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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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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Artist profile: Raven and the Box of Knowledge by Preston Singletary

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Preston Singletary is an internationally reknowned glass artist who incorporates traditional Pacific Coast elements in his work. He draws upon his Tlingit heritage with a special concentration on motifs found in Chilkat weaving.

Preston Singletary in his Seattle Studio

Traditional Northwest Coast tribal art uses formlines and ovoids fluid to create work that is vigorous and stylized; paintings, weavings, baskets, masks and totem poles and more. Singletary’s uncommon choice of media–glass and light—invests traditional motifs with breathtaking dimensionality and luminosity.

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At Pendleton, we have enormous respect for traditional arts done with traditional materials. Glass was traditionally only used in Native American beading. Anyone viewing Preston Singletary’s work in glass would probably agree with the artist when he says that glass “transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.”

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Singletary’s show at the Museum of Glass left viewers in a state of awe. See more in this show catalog: ECHOES, FIRE AND SHADOWS

Glass may seem static, but it is extremely visually interactive with its environment. In this excerpt from a documentary by filmmaker Todd Pottinger, Singletary talks about his inspiration, his studio, and the crucial role of light in his work.

And here is his TED talk.

When Preston designed a blanket for the American Indian College Fund, he chose to tell the tale of Raven and the Box of Knowledge. You can see that this design carries the same glowing dimensionality of his art pieces, with ombred stripes of color that meet in the heart of the design to light it from within.

 

Raven and the Box of KnowledgeThis intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest–both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasure –the sun, the moon and the stars– in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.

See the College Fund blankets here: American Indian College Fund Blankets

 

Wild and Scenic Rivers Part Two with Greg Hatten and Pendleton

We continue our series with Greg Hatten’s Woodenboat adventures on rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers act. In this installment, Greg’s team approaches the run of a lifetime. 

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Frank Church Wilderness

In June I took my wooden boat down the River of No Return in the Frank Church Wilderness of Idaho. The Middle Fork of the Salmon was one of the original eight rivers inducted into the Wild and Scenic program and the bill was written and championed by Senator Frank Church of Idaho. This trip was special for so many reasons – mostly, because I got to row it alongside some of the best guides and woodenboat river runners on the planet…the Helfrich crew.

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The degree of difficulty of rowing this river in a fragile wooden boat was at the high-end of anything I had ever rowed. From the very first oar-stroke, the extreme gradient drop and rocky rapids provided non-stop rowing action the entire first day. For the five mile start through Sulpher Slide, Hell’s Half Mile and the Class IV Velvet Falls, I had just enough time to catch my breath between rapids and cast an occasional glance around at the beauty and rawness of the river wilderness and steep canyon walls we threaded our boats through.

The absence of dams on this river gives us a truly wild river to run – where the river level and conditions are dictated by the weather, the snow melt, the vertical drop, and the rock slides which change sometimes every year. Nothing controlled or contrived about the Middle Fork – it is in it’s natural state – rugged and raw and almost “untouched” by a human hand.

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Wild & Scenic Rivers Part One with Greg Hatten and Pendleton

Note: Please enjoy this guest post from Greg Hatten, of WoodenBoat adventure fame. He took some Pendleton blankets along on his latest river runs. Here’s his write-up!

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

“The great purpose of this act is to set aside a reasonable part of the vanishing wilderness, to make certain that generations of Americans yet unborn will know what it is to experience life on undeveloped, unoccupied land in the same form and character as the Creator fashioned it… It is a great spiritual experience. Unless we preserve some opportunity for future generations to have the same experience, we shall have dishonored our trust.”
Senator Frank Church (1957-1981)

In 1968, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and President Johnson signed it into law. The primary goal was to “protect and preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”

Eight rivers were inducted in the original group and, now, fifty years later, there are over 200 rivers in the program. The state of Oregon has more protected rivers than any other state by far – with over 50 included in the program.

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of that legislation, I’m running several of the classic rivers that are under its protection in 2018.

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Supporting our National Parks: Now More Than Ever!

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Karla Morton, our favorite National Park Poet, sent this amazing shot from her “Words of Preservation: Poets Laureate National Park Tour.” This is the Pendleton Badlands National Park blanket, at home in the Badlands National Park. Karla and her fellow poet laureate, Alan Birkelbach, are 26 parks into their tour, with Hawaii and Samoa coming up soon. You can read more on their blog. We wish them well on their journey!

Along with our favorite poets, we have sent quite a few of our Pendleton National Park series blankets home to their parks with travelers, explorers and photographers. The blanket stripes and colors honor the landscapes, wildlife and ecology of our national treasures. Through licensed National Park Collection products we are proud to support two park restoration projects through a donation to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. So far, through Pendleton’s initiatives with park series blankets and collaboration partners, we are closing in on 3/4 of a million dollars for two projects!

Many Glacier Hotel Stairway Project

In the 1950’s, the stunning double-helix staircase circling the lobby in the historic Many Glacier Hotel was torn out to make room for a gift shop. In 2017, with support from the Pendleton contributions, the historic staircase was rebuilt and now stands as a landmark feature in the newly restored lobby.

Grand Canyon Train Depot Project

Constructed in 1910, the Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark and one of three remaining stations constructed from logs in the US. Today it remains an active rail depot, seeing thousands of visitors annually from its location near the canyon’s rim inside Grand Canyon National Park. Funds will support restoration and preservation efforts.

Our original plan was to partner with the National Park Foundation for two years, in honor of their 100 year anniversary. We have extended that partnership, as the parks need our support now more than ever. Buying a blanket is only one way to support your favorite park, and you can also make donations directly.  More information on ways to give can be found here: National Park Foundation Support

As Karla said, “…these lands, while under the preservation of the government, still need champions, still need those who are willing to give their time and hearts to make sure they continue to be protected.” Let’s all do our part.

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Mushroom Hunting with Pendleton and Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley Rodriguez is hosting a new web series called “Kitchen Unnecessary“–and it’s so much fun. As her site says,

Outside cooking is not just for the summer. This series shows you the magic of cooking seasonal ingredients outside all year long. Rain or shine – or snow, Ashley Rodriguez and her guests will take you outside to show you how to embrace cooking outdoors.

On each episode, we will show you how to plan, prep and prepare a seasonal and local menu that you can prepare and enjoy outside. Cooking outside with seasonal and local ingredients, we do not sacrifice taste or technique, but we add a whole new layer of experience and memories that last long after the food is gone.

Enjoy this charming video below (the sheer enthusiasm of her mushroom expert is contagious), and yes, watch for the Pendleton appearance!

Don’t you want some of that pumpkin fondue? You’re on your own for harvesting wild mushrooms, but the throw can be found here: Glacier Park 5th Avenue Throw

Pendleton and the Winter Olympics

Ed. note: Please enjoy a repost of our Olympic blankets from 1932!

Ah, Olympic fever. Fans have been watching the skating and snowboarding, enjoying the games in advance of the opening ceremonies.

Of course, Pendleton has an Olympic connection. In 1932, we won the commission to provide blankets to the Olympics. Here is a photo of the blankets leaving on a train for Los Angeles.

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There are several known colorways for these blankets. In our archives, we have only one, with a very warm color scheme. There are also a light blue and a brights-on-white patterns out there, but we haven’t been able to track down examples. There might even be more. Here is our archival blanket.

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