We came back from the International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe last week bursting with the wonder of it all—the music, the dancing, the color, the artisans and the crowds they had attracted, all embracing the beauty and importance of handmade goods from around the world.
World Class Books
This year’s market was especially notable because for the first time Thrums Books had a booth, sharing our books that celebrate the stories of traditional artisans. IFAM was the perfect venue to introduce our two newest books.
Keith Recker, creative director of IFAM, presented his new book True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments, signed copies for fans, and visited with many of the artisans featured in his book, gifting them their own copy.
Longtime Thrums Books photographer Joe Coca also premiered his new book, a collection of photography, The Human Thread. He autographed books for those who have enjoyed his spectacular images over the years, and he acquired some new admirers, too!
World Class Authors
Several other authors took time out to join us and sign copies of their books, too: Mary Anne Wise, author of Rug Money, was also celebrating that Multicolores, the organization she helped found, was one of IFAM’s Community Impact Award winners. And too, there was Maren Beck, co-author of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos; Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco; and Sheri Brautigam, author of Textile Fiestas of Mexico, took time out of her busy translating schedule to sign books and chat about all things Mexico. Cynthia LeCount Samaké autographed A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Peru & Bolivia, and author Mary Littrell, signed copies of her book Embroidering within Boundaries, co-authored with longtime Market participant Rangina Hamidi from Kandahar Treasure.
We always love the chance to spend time with our authors, to learn about the good work they’re doing with artisan groups around the world, and to discover new stories from the artisans themselves. While it’s easy to revel in our little corner of the market and to reflect on our meaningful interactions, I also recognize that we are but a single thread in a rich cloth woven from more than 150 artisans, 1700 dedicated volunteers, and a remarkable team of organizers and donors. Looking beyond the market itself, I think of what IFAM CEO Stuart Ashman said, “When we are on the Santa Fe Plaza with all of the artisans in their traditional clothes, we can feel that this is what world peace looks like.” That feeling, that hope is what keeps me going back year after year; it’s a hope I consider with every book we make.