Chip Morris: Tribute to an Unforgettable Man

You have to imagine this: Chip Morris, scruffy, sometimes cranky author of A Textile Guide to the Highlands of Chiapas is standing in the plaza before the church in San Andrés Larrainzar, Chiapas, telling stories. He’s telling in English, but tossing off comments to passing locals in their own Tzotzil language.The story that sticks in […]

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 […]

In the Twinkling of an Eye

More than thirty years ago, National Geographic magazine published an issue with a young Afghan woman on the cover. Her intense green eyes were so unexpected, and her expression so loaded with hard-to-read emotion, that the photograph has become iconic. Just google “afghan girl” and there she is, after all this time. Kind of like […]

Yours to Mine, Giving is Hand to Hand

Rug Money

“Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand, Mine to yours, yours to mine.” Alberto Ríos  Catarina spins with a touch that turns clouds into thread. Photo by Joe Coca from the book Traditional Weavers of Guatemala. It’s the gift-giving, and gift-finding, season. Enjoy the bounty of gifts so vivid in each of these […]

Mexico on my Mind

huipil, Chiapas, Mexico

Linda returned this week from further adventures in Mexico, another book in the offing. When you’ve been to a place so many times, you amass quite a collection of stories (and huipils!). Here’s an oldie but a goody from Linda’s travels in Chiapas. Enjoy! —Karen   Handmade in Chiapas, Mexico As Maya huipils go, those […]

Not a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

My Friends in Mexico

Around the world, especially here in the U.S., folks are donning sombreros and sipping margaritas in honor of Cinco de Mayo. While the world celebrates the 1862 victory of Mexico over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, oddly enough, it’s a little-celebrated event in Mexico itself. So on this fifth of May, we’ve decided […]

Refrains of Nature on Earth Day

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature–the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter. ” Rachel Carson In celebration of Earth Day, we have a reprise of last year’s post–updated with some of our favorite places on earth—and some of our favorite people in those places. People who […]

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 […]

In the Beginning, Weaving a Story

TwinklingofanEye

“The relationship between weaving and storytelling is as old as time.” Carol Karasik wrote that, describing her book of folk tales, Maya Gods & Monsters. She also describes a mysterious thread that binds spoken and visual languages together. I like thinking of textiles as visual language. As Linda and I have been working on our […]

The Family of Thrums

Excellent authors

Our good friend, and Thrums Books author, Deborah Chandler has been visiting us for the last few days. Last night she wrote down a few words about her life in the world of Thrums. Thanks, Deborah! Tonight, I am especially conscious of how lucky/blessed I am, aware of being part of the extended family of […]