All the Wiser for the Wandering

“Where’s Joe?” It’s a common question when on a photo shoot with Thrums photographer Joe Coca. While we’re busy interviewing artisans or admiring their textiles, Joe quietly wanders off. Sometimes to the alarm or curiosity of an author, translator, or guide. I’ve learned over many trips with Joe not to worry. He’s just out getting […]

A Photographer’s Dream Come True

Joe Coca, Thrums Books photographer extraordinaire and the author-photographer of our newest book, The Human Thread, shares some personal thoughts about his life as a photographer and the making of his book. Thanks, Joe! Last November, I started a new chapter in my life. I sold my photography studio  in Fort Collins, Colorado and moved” […]

Photography and the Fine Art of Disappearing

Indigo

Still photography captures moments. I can only imagine the moments of memory Joe Coca experienced sifting back through the thousands of images in his archive, selecting just a hundred or so for his new book, The Human Thread. Working with Joe for the past forty years, I have my own memory moments, ones that weren’t […]

This Is What World Peace Looks Like

We came back from the International Folk Art Market (IFAM) in Santa Fe last week bursting with the wonder of it all—the music, the dancing, the color, the artisans and the crowds they had attracted, all embracing the beauty and importance of handmade goods from around the world. World Class Books This year’s market was […]

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 […]

A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass to their children generation after generation. Whether in Mexico or Morocco, Afghanistan or Laos, mothers have been teaching their daughters (ands sons) to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider for centuries. Sharing these skills with the next generation is practical, of course, because it creates a […]

Ritual, Tradition, and What Is Holy

What is holy

Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter, is a time of amazement and passion in Latin America. I’ve had the good fortune to be in Chiapas, Mexico, for this special time once, and in Guatemala, twice. The memories are vivid and indelible. Nebaj, Quiche, Guatemala It’s early morning before dawn, and a throng of […]

Spring and Summer with Thrums Books

Springtime always feels like a whirlwind at Thrums Books. We have new Spring books hitting the shelves while we’re sending our new fall books to the printer. It’s when we win awards (!) and plot our future fun. Check out what’s new in the world of Thrums Books and find out what’s on deck for […]

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, […]