CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Origin of the Yokayo Textile Guild

The Yakao Guild Members after a mask making workshop

The Yokayo Guild Members after a mask making workshop

Yokayo and the 1800‘s settlers’ variation, Ukiah, are from the central Pomo Indian language and means south valley and that is where the Yokayo Textile Guild found its name.

Early on it was known as the Yokayo Spinners and Weavers.  The Guild began with a small group in the mid 70’s. The group’s main interest was in spinning and then weaving the abundant wool available in Mendocino County.  Two of the original members, Bard Zensen and Holly Brackmann, contributed their memories to this Guild History.

Mr. Bard Zensen, an early member, tells of attending classes at the Mendocino Art Center and also attending the CNCH conferences. Back then, they represented their Guild with a booth at the conferences.

Of course, all the spinning and weaving brought the guild members to the next step, dyeing. Hollly Brackmann, another early member, went on to teach weaving, dyeing and textile history at Mendocino College and the guild members followed her and her classes.

About ten years ago, the Guild changed its name to Yokayo Textile Guild because the guild members were now interested in all phases of fiber, fabric and embellishment.

Bard Zensen went on to make wall hangings and do watercolor paintings.

Holly Brackman has recently retired From Mendocino College and enjoys being an artist and giving workshops and lectures.  Her wonderful and complete book on fiber techniques is The Surface Designer’s Handbook.

The Guild, about 30 members, still meets monthly and usually books 1 to 2 outside teachers  each year for classes.   They tend to go to the coast as a group- Mendocino and environs- about once a year and they have a yearly sale at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah.

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