Discover the Art of Creative Travel

Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys is a unique tour company focusing on the rich textile traditions of this world full of so many wonderfully diverse styles of global fiber art to discover and explore.  Each year, a handful of journeys focus on and explore the various textile centers of the world.  Created for adventurous fiber arts enthusiasts of all kinds, our odysseys offer the discovery of colorful, culturally rich destinations always combined with an opportunity for hands-on textile workshops in the style and tradition of that country, taught by local masters.  

 

Loom Dancer's has one heartfelt mission.  We believe that there is an undeniable magic to personally-involving, adventurous, small group textile tours that immerse one in the treasures of each carefully chosen destination.  Our mission steadfastly remains that of encouraging a love and understanding of this planet and its fiber arts through responsible travel with truly intimate, and often spontaneous, contact with each land and its artists.

 

In addition to providing participants with one-on-one experiences with local textile experts, we also strive to be responsible stewards of the money entrusted to us through participation in our trips. Our tours offer aid in sustaining worldwide textile populations by funneling a significant amount of this money and support back into these indigenous communities through our tours and interaction.  We invite you to join us for rich tapestry of experiences. 

Our Director and Guide

Cari Ann Sample-Malver

Cari has been in the travel industry for more than twenty-seven years and has traveled extensively throughout the world.  Based on her passion for travel and a desire to help in fostering a love and respect for the many peoples and environments of the world, Cari founded the adventure travel company, NatureQuest in 1992 dedicated to responsible travel worldwide.  For the past 27 years, she and her company have offered a variety of uncommon journeys around the world designed for active travelers. 

    

Cari is also an award-winning weaver trained in the Rio Grande tradition of weaving unique to the Southwest.  This style of the art was brought to Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century.  Rio Grande weaving is a result of the interweaving of the Spanish, Mexican native and local Indian pueblo weaving cultures.  Cari is passionate about weaving and exposing others to the many forms of fiber art around the world.  In addition to leading our textile expeditions, she teaches weaving classes here at home. 

Cari weaving in Oaxaca

 

It is Cari's belief that, as adventurous textile travelers, we all share the rare opportunity to have a positive impact on our destinations.  She feels that learning as much as possible about each land, its people and rich culture helps us to fully understand the global puzzle.  "It's through close encounters, we learn to care about the people we meet, minimizing our differences and deepening our respect.  I believe that only through education and personal involvement can the pristine areas and rare cultures of our planet remain intact."

Click here to visit Cari's Online Weaving Gallery  www.loomdancer.com

 

Guide, Textile Expert and Fiber Artist

Ginger Snip

Born in Germany and raised in Texas, Ginger learned to sew and knit as a child.  She graduated from the University of Maryland in Textile Marketing and spent years studying weaving and dyeing at the Southwest School of Art and Design in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to being an award winning weaver, she co-owned and operated Needle Rock Fiberarts for years, a yarn and knitting salon, in Telluride, Colorado.   There she taught knitting and encouraged all who entered to delve into the rich world of fiber.

 

Ginger is a grandmother of two, a mother of three and lives with her husband, two dogs and four horses in Telluride.  She weaver on Rio Grande and SAORI looms at home and loves to travel and interact with fiber enthusiasts everywhere.

Guide and Fiber Artist

Kathy Strathearn

After retiring about 15 years ago from property management, Kathy began weaving on a Rio Grande loom at a class in New Mexico.  She has made many Rio Grande blankets and rugs (at least 25) on her 4-harness Rio Grande walking loom that adorn the homes of her family.  Two of Kathy’s Rio Grande tapestries can be seen at the Denver Art Museum at its SPUN exhibit.

 

A few years after learning to weave, she adventured to the Navajo Indian Reservation to learn the Navajo way of weaving and makes it a yearly commitment to go visit her friends on the Reservation and gain greater insight into Navajo weaving and its traditions.  Having portable Navajo style looms makes it easy to weave the many many rugs she has woven while on the go. 

 

Besides weaving, other interests include spinning on a spinning wheel and Navajo hip spindle, and Plains Indian style beading.  She is also a member of Handweaver’s Guild of Boulder and Rocky Mountain Weaver’s Guild.  Two study groups she is involved with are a tapestry weaving study group and a Navajo style weaving study group.

 

Kathy lives in Lakewood, Colorado, with her husband, two beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and her nine looms with an extensive yarn stash.  She has three children and three grand children all of whom she adores. 

 

Guide and Fiber Artist

Jan Jeffryes

Jan is a California native who studied fiber arts and weaving in the Bay Area in the 70's. She comes from a long line of sewers and knitters and was creating clothing design at an early age.  While she continued her passion for weaving, she obtained a Masters in Special Education and taught for 25 years before retiring in 2010.

 

Jan now lives in Grand Junction, Colorado where she owns and operates a small lavender farm and weaving business.  Her other interests include mosaic arts, painting, cooking/concocting lotions and potions, ceramics and almost any water sport!  You'll find her in Mexico in the winter, on the river in the spring, farming in the summer and traveling in the fall.  Always with a SAORI loom in tow!  Jan loves to travel, explore and learn about different cultures rich in fiber history and share that knowledge with others.  Finding Loom Dancer Odysseys was a natural fit!

Guide and Culinary Expert

Susan Renke

One of the constants in Susan’s life has been her opportunity to travel throughout the United States and abroad to experience firsthand how culture and food are intertwined. Susan has spent her career in food and agriculture, connecting farmers and chefs. She has specialized in foodservice marketing and communications working with organizations such as Driscoll's, USA Pears, Sunkist Growers, the Produce Marketing Association, the Culinary Institute of America, and her current position with the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear industry. Working in the world of foodservice and agriculture included setting up tours for chefs to see firsthand how the products they purchase for their menus are grown. Her longtime friendship with Cari gave her the opportunity to join some of the Loom Dancer Weaving Odysseys, exploring the culinary scene and taking cooking classes.

The launch of Global Palate Adventures, designing and leading culinary-focused tours around the world, was a natural extension of Susan's interest in food, wine, agriculture, and global cuisine. She believes there is no better way to get to know a new country and to immerse yourself in its culture than to roll up your sleeves and learn from the local culinary experts.  

In addition to travel and food, Susan’s passions include learning about wine, textiles, interior design, architecture, and wildlife – all perfect companions to her culinary travel adventures. Susan has two amazing grown daughters and lives in the Pacific Northwest.

<< New image with text >>

Malcolm "Rufus" MacGregor III

Clan Chief of the Loomdancer Woolobites

Malcolm "Rufus" MacGregor III was born and raised in St. Andrews, Scotland. Adopted by the Loomdancer Woolobites while in Scotland, he quickly became their Clan Chief and Mascot.

 

While new to international travel, Rufus is a natural adventurer.  He made his inaugaral trip to Oaxaca in January 2014 where he enjoyed himself immensely and quickly became a favorite of the group.  Rufus lived it up in the honeymoon suite at Parador San Miguel (below right), tasted mezcal (below middle) and immersed himself in Zapotec culture at Monte Alban (below left).  Rufus is looking forward to many more Loom Dancer odysseys!

 

Rufus will soon have his own Facebook page and you can follow his exploits on this site.  Watch for his new adventures...