Author Susan Schaefer Davis clues us in on what’s been happening since the publication of her new book Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives.
It’s been an exciting time since my book Women Artisans of Morocco came out April 15. I’ve heard from lots of old friends—and am finally beginning to realize that it’s done! There are a few developments on which I’d like to update you all, and a couple of outtakes I’d like to fill in for you.
A big update is Amina Yabis’s visit to the U.S. This grassroots feminist came with her buttons and more. She arrived in April and is staying on through the International Folk Art Market in Austin, Texas, June 14-16. If you’re in the area, you might want to meet her and see her work in person.
But for me, a more impressive part of her visit was her attendance at a seminar at Haverford College outside Philadelphia. She came because for the last three years she has hosted two student interns from the Peace and Global Citizenship Program at Haverford. The students spend ten weeks with Amina in Sefrou Morocco, working with either the Cherry Buttons Cooperative or the Golden Buttons Women’s Empowerment Center and learning about Moroccan culture by immersion. One thing last year’s interns did was update the Cherry Buttons Cooperative website where you can see their work and her products. The seminar invited hosts like Amina from several countries to discuss how to better develop tomorrow’s global citizens. The photo below shows Amina, her translator Gregg Johnson, and program participants; the young women to her right and left will work with her this summer in Morocco.
Another update for Women Artisans of Morocco is that you can buy the beautiful products from the women in the book–and many are hoping you will! In fact the “Persistent” embroiderers are discussing their first commission from the book. The contact information for all the artisans is at the back of the book on pages 159–160. If you have trouble reaching anyone, please contact me.
A final (for now!) update is that I am leading two textile tours of Morocco that are already filled. However, I have one with places still available for spring 2019. The dates are April 22–May 2, with an optional extension through May 5. We will visit several of the artisans in the book. For more information contact Johanna Cummings. Please note that deposits are due by May 25, 2018, so you must act quickly if you’d like to join us.
Moving on to outtakes. Like in films, you can’t include everything you would like. Photographer Joe Coca took thousands of gorgeous photos, and I suggested a layout including many more of them than was possible. So here I wanted to show you a few of my favorites.
There was a spread with the carpets of wildflowers you see in the spring in Morocco—although they are hard to capture fully on film. I had to have the photo of the Zemmour carpet, on page 34, because it reminded me of the fields of wildflowers that probably inspired the weaver.
The last outtake here is Fatima El Mennouny, the “All Business” weaver from N’kob. She is very savvy about the business end of weaving and as a result has made good profits with which she built a new home for her family. I love this photo I took of her proudly showing off the ceramic tile she has chosen to edge her new kitchen walls.
Enjoy the book, and maybe I’ll see you in Morocco!
Meet Amina Yabis, the Persistent Ones, and Fatima El Mennouny in Susan’s beautiful new book Women Artisans of Morocco–available at ClothRoads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite local bookstore .