Leslie Smith Jackson

I've been a weaver/spinner/dyer for 25+ years. My grandmother lived in Arizona, so while visiting my interest in weaving got me interested in Navajo weaving and Navajo-Churro sheep. I took my first workshop with Pearl Sunrise in Utah @ 1989, then took one with Dy Begay in 1995.

I'd had a dream of starting a Navajo weaving supply business since walking into the trading post at Teec Nos Pos and seeing all the yarns and tools. I told Dy Begay about it during our workshop, and with tools made by her brother Frank, I started my little business, Wild West Weaving, in 1996.

Through my business I've met the most interesting people all over the country. I've also learned a lot from my clients, and am an even better weaver/person for it!

Last year I was approached by our local craft center to teach a workshop in Navajo weaving. At first I said no, thinking I shouldn't because I'm not Navajo. After thinking about it, I decided to do it because I thought if I didn't, they'd get someone else to do it who might not emphasize the importance of Navajo culture, history and the terrible history of our own federal government and its impact on the Navajo people - and Navajo-Churro sheep.

I still always tell people to take a workshop with a Navajo weaver. And I think I've done a lot to educate and get people interested in the Navajo people, Navajo weaving and Navajo-Churro sheep a way out here in the North East.

Well, I do like to rattle on about Navajo weaving, don't I?

Best wishes,

Leslie Jackson