Spark–the Difference between Excellence and Love

spark

We all have our favorite textiles. Maybe it’s the color, the fiber, or a combination of techniques that draws us in. Maybe it’s because of where we were when we acquired–or made–the piece, or maybe it’s the person who gave it to us. Maybe our favorite textiles speaks to us because they have a special […]

Silkworms, Mezcal, a Few Potatoes, Exquisite Cloth

silkworms

I was digging around in the pocket of a fleece jacket the other day, and found a small handful of roasted squash seeds. The memory was instant: I was back in a little hut in the Oaxacan highland village of Santo Domingo Roayaga. Our hostess was graciously extending hospitality. All she had to offer was […]

How An Aretha Franklin Impersonator Altered the Trajectory of My Life

Gifts

How can an Aretha Franklin impersonator, a mudslide in Guatemala, rug hooking, and a new book about forming a cooperative with Maya women in Guatemala possibly be all tied together? Author Mary Anne Wise tells us how in this amazing back story to her book Rug Money: How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their […]

The Story behind the Story

Story

Story and Memory Our two new fall books–Spider Woman’s Children and Rug Money–are beginning to arrive in bookstores, libraries, and maybe even your own mailbox. We’re shouting from the rooftops about how beautiful they are, how useful and inspiring. Celebrating new books always reminds me of the stories behind the making of the book. Little […]

Slow Fiber and an Act of Hope

Slow Fiber

Enjoy this beautiful post from our weaving friend Aaron Burmeister. I imagine you’ve heard or read about the Slow Fiber movement. Fiber enthusiast that you are, you’re likely even directly involved in some Slow Fiber cause. It and its similarly concerned older cousins, Slow Money and Slow Food, advocate for a different way of thinking […]

The Next Generation

One of the biggest concerns, for those of us who love and work with indigenous textiles from around the world, is “Who will carry on the traditions?” It’s complicated. Young people once learned from their elders, stayed in their home villages, got a sixth-grade education at most, married young, and spun and wove for the […]

Respected by the Whole World

Respected

“Anything that is created by human hands should be respected by the whole world,” said Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Honorary Chair of the 2018 International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe. As I wandered through the stalls at the Market last weekend admiring the astonishing folk art, I felt that deep sense […]

Text and Textile, Part 2

text and textile

A month ago, I wrote about the connections of language and textiles inspired by a talk I’d heard from anthropologist Wade Davis. Since then, I’ve continued to bump into new stories, affirming that relationship between word and thread. Material and Culture First, I received an email alert from Yale University about the current exhibition called […]

We Live in Possibility

WeLiveInPossibility

I love this photo by Paula Lerner from the opening pages of Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future. The color and determination of the balloon vendor striding down the bleak streets of Kabul reassures me every time I open the book. That idea of living in possibility came back to me several times […]

Language, Textiles, A Flash of the Human Spirit

At Tinkuy Gathering of the Textile Arts  in Cusco, Peru last fall, anthropologist Wade Davis, gave a remarkable keynote speech, “Geographies of Hope.” His talk was a celebration of the world’s indigenous cultures, but also he warned about the rapid disappearance of these cultures and the impact this has on the cultural web of life, […]

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