At the age of 10, Irvin L. Trujillo began weaving under the tutelage of his father, renowned weaver Jacobo Ortega Trujillo. This begat the seventh generation of weavers of the Trujillo and Ortega families of Chimayo, in northern New Mexico. Although he graduated from college as a civil engineer and worked in that profession for a time, Irvin continued to study ancient weaving techniques. In 1980, he and his wife Lisa founded the Centinela Traditional Arts studio in Chimayo, making it possible for them to weave alongside Jacobo but also allowing them to teach others in the community. Work in the studio included related traditional techniques of loom design, natural dyeing, spinning, warping, weaving, and finishing. Both a keeper of tradition and an innovator, Irvin has received many awards including three Grand Prizes and the Master's Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Spanish Market in Santa Fe. His work reflects who he is and where he comes from. Weaving only five to eight pieces in a year, he says, "When I do a major piece it is like putting my life on that line of weft. All of my experience goes into it. I am trying to approach the spirit of the old pieces. In doing that, I need to learn from the past, but how to live in my time and environment."
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