Never before in my life have I ever had the opportunity to tell anyone . . . Sunday night, while in Fort Worth, TX, after nearly stepping on Wyatt Earp, I went to Billy Bob’s with the Purple Snake Lady and bought a Texas Love Kit . . . but, that starts my story at the end and I should really start at the beginning.
Last week, I headed to The Lone Star state to do a workshop for the Fort Worth Weavers Guild. I arrived a day early in order to visit Ellen Holt’s showroom and studio in Dallas. I first became acquainted with Ellen in the 80’s when she was featured by AVL in their advertisements. I clearly remember seeing a woman, an AVL loom, and a beautiful tassel. Ever since then, I’ve been captivated by her and her work . . . . but, I had never met her . . . and that was about to change.
Ellen graciously allowed me (and “the Margaret’s”) to visit her on a beautiful fall morning. Getting a glimpse of her showroom is a treat for anyone with an interest in passementerie (Passementerie is a French term that encompasses forms of adornment for interiors and garments and includes tassels, cording, trim, buttons, and more).
As many people know, I have a huge interest and long history with passementerie, which led me to publish a monograph, Handwoven Decorative Trim – An introduction to weaving passementerie trims, in October 2009. I’m currently working on the next publication. Part of my work involves profiling the passementerie-related companies. Earlier this year, I visited The Tassel Depot in Florida.
The opportunity to meet one of the most talented passementerie fiber artists in the United States was a thrill. In addition to the amazing commercial trims in Ellen Holt’s showroom, she also does custom trim and tassels. Within minutes of our arrival I was blown away! I am so impressed with the beauty and quality of the work I saw. One really has to see it in person to appreciate it . . . but, if you’re not in the Dallas Design District, the next best thing may be a visit to her website. http://www.ellensholt.com/
The workshop I taught for the Fort Worth Weavers Guild, There’s Two Sides to Every Cloth, is an introduction to 15 different methods for weaving double-faced fabrics. I was so captivated with the group of 18 weavers that I forgot to take pictures until after we had cut the warps off the loom . . . but here are a couple of pictures of the results. It was a great group and I really hated to see the workshop come to an end. It reminds me of why I love what I do . . . Weavers are my favorite people!
After the workshop wrapped up, I got to go on an excursion around Fort Worth with the Purple Snake Lady. First stop was at the Fort Worth Water Gardens which has multiple focal points of water; the quiet meditation pool, the aerating pool which feature multiple fountains and the active pool which has water cascading 38 feet down terraces and steps into a small pool at the bottom. We hiked down to the bottom of the active pool . . . and here are a couple of images to share the beauty.
One of the things I was totally fascinated by were the tree roots by the meditation fountain. The roots of the trees are drawn by the water, but confined by the cement that keeps them constrained and forces them back up at the base of the trunk. They look like they belong in a science fiction movie and it only goes to prove that nature finds a way.
After the Water Gardens, we headed to the Fort Worth Stockyards, an historic district that has the original bricks and mortar, the wood corrals, and more to celebrate the livestock history that was so important to Fort Worth. While walking along the sidewalk, something made me look down and I realized I nearly stepped on Wyatt Earp . . . a large star embedded in the sidewalk that is part of the Texas Trail of Fame. That was the first of countless stars I saw that help me fell a connection with the history of the area.
After eating barbeque at the Stockyards, we headed for Billy Bob’s, the world’s largest honky tonk. http://www.billybobstexas.com/ It didn’t take long to be impressed with the magnitude of the place . . . it was huge! Plus, this is where (out of shear curiosity) we pooled our quarters together and purchased a Texas Love Kit out of the vending machine in the women’s restroom. I had expected it to be a condom, but it wasn’t . . . it was more risqué than that and in order to fully understand, one would have to go to Billy Bob’s and buy one . . . it was $0.75 and worth every penny! I’m just not sure what to do with it now.