Anne Blinks Textile Study Collection



When Anne Blinks died at the age of 92 in 1995, she left many, many textiles she had created or collected over the years. Of these, there was a large group of pieces representing Anne's special interests, consisting of samples, replicas and some finished pieces. These became the basis for a project of the Santa Cruz Handweavers' Guild to make them available to other weavers and guilds.

We have organized the material into the following groups, arranged more or less chronologically, according to when Anne focused on the techniques. Clicking on the title of a textile group will bring up a page of information specific to that group.

- Scandinavian techniques (Anne learned to weave in Stockholm, 1949)
- Samples of household cloth (from her early years of weaving) [A.D.]*
- Samples Anne wove for Irene Emery's book The Primary Structures of Fabrics
- Tablet weavings (some ancient replicas, some modern day) [M.D.]
- Sprang, mostly Bronze-age Denmark inspired [W.S.]
- Peruvian techniques (gauze, float weaves, ``huck'' etc.) [S.S.]
- `` Collapse'', Peruvian inspired (incl. the famous ``Ace Bandage'') [S.M-O.]
- Braids and bands (Andean, Norwegian Roggeband, Mobius bands, Inkle) [B.B.]
- Flat braids (Assomption sash, Norwegian garters, etc.) [N.R.]
- Reciprocal-shed weaves (Hopi wedding sash, Amazonian wristlet) [W.S.,N.R.]
- Samples of Andean bands, partially woven, likely from workshops.
- Backstrap Loom setups
*[Initials of the documenter of the group of textiles in brackets. See the bottom of this web page for complete names.]

Most of the textiles have been documented by seven members of the Guild whose names are listed at the bottom of this web page. We have put together study samplings of each textile group which we can mail to guilds or interested weavers for their own use to stimulate and inspire. Eventually, we will be able to show photos on the web of each available textile in the collection for choosing which pieces you would like to study. For now, we have a document list of the pieces, by textile grouping to help you see the scope of the collection (as presently documented) and to choose what your further study might be, after using the sampling box.

The collection also includes slides, many pamphlets, and photocopies of sources of information on the techniques. These have been documented and will eventually become available. But some of the pieces in the collection are a mystery to us who knew her and participated with her in ``playing'' with the ``rags''. There are projects here for curious weavers awaiting to be discovered anew.

Anne's interests were wide. She always wished to learn more than the structure of the cloth; she looked at the kind of fiber and how it was spun; and she learned about the dyes; she was curious about the way it was made and the loom on which it was woven. She wanted to understand the ``whole cloth''. Anne traveled the world, and people traveled to her, sharing knowledge and a love of textile puzzles. A visit to Anne always included a walk down to the pasture and barns to visit her flock of sheep. Her interest in replicating cloth from ancient times and her love of animals led her to the breeding of black sheep in order to re-introduce the black wool which had been bred out of flocks. She kept her flock of sheep on her small ranch in Carmel, California, right up till the day of her passing.

We like to think Anne would have enjoyed this project herself if she knew about it. She loved to ``turn people on'' to something not known, and she particularly loved hearing back from people when they pursued the puzzle. We hope making pieces from the collection available will continue to foster the special focus Anne had for looking at textiles.

Acknowledgement: Much of the information on Anne's history on this web site is taken from a taped session at the Anne Blinks Textile Roundtable in January of 1988. The Roundtable was formed by a group of the people who had written articles for the ``Festschrift'' for Anne on her 80th birthday -- In Celebration of the Curious Mind. This group has kindly given permission to use this tape of Anne relating her textile life history.

A project of the Santa Cruz Handweavers Guild

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