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 […]

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 […]

Guess What We Did? The Ever-Expanding Thrums Books

Thrums Books

More than ten years ago, in partnership with Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez and the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, we published our first book Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands. During the last decade we’ve published 15 more books exploring textile traditions from around the world. We’ve brought to life the life stories of textile artisans who […]

I Want to Give You a Scarf from Peru

Win a Peruvian Scarf

In our very first Thrums Books textile giveaway, you have a chance to win one of my treasured Peruvian scarves. I bought this alpaca scarf while I was working in Peru with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez on her book Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands. It’s a beauty of a scarf, isn’t it? It makes […]

The Next Generation

One of the biggest concerns, for those of us who love and work with indigenous textiles from around the world, is “Who will carry on the traditions?” It’s complicated. Young people once learned from their elders, stayed in their home villages, got a sixth-grade education at most, married young, and spun and wove for the […]

Respected by the Whole World

Respected

“Anything that is created by human hands should be respected by the whole world,” said Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Honorary Chair of the 2018 International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe. As I wandered through the stalls at the Market last weekend admiring the astonishing folk art, I felt that deep sense […]

Portal to Peru Old and New

I just drove down to Santa Fe to attend the Fifteenth annual International Folk Art Market. It’s always a great time to connect with fiber friends and especially our authors as many are also artisan participants, volunteers, or translators. (Look for a full recap in next week’s blog.) Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez of the Center for Traditional […]

Pruning

We’ve just sent Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today to press. It will be three months before we have actual printed copies in hand, but in the meantime I’ll be pruning my files: the stacks and stacks of paper, heaps of books for reference, gigabytes of words and images that tend to pile up as […]

Language Matters

When you commit to publishing a book involving an indigenous culture, the question always comes up: can it be bilingual? Many of the books we’ve published are based in Spanish-speaking countries, and it would seem both logical and respectful to include both Spanish and English. And we have done that. Sometimes. En Español Chip Morris’s […]

2017: Moments to Remember

» We’re very close to sending Maya Gods & Monsters to press, when we get a frantic message from our author, Carol Karasik: “Wait! A lot of those little designs around the edges are Aztec, not Maya! Not to mention that calendar wheel!” We do a hasty but thorough search for strictly Maya motifs, and find […]