Image: Somporn Intaraprayong
In the run up to Selvedge World Fair – 3 – 5 September 2020 – a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity, we are profiling some of the 100 artisans taking part. Today, we look at the work of the Bokja, upholsterers from Lebanon, Somporn Intaraprayong, hand embroiderer from Thailand and Timoteo Ccarita Sacaca, tapestry weaver from Peru. Selvedge World Fair tickets are available now, and give you access to talks, shopping, demonstrations, articles and interviews as well as a prize quiz.
Established in 2000 and founded by Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, Bokja was born from the female duo’s shared passion for furniture, textiles, art and design. While Baroudi has spent her life collecting fabrics from the Silk Road, Hibri is an expert in antique pieces of furniture with a hidden beauty. The two married their expertise and knowledge of traditional craftsmanship and started out Bokja reupholstering vintage furniture found in antique stores and flea markets in Lebanon with precious fabrics from the region. Combining artisans, carpenters and designers, behind every Bokja design is a team of 35 specialised artisans from 10 countries such as Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan, Egypt and Lebanon.
Somporn Intaraprayong is a self-taught artist, whose embroidered textiles are now coveted by collectors around the world. Intaraprayong’s work is locally produced. It begins with found or cultivated fibres such as cotton, hemp or linen then dyed using local indigo plants, abundant in the hills of Northern Thailand. Intaraprayong describes how the work begins; ‘Every tiny piece of cloth has a long history. In the case of cotton, for example, the plant had to be foraged or cultivated, picked, spun, and then dyed and woven, or woven and dyed – all this before the cloth is turned into something else. To throw out even a scrap of material, therefore, is painful, so we keep everything.’
Timoteo Ccarita Sacaca is a Peruvian fibre artist, natural dyer, tapestry weaver and Indigenous rights activist from Pitumarca, Cusco, Peru. Ccarita Sacaca and his artists use alpaca, sheep and vicuña wool from local farmers to create textiles and garments. Dyes come from locally sourced plants, minerals or insects and patterns represent ancient Andean cosmology.
Visit Selvedge World Fair for more information.