of high mountains and cold temperatures. The result is a soft, sustainable luxury fiber that’s warmer than lambswool. Durable, lightweight and hypoallergenic alpaca fiber will keep its strength and luster for generations.

So that got us thinking–this is Oregon, which is basically Alpaca Central. Couldn’t we get up close and personal with one of these adorable camelids?

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It turns out we can.

Jean-Pierre the Alpaca and Napolean the Alpaca will visit the Pendleton Park Avenue West store on Sunday, December 2 from 1pm to 3pm. These friendly, well-groomed therapy animals love attention. So stop by to say hello to this adorable duo. They will be happy to pose for photos, and we will even have a Pendleton photo booth for you!

Directions to Portland Park Avenue West here: (click on the map to get directions)

 

NARA for Native Women’s Healthcare and #givingtuesday

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Indigenous Pink Day, NARA partnered with the American Indian Cancer Foundation and EPIC Imaging to provide a special mammogram night for AI/AN women on Oct 4, 2018, where they featured the cherry Chief Joseph blanket.  They also had a “wear pink” Indigenous Pink Day campaign at NARA, with information about breast cancer and how to schedule a mammogram in their clinic lobby.  Staff and volunteers at all locations wore special pink shirts!

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Thanks to all who participated!

Throughout October and November, Pendleton has increased our ongoing donation to NARA’s Women’s Wellness Program to support breast cancer awareness and treatment in Native American communities in the Northwest. 20% of proceeds from the Chief Joseph blanket and baby blanket in the special “Cherry” color support NARA’s work with Native women. This bold and beautiful blanket makes a difference.

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A purchase of this beautiful cherry-pink blanket benefits the women’s health program of NARA, the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, INC.

NARA is a Native American-owned, Native American-operated, nonprofit agency.

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The NARA Women’s Wellness Program provides culturally tailored breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women (and other women in need), 21 to 64 years of age.  These women include underserved, uninsured, underinsured and those that are rarely or have never been screened for breast and cervical cancer.  In additional to screening and diagnostic services, NARA offers assistance with referral coordination, transportation and navigation of health care appointments.

Thank you for making a difference!

Artist Profile: CENTER OF CREATION by Deborah Jojola

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Deborah Jojola is the artist behind “Center of Creation,” the 2018 addition to the Pendleton Legendary series of blankets. An Isleta Pueblo and Jemez Pueblo Native American, Ms. Jojola is an expert in a variety of media, including painting, frescos, printmaking, ceramics, and bookmaking.

Her work is influenced by Surrealism, popular culture, Native culture, and her own personal experiences. She has received many prestigious awards, and is self-taught in her ongoing study of fresco, as part of her mission to bring back the lost art of Isleta Pueblo frescoes.

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Said Jojola of Islaeta traditions, “There was a pottery tradition, but it died out. There are contemporary artists that do the contemporary pottery, but it is only taught to family members. I see none in the collections of the many museums I visit. Basket weavers made willow baskets, but that medium is lost, too, no one weaves.” When Ms. Jojola was commissioned to produce a floor mural, she took it upon herself to research traditional designs on pots, kiva walls, and baskets. Her research led her to identify five key Isleta elements:

  1. Flower
  2. Seed pod
  3. Wind and clouds
  4. Lightning/spirit arrow
  5. Seeds flying in the air/circle and dots, also used in body painting by dancers.

These five elements were associated with the nearly vanished pottery tradition. Ms. Jojola used them on the mural, then turned to the art of the fresco, revitalizing the process with these ancient Isleta designs.

To make a fresco, the artist starts with earthen plaster that she screens and cleans. She gets her earth from a nicely cultivated field in Pueblo Jemez. This has been an agricultural area for many thousands of years, and it’s been carefully tended and enriched to stay fertile, so the earth is super fine.

She mixes the earth with a secret ingredient recommended by her mother, a binder that combines the earthen plaster and binds it to the surface that she’s going to plaster. She always uses distilled water to keep her colors clear of chemical contamination.

A framed panel is covered with burlap, which she then covers with the earthen plaster. There also a fiber involved in the fresco; the panel’s wood has been milled, but the burlap has a “tooth” that the plaster adheres to.

She also incorporates mixed media into some of her work; for instance, “Center of Creation” used a lithographed paper border along the bottom. She works with diptychs (two-panels) for ease of transport.

“Center of Creation” is adapted from the first fresco to be entered in the Santa Fe Indian Market.

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Here is the artist’s full explanation of the story told by this very special piece.

It takes two to marry and create life—the diptych is symbolic of that, because it’s two pieces. The cloud is picking up the seed and carrying it around, shown in the movement of the arrows from the earth. This is part of the growth of life, the flower-like passive movement of growing and moving.

The bottom border in the original piece that’s black on white, is actually a lithograph print done on Japanese paper, a contemporary piece. It’s placed directly above an earthen brown border. Old homes on the Pueblo have an earthen border, but it means more than that. We are Earth people. We are born from our Mother. The darkness is Mother Earth.

The two panels of the diptych do not quite touch. This is the center, the lifeline. For potters, the space where things don’t touch is the lifeline. This is the space for the breath that we all need to live. We were always here, and Creator gave us the original instructions on how to care for the earth and all its beings. The arrows symbolize sovereignty, instructions, and purpose to carry on the traditions of spiritual balance.

At the top of the design is the symbolic presence of wind, supported by the curvilinear spiral of life. Life is a spiral, and we have purpose in this life, and beyond this life.

Ms. Jojola is a fascinating person whose years as an artist and educator have involved her in so many artistic and curatorial projects. If you can hear her speak, make the time to listen. She has over 30 years of experience teaching, with time as an instructor at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, the Institute of American Indian Art, the Very Special Art of New Mexico, and OFF Center Community Arts, the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and the Tamarind Institute. Ms. Jojola coordinated a Printmaking Exchange with Institute of American Indian Arts, Crow’s Shadows Institute in Pendleton, Oregon, USA and University of Sidney, Australia.

More information on her career and work can be found here:

Deborah Jojola 

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See the blanket here: Center of Creation

And it’s also a beautiful mug! Center of Creation mug

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The Weavers Series by Pendleton

Collections and Series Blankets

If you collect Pendleton blankets, you are probably aware of our blanket series releases. From the College Fund blankets to the Legendary Collection to the Heritage Collection, we seek out designs that tell a story, both as individual blankets and as grouped collections. Heritage blankets are recreations from our archives. Legendary blankets often showcase designs by contemporary Native American artists. And in the past, we have had the Mill Tribute Series and the Vintage Blanket collection (both retired).

Weavers Series Blankets

The Pendleton Weavers Series is a unique new group of collectible blankets based on weavings by contemporary Native American fiber artists. The original weavings are found in markets or trading posts in the American Southwest by our design team, which selects beautiful examples of handwoven art to translate into Pendleton blankets. The weavers have been excited by this opportunity, which celebrates the tremendous talent, skill and creativity of Native American artists. The series will continue in 2019.

Roselyn Begay

Roselyn Begay

The inspiration for this series came from an original work by Roselyn Begay, a Navajo/Dine weaver who lives near Chinle, Arizona. She has been weaving for over fifty years. Her work is available at trading posts and markets in Sedona, Teec Nos Pos, and Ganado. Some of her earliest memories are of watching her mother at the loom. At age five, her mother began teaching Roselyn the art of Navajo weaving.

It began as a 12 x 12 inch table piece, but this design made a gorgeous blanket with unique and subtle colors. It was featured in a VOGUE magazine fashion editorial in 2017.

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Mary Henderson

Mary Henderson is a Navajo weaver from Sanostee, New Mexico. Mary has spent 43 years weaving with her mother, aunt, sister-in-law and cousin-sister, teaching and inspiring each other as they work. Her original weavings can be found at the Toadlena Trading Post in New Mexico. She is proud to carry on the traditions of her mother and grandmother, who taught Mary to weave when she was twelve years old.

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Black and white blankets are some of Pendleton’s strongest and most popular designs. They are faithful to their traditional design roots while looking sophisticated in modern decor settings.

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See the Weavers Blankets here: Pendleton Weavers Series

All blankets shown are woven and manufactured in the USA.

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Artist profile: Full Moon Lodge by Starr Hardridge

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Pendleton’s Full Moon Lodge blanket is based on a painting by Starr Hardridge, an esteemed artist who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1997, with further training in France and Italy. He is a registered member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.

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Hardridge has exhibited at the Grand Palais as part of the Delegation Amerindienne in Paris, and took first place honors at the Santa Fe Art Market. In 2005, he earned the title of Superieur de Peinture Decorative from the Nadai-Verdon Atelier of Decorative Arts. Painting provides a deep link to his personal history. As he says, “My heart is in my art.”

He’s worked in several styles, with newer work using a technique based on pointillism and the beadwork aesthetic of the southeastern woodland nations. The colors and shapes in his newer work are inspiring. You can see his portfolio here: Starr Hardridge

When translating art into weavings, designers face challenges, especially in terms of the numbers of colors we are able to include. The vivid dyes of our wool captured the hues of the original painting; the drama that results from pairing blue and orange is striking. And the reverse is just as exciting!

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The design illustrates the relationship between mankind, Mother Nature and the creator of the universe whose medicine is love. It acknowledges our place between the sun and the full moon.

Full Moon Lodge is part of our Legendary Collection.

See more of these special blankets here: LEGENDARY BLANKETS

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Supporting Fisher House in honor of Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day: purchase one of three special blankets honoring veterans and we’ll donate 10% to the Fisher House Foundation to help military families. You can learn more about this non-profit’s important mission here: https://www.fisherhouse.org

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Here are the blankets that will help support this important mission–and remember, the Grateful Nation blanket generates donations year-round.

Grateful Nation

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The fabric of our nation is woven with the sacrifices of our veterans. This USA-made wool blanket honors the selfless service of these brave men and women. Centered on the blanket is a representation of the American flag. Each stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts from World War II on, and stars represent the 50 states, District of Columbia and five US territories. A portion of all sales of this blanket will be donated to the Fisher House™ Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing residences for the families of ill or wounded service members.

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Brave Star

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This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

Mountain Majesty

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Inspired by Navajo hand weaving created in the Southwest in the early 20th century, this pattern incorporates symbols of hope, abundance and successful journeys. Muted colors and mountain-like steps evoke sunset over a western landscape.

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See all three the blankets here: http://bit.ly/2T1sNVu

Read more about our work with Fisher House here: FISHER HOUSE

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Artist profile: In Their Element by Joe Toledo

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In Their Element is a blanket in the Pendleton Legendary series, created from an original watercolor painting by artist Joe Toledo.

In Their Element

Eagle feathers and bison are sacred symbols in Native American culture. Navajo artist Joe Toledo uses these symbols in his painting, “In Their Element,” representing three elements; Earth, Air and Water. A herd of bison graze on the Earth, offering prosperity and protection. A range of mountains towers above the herd, their snowy peaks covered with life-giving Water. Standing Eagle feathers rise into the sky, joining together Earth, Water and Air, and carrying Eagle’s spirit to a place of strength above the clouds.

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One of the most arresting details of this design is found in the line created by mountain peaks passing behind the white portion of the eagle feathers.  Looking closely, you can see that they work continuously to create the snowy peaks of the mountain range.

Mr. Toledo is a native of Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico. He currently lives in Tiffany, Colorado, with his wife, Ann. He enjoys working in watercolor because it is “spontaneous and unpredictable.” Mr. Toledo mixes soft rainwater with his paints, for colors that reflect the colors and images of his home landscape. His works are exhibited in collections in the United States, Canada and Europe.

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According to Mr. Toledo, “…as an American Indian, the bison are symbols of cultural enrichment. There was a traditional ceremony at the killing of the buffalo, so the animal was respected. Bison represent strength, power and protection, assurance, and strength.”

Several years back, Mr. Toledo designed another blanket with us, Buffalo Roam. His exceptional studies of buffalo are based on watching, sketching and painting a Great Northern bison that lives on his property.

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Buffalo Roam

The buffalo was revered by many Native American tribes. The meat gave them food. The hides provided robes for warmth, tepee covers for shelter and shields for protection. Horns were crafted into bowls and arrowheads, and fat was rendered for candles and soap. The Buffalo Roam blanket captures the power of that mighty beast of the plains. The design by Native American watercolor artist Joe Toledo puts the sacred buffalo in perspective. Looming large in close-up and appearing smaller in the distance, it was ever present in the lives of the Plains Indians. (This blanket is retired)

We very much enjoy working with Mr. Toledo, whose warmth and wit are only matched by his talent. Here is hoping there’s another blanket down the line.

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