Textile Collection Inspired by Corrales, New Mexico
The village of Corrales, New Mexico is nestled in the Rio Grande river valley between the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. The village, as locals call it, is part farmland and part bedroom community. You will also find a handful of local shops and restaurants but no chains. The bosque, a dense ribbon of trees that follows the Rio Grande, blocks our view of nearby Albuquerque. Rio Rancho is hidden by a tall mesa to the west. The iconic Sandia mountains shimmer on the horizon. Like most agricultural areas in central New Mexico, villagers receive irrigation water by acequias – man made canals that divert water from the Rio Grande through the farmland. It is along these acequia trails, in the bosque, that we gathered inspiration for our 2017 Summer in the Village textile collection.
The properties along the acequias tend to be well irrigated and familiar cottage garden plants. Lilacs, honeysuckle and roses spill over fence lines and courtyard walls. But the real stars of Corrales gardens are the native high desert plants that thrive in the hot sun. Sages and pentstemon send up flowering spikes all summer long in shades of red, purple, pink and white. Bright orange trumpet vine and delicate silver lace vine provide thick fence line coverage and food for hummingbirds and bees. Chamisa spends most of the year looking like an ordinary, muted desert shrub then erupts into cascading golden branches in the late summer. Prickly pear cactus and cholla cactus gather in the un-irrigated areas.
Wildlife provides a constant source of wonder and amusement. Coyote can often be seen trotting casually along the trails but will quickly disappear into a field if a human gets close. Bunnies are everywhere. Comical roadrunners run along fence tops, stopping every few feet to fluff their feathers. And silly quail dart across the trail in groups, changing direction several times before they decide where they really wanted to go. Coopers hawks lurk in the trees and blue-tailed lizards scurry on garden walls.
Geometric motifs can be found in both local architecture and tracks on the sandy acequia trails. Adobe is a common building material in New Mexico. These naturally insulating earthen bricks are used to build houses, churches and fences. Another popular fencing method uses rows of latillas – long, narrow timbers with the bark left on – stacked tightly together and wired to a fence frame. Tracks along the trails are made by animals visiting the acequia for water – racoons, skunk, rabbits, ducks and porcupines. The mesmerizing trails of shoe and paw prints mixed with tractor and bicycle tracks show that these country lanes are well traveled.
Looking up, the New Mexico sky is another constant source of amazement. For most of the year, it is a dazzling azure blue with the occasional fluffy white cloud. Most of the annual rainfall comes from summer monsoons, heavy thunderstorms that build throughout the day and explode in the late afternoon. The thunder and lightening rattles windows and the heavy rains leave huge roadside puddles that become instant toad habitats. In the fall, the bosque skyline turns in to a bright gold as the cottonwood leaves change. The combination of green and gold against the bright blue New Mexico sky dotted with hot air balloons is just magical.
The 2017 Summer in the Village Textile Collection
The Collected Hands Summer in the Village textile collection draws inspiration from trekking the acequia trails. The designs blend vibrant hues from native flowering plants with the muted tones of the high desert. The collection includes whimsical wildlife and repeating patterns of overflowing gardens and rhythmic fences. Together, the collection evokes that sense of wonder – of “Hey, did you see that!” You can purchase these textiles by the yard via spoonflower.com and in completed products, such as pillows and notebook covers, in our Etsy store. You can also visit us locally at the Sunday morning Corrales Makers Market and out of our studio by appointment. Please contact us to schedule a studio appointment or to discuss customization of any design to meet your particular needs.
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