2016 was a wonderful year for Thrums Books. Two of our books won Gold (Maya Threads) and Silver (Traditional Weavers of Guatemala) medals in the Multicultural category of the Benjamin Franklin Awards given by the Independent Book Publishers Association. We attended the always informative and inspiring Weave a Real Peace conference in Santa Fe in July and visited with several of our authors at the International Folk Art market at the same time.
We followed that up by participating in the marketplace at the biennial symposium of the Textile Society of America in Savannah, Georgia, in October. It was another excellent adventure and provided an opportunity to meet up with old friends and some of the most dedicated textile enthusiasts you will know.
Of course, the big news was the publication of Oaxaca Stories in Cloth: A Book about People, Belonging, Identity, and Adornment by Eric Mindling and Textile Fiestas of Mexico: A Traveler’s Guide to Celebrations, Markets, and Smart Shopping. These are significant new books for textile lovers and textile travelers, and we’re proud to have them in our catalog.
There was other stuff, too–book signings and author lectures and deciding which books to publish in 2018. Yep, 2018.
Despite the possible truth of that aphorism “He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; he who makes one is a fool,” we’re feeling rather resolute about a few items for 2017.
The first is the April publication of Carol Karasik’s Maya Gods and Monsters: Supernatural Stories from the Underworld and Beyond. Carol has drawn on ancient creation myths and lore of the Maya, giving life to quirky gods, magical monsters, and strange creatures. She captures these stories in a voice both humorous and lyrical, and you won’t want to miss it. The companion illustrations by Alfonso Huerta are genius. More on this excellent new book in the weeks ahead.
While we’re waiting for the ship to carry Maya Gods and Monsters across the Pacific, we will be working hard to complete three more books slated for publication in fall 2017.
Ten years after the publication of her seminal book Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands, author Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, has written an inspiring new book, highlighting many of the techniques and some of the secrets used by spinners, weavers, and knitters in the Andes. The backdrop to these techniques is the cultural tradition of generations carried forward.
Next is our first foray into the traditional textiles of Asia. Joshua Hirschstein and Maren Beck have artfully blended the stories, culture, and techniques of the master silk weavers of hilltribe Laos with their own personal journey. And wait until you see Joe Coca’s stunning companion photography.
Remember when Linda went to Afghanistan in her burqa from Etsy? She worked in Kandahar with authors Mary Littrell and Rangina Hamidi who have just finished a powerful new book. It profiles the strength and hope in the women of a Kandahar cooperative as they practice the ancient tradition of khamak embroidery to improve and sustain their lives.
A Whole Lot of Gratitude
How fortunate we are to be able to continue our work with such dedicated, smart, and inspiring authors who gift us the stories of traditional textiles and their makers. We have enormous gratitude for our authors, photographers, designers, Facebook, blog, and twitter followers, our sisters at ClothRoads, and to our cherished readers. Thank you all.
May your 2017 be filled with absolute wonder—and really good books.
—Linda and Karen