Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Textile Traditions

The King and I

January 30, 2018

Hand towel to the king Rinzin pointed at her mother, Leki. “She’s a weaver to the king.” Leki nodded and smiled. She didn’t speak English. My friendship with Rinzin Wangmo, began in the summer of 2006 at a weaving conference, where Rinzin and Leki were selling their gorgeous handwoven textiles. Apparently, Leki is well known … Read more

To Market

January 20, 2018

The only direction that remained open was behind me. I wriggled through gaps in the crowd until I found myself against the railing at the back of the stage. A tad disappointed I wouldn’t see the parade of nations as they made their way along the street, I took in my surroundings–the railing marked the … Read more


January 15, 2018

I hold up the bag. “How much?” Saturnino holds up four fingers. “Fifty.” Shocked by his answer, I shake my head. “That’s not enough. Fifty is too low.” “Forty?” I look to Hedy who is sharing a table with the Oncebays. Unlike me, she speaks Spanish. “No. Más.” Saturnino looks at me askance. I nod. … Read more

Flying High

January 11, 2018

Here I sit in the U.S. at my computer, yesterday my thoughts were on Ghana, today, I dream of Haiti. I researched weaving in Morocco and the Philippines, and studied embroidery in Thailand and India. In Scotland, I learnt about kilt hose, and in Panama I found molas, the colorful reverse applique of the Kuna … Read more

The How of Weaving

January 8, 2018

I am a weaver. My loom is a support mechanism that holds everything together until the entire piece is woven. When I finish weaving, the fabric becomes an entity unto itself, no longer requiring support. I then free it from its temporary support, the loom. The warp, the lengthwise threads that stretch along the loom, … Read more

Weaving Life and Death

December 26, 2017

As I weave, I breathe life into a textile, and when I free it from the loom a textile is born to take its place in the world. The Berber of the Middle Atlas of Morocco also see weaving as a metaphor for creating an entity with an essence of its own. But to the … Read more


August 28, 2016

I couldn’t contain my joy—jumping up and down, flapping my hands, squealing. I caught sight of myself in the mirror—I looked like a happy T-Rex. I did the T-Rex dance when I received notification in the mail that one of my hand woven pieces got accepted into the yardage exhibit for Convergence 2008 (an international … Read more