Pre-recorded Show & Tell, Americas - Recording
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Hosted by Marcella Echavarria, a curator and lifestyle specialist, this Show & Tell will travel through the textiles and crafts of the Americas. Each of the artisans listed below will talk about one of their textiles pieces they have brought along. Marcella will lead the discussions, asking questions and creating conversations about textiles in the Americas.
Maria Abdala Zolezzi, Maydi
Maria is the creator of a contemporary and sustainable knitwear brand based in Buenos Aires. Her timeless pieces are enhanced through the unique Argentine know-how of ancient crafts of hand-knitting, manual weaving-loom and crochet. Maydi uses the natural colours of merino sheep camelids from Patagonia(neutral mostly) with some accents achieved with natural dyes obtained from native plants such as Tara, Palo Amarillo, Guayacán, Quebracho, and Cochineal. Maydi works with “Patagonian fibres with a conscience”.
Osvaldo Güineo, Osvaldo Güineo
Osvaldo Güineo is a young artisan from the island of Chiloe. At 12 he was shown a typical blanket from Chiloe and he made it a life mission to learn how to make them. He learned the entire process from spinning the yarn, dying the threads and weaving on a loom. The traditional blankets from Chiloe represent the syncretism of European and native elements; "Traditions, histories, forms of economy, family relationships and systems of life are mixed in this craft.”
Rosa Miranda represented by Navarrete of Artesanías des Chile
Rosa is traditional weaver from Dalcahue, a little village in the middle east side of Chiloé Island in the extreme south of Chile, in northern Patagonia.
Desiree Schaeffer, Casa de Artes
Casa de Artes is more than a shop and is considered more of a museum with 55 years of history and 5 generations behind it. Casa de Artes started as convenience store ("tiendita") next to the only Gas Station in Panajachel Lake Atitlán. The owner, Mrs. Eva Hannstein de Smith, a Guatemalan native of German descend. It later opened in Antigua and for 55 years it has been the store-like museum that is a reference for anybody interested in folk art. Desiree is part of the family lineage and a textile expert.
Amalia Gue, Cooperative Ixbalam'ke
Amalia Gue is the president of Ixbalam’ke, a cooperative of 65 women dedicated to the production of textiles using traditional weaving techniques. They live in the community of Samac de Cobán in Alta Verpaz and are inspired by the landscape and beauty of the region. All the women in her community know how to weave, having grown up around looms. The members of the cooperative maintain the intricate technique of gauze weaving, and the use of coyuche, or natural brown cotton, practices that are rapidly disappearing..
Prior to weaving, the women treat the cotton threads with nixtamal, which is prepared with corn and lime to make the threads thicker and sturdier. Weaving a standard size shawl can take up to a week, and it is finished off by hand, braiding the fringe into elaborate patterns.
Porfirio Gutierrez, Porfirio Gutierrez
Porfirio is a Zapotec weaver, part of a traditional family that has led the way to reclaim the sustainable use of vegetable dyes in Teotitlan del Valle. “The wisdom of reading nature and identifying plants and trees for specific uses comes from our ancestors. I learned these lessons directly from my parents”. Porfirio is an artist and a weaver. He takes traditional motifs and interprets them in unique ways. He goes beyond wool, characteristic of the region, to include other materials such as sisal and copper.
Maddalena Forcella, Madda Studios
Drawing upon founder Maddalena Forcella’s roots, Madda Studio elegantly melds her Italian design sensibility with traditional Mexican craftsmanship and materials to produce works of beauty and refinement. From sheep to spindle to showroom floor, the process of creation brings forth the innate beauty of handspun wool, natural dyes and innovative uses of traditional weaving and felting techniques. Each work is the unique combination of natural fibers, dyes, history, culture and design.
Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco
Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez is an indigenous Quechua weaver from Chinchero. She is a wife, mother, weaver and above all a leader. Along with other Quechua weavers from Chinchero as well as international supporters, she establish the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco) in 1996 as a non-profit organization. She is the author of several books such as Faces of Tradition. Textile Tradition of Chinchero, Weaving in the Peruvian highlands. El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco has led the way towards the use of vegetable dyes and the preservation of traditional motifs.