THE STORY OF HOW THE TUMBLEWEED WALLPAPER CAME TO BE
Tumbleweeds caught my attention the first time I went to the west to meet Cy's family at their cattle ranch, The HC Cattle Company on the outskirts of Dalhart,Texas. I was drawn to the way they playfully bounced along the landscape.
The catalyst to make a pattern from a tumbleweed was the recent drought and the overwhelming amount of tumbleweeds that were blowing around the ranch.
Cy's cousin, Whitney Gilliam, kindly photographed a single tumbleweed from the piles of weeds. We played around with pattern ideas in Los Angeles.
We intend to give a portion of the profits from the sales of the wallpaper to the Ranching Heritage Association which is a leader in the preservation of ranching society: http://nrhc.ttu.edu/about/ranching-heritage-association/ .
I asked Cy's mom, Beth Carter, to jot down her thoughts on tumbleweeds. As a rancher's wife and resident of the Texas Panhandle for the majority of her life she counts as an expert on the subject of Tumbleweeds. Her thoughts are below:
"Nothing calls to mind the isolation in the wide, open spaces of the southwest more than the picture of a lone tumbleweed blowing across an empty highway under a dust filled gray sky… Its presence is a sure sign of drought, and onslaughts of them are the bane of the rancher’s existence, piling up in fencerows and corrals and water tanks, making his rough outdoor life just a little more trying than usual. However, as with most things in life, there are two sides to the story, a choice to make, if you will, to see these products of the drought as a curse – or blessing. Despite their tiny root system, they grow fast and green with the least bit of moisture, doing their part to hold down the precious topsoil while ranchers wait for enough rain or snow to grow back the grass they need to feed their livestock. The thing about tumbleweeds is that they grow anywhere; the less rain they get, the larger they grow, and instead of withering at the season’s change, they just dry out and let go of their tenuous tie to mother earth and blow where the wind takes them."
Below are some images and a movie documenting the tumbleweeds at the HC Cattle Company and our process making them into wallpaper.