Mary Zicafoose Tapestries and Prints, Omaha, NE

Southwest Art
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Southwest Art Magazine, "Best of the West," October, 1995

Primary Rugs.

"Collectors love my work because of its color," says Portland, OR, weaver Mary Zicafoose. "It's taken me years to get the color frequency right." Her yarn-dyeing equipment was not so hard to find, however. Zicafoose uses conventional cooking implements - measuring spoons, cups and a"big old pot" - to whip up her 40 favorite shades or red, blue, purple, and yellow.

"I used yellow yarn for the first time just after my daughter was born. Working with so bright a color was like turning a fork in the road, as if someone had cleared a path to a forbidden place."

Zicafoose has traveled many paths in pursuit of weaving history - in the Southwest, Midwest, Northwest and South America - developing an ever-deepening respect for fiber arts worldwide. "I want to be true to the ancestry of rugs and carry the past and the present into the future by blending the weaving traditions of many cultures. I see my work as passing a torch from one generation of weavers to another."

In addition to respecting weaving history, Zicafoose believes in the wonders of the creative process. "If you submit to the rhythm of creating, you find that great things can happen." Although Zicafoose is convinced she has not yet created a magic carpet, patrons of her work at Contemporary Craft Gallery in Portland undoubtedly disagree.

-Ellen Rosenbush Merthner.


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