I first met Annabelle Crank several years ago while working with colleagues to bring indoor water and power to her very isolated home on the southern slopes of Navajo Mountain. To get to her place you have to make several decisions at forks in the sandy road. And occasionally, I seemed to pick the wrong one.
At the time, she was living with her mother (who was suffering from dementia and has since passed away) and her sister. Annabelle was the only one of three who spoke much English. While quite shy, she was always very congenial. And it was always a pleasure to work on her house and workshop.
A couple of years ago, Annabelle’s sister developed breast cancer. This, plus caring for her mother, resulting in Annabelle cutting back on her rug making. Her sister’s cancer is now in remission, and so she is back making beautiful rugs.
Annabelle makes her rugs from yarn that begins with her own goats, fleece that she carefully cards. She also uses natural dyes. Luckily we were able to improve the lighting in the indoor area where weaves. Her rugs are made of earthy colors with traditional Navajo patterns. And they are made with a great deal of loving care.
Annabelle’s home is in a very beautiful, but isolated site. It takes her about an hour-and-a-half to get to the nearest city of any size, Page AZ. Her universe is very much the immediate area around her homesite.