Far Gazing: A Bridge to Guizhou

What I love: mountains, hats, cloth, stories within ritual. On our third day in China’s Guizhou Province last spring, publisher Linda Ligon, photographer Joe Coca, and I bounced along steep and muddy mountain roads with our dear guide Wang Jun and faithful driver Mr. Zhou. We were in China to work on our newest book […]

Discovering Miao Embroidery with Zeng Li

“I’d like you to meet a friend of mine,” says Wang Jun, wanting to broaden our understanding of Miao textiles. I was in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, with Karen Brock and Joe Coca, working on Every Thread a Story: Traditional Chinese Artisans of Guizhou Province. So Jun took us straightaway to meet with his friend Zeng […]

A Chance Encounter, a Man with a Passion, and Our Newest Book

It was a chance encounter, my first meeting with Wang Jun. Joe Coca and I were in Guizhou Province, China, with a potential author, checking the area out for a couple of weeks. Wang Jun was our translator. That book didn’t work out, but in the course of our travels, we became enchanted with the […]

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 […]

Calling All Textile Travelers for China

guizhou

Imagine being greeted with song and flasks of rice wine in a traditional Chinese village. Imagine spending a day in the life of a Miao artisan and discovering the stories behind her ancient needlework traditions. Now you can! Several weeks ago we announced our plans to travel back to Guizhou Province, China, in celebration of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Textile Travels in China and Other Good News

China

Travels You may have glimpsed photos from our Facebook or Instagram pages over the last couple of weeks, documenting our travels around southwestern China. Our days were filled meeting batik artists, embroidery artists, weavers, indigo dyers–many whose families have worked these textile traditions for several generations. They were happy to share their stories, their skills, […]

For All the Indigo in China

Last year at about this time, I was in Guizhou Province, China, with photographer Joe Coca and fashion designer Angel Chang. Angel was in the process of building a fashion collection around the indigenous fabrics of Guizhou, an ethnic minority province, largely populated with Miao and Dong people. She graciously took us along and gave […]

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