Somethings Wonderful This Way Came

Somethings Wonderful This Way Came
1970's Vintage Caftan in At Play

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Being Blown Away

My "I'm a Harwood Steiger Addict" presentation in Tubac, AZ, yesterday went better than I could ever have expected.  About three dozen people showed up to hear about my collecting experience and to see my photos and fabrics.  Many present were Tubac residents and had been living there while the studio and shop were open.  They shared with me their own impressions and I gathered even more information about the Steigers.  One lovely little lady in particular, Jesse Alegria, actually worked for the Steigers for over 30 years.  She was so sweet and so kind.  I could not believe it when she gifted me with about 12 pieces of Steiger fabrics including tea towels,a  placemat, tablecloth, a dress panel and yardage.  She told me that in the closing days of the studio, Wanda Halbwachs (Sophie's sister) who ran the shop following Harwood's death, told her to take all she wanted or could use.  So, she has a lot of fabric at home and invited me to visit her and photograph whatever I needed for the book.  One fabric she gave me, Plaza, was new to me.  She explained all the various ways Harwood would use the basic screen, adding different background patterns and colors.  What an amazing and wonderful gift!  To me these are gems more precious than diamonds.


In addition to meeting and talking with the local folk, I had a chance to talk with the Manager of Museum Collections for the Arizona Historical Society, Laraine Daly Jones.  Ms. Jones heard the lament in my voice about not having any kind of Harwood Steiger exhibit in the state.  She suggested that we work together to develop a traveling exhibit.  Would that not be wonderful?  A real valid justification for my obsessive/compulsive acquisitions of Steiger fabrics.  I would love to share my collection with anyone who might be interested and a traveling exhibit just fits the bill.  I am truly and sincerely blown away!




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  1. I could not locate an email contact on your blog, so hope you see this. While digging out fabrics from my "stash" yesterday, I pulled a fabric that I have had for years. Before cutting into it, I decided to google the name on the edge. Though I have had this piece for years, I had no idea who Harwood Steiger was. The piece is entitled "More Quail" and I am guessing is three or four yards long. (have not put on cutting board to measure exactly) Now that I know about Mr. Steiger's work, I am debating what to do with it. Is there a market for his fabric? I noticed that there are a few spots where the silk screening is not perfect, as there are small areas where the black ink smeared a bit. Was this common? It is always gratifying to find a fellow fiber addict. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide. Anne

    1. More Quail was a very popular design. Collectors are always eager to acquire quail and roadrunner motifs from Mr. Steiger. I would not be concerned about any flaws you may observe as these only confirm that this is a hand screened design and not the product of modern manufacturing. Yes, there is a market for Harwood Steiger silk screened fabrics. Check Ebay and Etsy to see what's being offered now. My husband says that I have single handedly driven up the prices. He may be right as I find the cost of acquiring additional Harwood Steiger examples is astonomical. Apparently I have done too good a job of promoting this fabulous artist.

  2. Hi,
    I wonder if you will get this. Just today I found a wad of fabric that looked very intriguing to me, but I had never heard of it. Then I started to research it a little bit more and I found your site and I would love to ask you about my fabric, the design is blue on heavy linen and is called "desert clowns". Was this pretty common? I only found this pattern mentioned once and the color in the mention was brownish. Also, I have about 1 1/2 yards and I would hate to cut it or waste it, any ideas what I could use this for? Thank you! :)

  3. I just missed your presentation! I was in Green Valley visiting family. My mother used to visit Tubac often, and one Harwood Steiger design was inspired by a book about trees that a relative of mine wrote. I took a picture of the tablecloth my mother had out for our party on Sunday. I agree that there should be an Arizona museum exhibit on his work.