Friends assume that I love to go to the International Folk Art Market each year because of the shopping. It is a market, after all, and world’s largest folk art festival. I do love looking at all that fibery goodness on offer from around the world. But it’s not the what, it’s the who that keeps me going back. Every year, there are more artisans added to my list of people I want to visit. It seems my growing list is in direct proportion to the number of books we publish!
Phout and Souksakone, Lao silk weavers, will participate in the Market for the very first time, and I can’t wait to meet them. I have met them, actually, but only in the pages of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos: Textiles, Tradition, and Well-Being, an amazing new book by Joshua Hirschstein and Maren Beck that Thrums has just published. Josh and Maren will be at the Market, too, and I can only imagine that they’re all going to have a lot of fun.
Our friends from Kandahar Treasure, also with their new book hot off the press, Embroidering Within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future will be there with their exquisite khamak embroidery. Author and founder Rangina Hamidi will not be able to attend the market this year, but of course her co-author Mary Littrell will be there. We’re looking forward to presenting advanced copies of their book to Mary and to Rangina’s family who will be managing the booth.
Our friends from Multicolores are back in the market, and in a new innovation section this year. I will browse through their gorgeous rugs (and yes, likely buy one), and in equal measure, I’m looking forward to talking with Mary Anne, Cheryl, and Reyna about the book they’re writing (and that we’re publishing!) about this inspiring organization.
It will be so good to see Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez and the artisans from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco again and give Nilda the first copies of her new book, Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what’s in store for the Tinkuy weaver’s gathering in Cusco later this year, too.
And Sheri Brautigam, author of Textile Fiestas of Mexico. I really want to see her while she’s putting her excellent Spanish skills to work assisting Pedro Mezas in the Sna Jolobil booth. Pedro, along with Thrums Books’ author Chip Morris, founded the Sna Jolobil weaving cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico over thirty years ago. What a treat to visit with them and to admire some of the finest weaving from Chiapas.
And that’s just the beginning. If you’re out and about in Santa Fe, stop in! And if you’re not that lucky, start planning for next year. It’s an experience you will want to have.