Weaving Community

From time to time, I have written posts about museums around the world that celebrate the voices and the work of indigenous textiles–from the Textile Center in Minneapolis and the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection in Wisconsin to the Kurdish Textile Museum in Kurdistan and the Textile Museum of Oaxaca. Perhaps no other museum echoes the mission of […]

Where in the World is Alepio Melo?

About four years ago, Linda, photographer Joe Coca–with the excellent help of Diana Hendrickson–and I spent a couple of weeks in the Peruvian highlands learning from, documenting, and photographing master artisans of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. CTTC director Nilda Callanaupa had arranged for various artisans from all of the communities that comprise […]

How I Won the Mr. T Award

Every Thread

I didn’t even know who Mr. T was, until I received an impressive certificate, suitable for framing, with his fierce visage staring me in the face. Such a surprise. You might wonder what I did to earn such an honor. Well, it was easy! I got in front of a video camera and babbled with […]

Solidarity of Women

Today is the annual Women’s March on Washington Reading about the scheduled activities reminded me of when our publisher Linda Ligon went to Washington, D.C. for the first march in 2017. She wore, somewhat reluctantly, the signature handknitted “Pussy hat.” Linda later wrote about how the experience of attending the march changed her perception about […]

Halfway to Heaven: Travels in Guatemala

heaven

In addition to writing stellar books herself, Thrums author Deborah Chandler has recommended many a good book to me, from the novels of Miguel Asturias to Diné bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story by Paul Zolbrod. Last fall she gave me a collection of poems, Seated on the Bank of the Yichk’u River by Maya writer […]

Keeping Track of the World One Thread at a Time

My fascination with kipus likely began when we were working on our book Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands in Chinchero, Peru. Kipu, from the Quechua word for knot, are the knotted cord devices that the Inca used for record keeping. They were made of long cords of thread suspended from a […]

Moment of Impact

moments

Of course, the end of the year offers a time to reflect on all we’ve accomplished in the last year, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed next. I wanted to share some of those highlights but also some of the smaller moments that have a big impact too. In the spring, Publisher Linda Ligon […]

The Longest Night: Welcome Winter

The winter solstice, that longest night of the year, is upon us. And as with any change of season, it will be celebrated in a variety of ways around the world. Of course, Stonehenge is one of the most highly prized locations to be on the solstice because of how the stones create a perfect […]

The Isthmus Look

Thrums author and photographer Eric Mindling took a break from his busy days as “Head Honcho” of Traditions Mexico in Oaxaca to share this story with us. Thanks, Eric! In 2014 when I first began the photography for my book, Oaxaca Stories in Cloth, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was on the shortlist of regions I […]

The Humble Poncho of Tarabuco

Sometimes it’s the humblest textile that takes up permanent residence in your memory of a place. I was fortunate to travel in Bolivia with a group from Andean Textile Arts recently, and was blown away by the fine basketry of the jipi japa palm weavers of the Santa Cruz region, and the lovely natural dyed […]

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