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 […]

Dreams and Hopes in a Web of Threads

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) held its annual gathering in Washington D.C. last week. It was terrific. For the uninitiated, WARP is a networking group of crafters, academics, entrepreneurs, and anyone (including book publishers!) who value the importance of textiles in communities around the world. The annual meeting is an important time to connect with old […]

An Armchair Traveler Longs to Hit the Road

SilkWeaversLaos

I’ve been an armchair traveler these days. It started a few weeks ago when I waved good-bye, electronically, of course, to Maren Beck as she left for Xam Tai, Laos. She was off to lead a small group of textile enthusiasts through the hill tribe villages of Vietnam and Laos. Maren, co-author of Silk Weavers […]

Spark–the Difference between Excellence and Love

spark

We all have our favorite textiles. Maybe it’s the color, the fiber, or a combination of techniques that draws us in. Maybe it’s because of where we were when we acquired–or made–the piece, or maybe it’s the person who gave it to us. Maybe our favorite textiles speaks to us because they have a special […]

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 […]

Three Awards and an Unexpected Prize

The winds have been whirling in all directions at Thrums Books the last couple of weeks. We’re still celebrating the publication of Susan Schaefer Davis’s Women Artisans of Morocco, but we’re also finalizing the last details for two fall books we just sent to press, and now manuscripts are coming in for books we’ll bring […]

Feisty Women

feisty women

“Fadma Wadal is a feisty old woman—my favorite kind—and a great storyteller,” writes Susan Schaefer Davis, introducing the first of many artisans in her new book Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives. She goes on to tell the story of Fadma who remembers spinning with wool stolen from the underbellies of sheep that […]

Breeze of Blessing

A few weeks ago, I read about an exhibition at the University of Wisconsin’s Ruth Davis Design Gallery, Whirling Return of the Ancestors. The exhibition presents the Egúngún masquerades inspired by a tradition of the Yorùbá peoples of West Africa that honors and celebrates the power and presence of ancestors. Egúngún is a unique cultural […]

Traditional Textile Creation and the Shrinking World

Joshua Hirschstein, co-author of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos, drops in this week to share his thoughts about the challenges to traditional textiles in a global economy. Minimizing the Impact In 2008, in a small village in the beautiful Annamite Mountains of northern Laos, Maren and I met a Tai Daeng silk weaver who […]

Textiles at the End of the Road

A friend recently told me the story behind a pair of stellar mittens she wears this time of year. A few winters ago, she hiked down a road blocked by snow, climbed over a six foot fence, and threw hay to her friend’s horses. In gratitude, her friend, a Sami woman from Norway, knit her […]