Linda and I are at the 13th annual International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe this weekend. Many of you have been to this magical market sponsored by the International Folk Art Alliance. This year, 200 folk artists and cooperatives from about 60 countries have gathered for an opportunity to sell their work to an ever-growing crowd, anxious to support these artisans, eager to see this year’s newest treasures. Over the last few days about 100 of the artists went through a business education and mentorship program called Mentor to Market. Throughout the mentoring, the artists learn everything from pricing to marketing—valuable information they take home to transform their lives and that of their fellow artisans.
So here we are, and I’ll admit to being super excited to run my hands over some spun, woven, and embroidered goodness—and ceramics and jewelry and woodwork and anything else you can imagine.
But what I’m most excited about are the people. What I love about our books is the way we present crafts as inseparable from the people and the cultures who make them. It’s one of the things I love about the Folk Art Market, too. Colorful and charming characters buzz in every tent, and that’s part of the fun. But I know we’ll meet up with a few of our authors and some of the folks who have made their way into the pages of Thrums Books and into our hearts.
Pedro Meza from Chiapas, who co-founded the Sna Jolobil weaving cooperative with Chip Morris, Thrums Books author of A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas and Maya Threads, will be presenting his inimitable handwoven and embroidered Maya designs.
The genius behind Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands, Textile Traditions of Chinchero , and Faces of Tradition , Nilda Callañapua Alvarez, will be at the booth for the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). This is the 12th time that Nilda and members of the CTTC have been invited to the Folk Art Market, and when you see their work, you will know why.
Rangina Hamidi will be offering the stunning traditional Khamak embroidery work of the women from Kandahar Treasure in Afghanistan. I’m so looking forward to Rangina’s update on the book we’ll publish in 2017 that she and Mary Littrell are writing about these embroidery traditions and the women who practice them.
Amalia Gue whose pijbil weaving was featured in Traditional Weavers of Guatemala will be there offering her gorgeous handwoven work blouses, scarves, and accessories.
Odilon Morales who I learned about from Sheri Brautigam in her forthcoming Textile Fiestas of Mexico published by Thrums Books, will be sharing his amazing Amuzgo weaving.
We’re also in Santa Fe for the annual Weave a Real Peace meeting, where author and photographer Eric Mindling will discuss his work in Mexico that lead to publication of his gorgeous Oaxaca Stories in Cloth, available October 1. More about Eric and his amazing work next week; right now, I’ve got some people to meet.