Irvin L. Trujillo, a seventh-generation New Mexican weaver, learned traditional skills as a ten-year-old boy working alongside his father, one of Chimayo's master weavers. Although Irvin earned a degree in engineering in 1984, he soon gave up that profession to continue his family's art form. Trujillo has studied several styles, techniques, and methods. "I try," he has remarked, "to capture the spirit of the old pieces while also expressing my own experience in the contemporary world."
The design of this dazzling textile [<>The Hook and the Spider,> SAAM, 1996.23]has several influences, including Saltillo weaving elements, African rhythm in the border, and Rio Grande Vallero eight-point star designs at the ends. The center includes yellow and blue ikat spider designs that were dyed with chamiso, a plant from northern New Mexico, then over-dyed with indigo from central Mexico. To produce the greens, Trujillo combined indigo and chamiso. The different orange shades were dyed with madder root from India and a catechu extract (sap from an acacia bush). As the work progressed, Trujillo noticed all the hook designs, a realization that led to the title The Hook and the Spider.
Jonathan Yorba Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)