Chip Morris: Tribute to an Unforgettable Man

You have to imagine this: Chip Morris, scruffy, sometimes cranky author of A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas is standing in the plaza before the church in San Andrés Larrainzar, Chiapas, telling stories. He’s telling in English, but tossing off comments to passing locals in their own Tzotzil language.The story that sticks in […]

We’re Planning a Textile Tour in China–Come Join Us!

This excerpt from a recent travel guide communication just cracked me up: “The travel coach drivers in Guizhou Province (China) have the skills of a Nascar driver, the patience and gentleness of a collie dog, and the quiet charm of an Arabian prince.” Does that sound like a bit of hyperbole? Actually, it seems pretty […]

Fifty Years

Dear friends and business associates Barry Schacht and Jane Patrick of Schacht Spindle Company in Boulder have just celebrated 50 years in business. They did it with an all-day event of non-stop fun and fellowship, bringing together hundreds of old friends from all over the place. Weavers, spinners, equipment makers, retailers, sheep raisers, teachers, authors—quite […]

Photography and the Fine Art of Disappearing

Indigo

Still photography captures moments. I can only imagine the moments of memory Joe Coca experienced sifting back through the thousands of images in his archive, selecting just a hundred or so for his new book, The Human Thread. Working with Joe for the past forty years, I have my own memory moments, ones that weren’t […]

Coincidence, or Synchronicity?

coincidence

I first knew of Keith Recker when he began publishing Hand/Eye magazine back in 2010. The stunningly produced oversize issues spoke to all my most avid interests: Peru! Mexico! Global Color! South Africa! And so much more. But I didn’t actually know Keith, in the personal sense, until the summer of 2017, when Mary Anne […]

Facing up to the Likeness

My mother-in-law looked Chinese. This petite, pure Okie born and bred Caucasian lady—I thought of her so often when I was traveling in China recently, because I saw her double everywhere. How could that be? Each of us is unique, face-wise. When I passed through immigration in Beijing, the clever machine that checked my identity […]

A Tricky Stitch from the Peruvian Highlands

trickystitch

One of my favorite Andean textiles is the humble potato sack, or costal. It’s deeply traditional, handsome, and almost indestructible. I first saw costales in use when I visited the very high village of Accha Alta in 2005. The area is known for the best and most varied potatoes, but the terrain is so steep […]

Biology to Textiles, Everything Is Connected

“Everything happens for a reason.” “Nothing is a coincidence.” “Everything is connected.” I really don’t like platitudes such as these (even if they are somewhat true), but sometimes they just seem to fit. Back in April, my son Day, the biologist, was in Belize searching for a particular species of turtle, the seriously endangered hicatee. […]

Ritual, Tradition, and What Is Holy

What is holy

Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter, is a time of amazement and passion in Latin America. I’ve had the good fortune to be in Chiapas, Mexico, for this special time once, and in Guatemala, twice. The memories are vivid and indelible. Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala It’s early morning before dawn, and a throng of […]

Travel Advice–Thrums Books Style

travel advice

Last week Joe Coca and I were invited to do a presentation at Interweave’s annual Yarn Fest. The idea was to show what we’ve been up to since leaving Interweave and launching Thrums Books. The event was great—so many old friends, such a yarn-loving vibe. Figuring out what to share was something else—there’s been so […]