The Lives of Women and of Nature

el mago

Author and photographer Eric Mindling has spent nearly three decades traveling the back roads of Oaxaca, Mexico. His 2016 book Oaxaca Stories in Cloth: A Book about People, Belonging, Identity, and Adornment shows not only his love, but his respect for the dramatic geography of Oaxaca and the people who have made it their home. […]

The Isthmus Look

Thrums author and photographer Eric Mindling took a break from his busy days as “Head Honcho” of Traditions Mexico in Oaxaca to share this story with us. Thanks, Eric! In 2014 when I first began the photography for my book, Oaxaca Stories in Cloth, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was on the shortlist of regions I […]

Biology to Textiles, Everything Is Connected

“Everything happens for a reason.” “Nothing is a coincidence.” “Everything is connected.” I really don’t like platitudes such as these (even if they are somewhat true), but sometimes they just seem to fit. Back in April, my son Day, the biologist, was in Belize searching for a particular species of turtle, the seriously endangered hicatee. […]

Branches and Blossoms on the Tree of Life

This week, we’re putting the finishing touches on a forthcoming book about Navajo weavers–one of two new books we’ll be bringing out this fall. One of  many memorable stories in the book is about a man who, suffering a terrible illness, commissioned for himself, a rug woven with the Tree of Life design. I’m not […]

Tools of the Trade

We spend a lot of time thinking about textiles in all their glorious manifestations, but we don’t spend very much time thinking about the tools we use to make them. At least, I don’t. I was reminded of this when I was looking at some of the amazing goodies the Carlos Museum at Emory University […]

The Road to Secrets

Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knititng in the Peruvian Highlands

An Adventure in Validation Three years ago this fall I was in Oaxaca, getting ready to do a field trip with Eric Mindling for his book, Oaxaca Stories in Cloth. During the few days before we were scheduled to hit the road for the back country, the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, a wonderful institution right […]

Magical Markets of Mexico–Tlacolula, Oaxaca and Zinacantán, Chiapas

Markets of Mexico

Textile Fiestas of Mexico author Sheri Brautigam writes to us while shopping at some of her favorite markets, on-the-road, in Mexico: Besides the exciting festivals and ferias of Mexico, there are wonderful local markets to experience every week, so don’t miss out. Back in Mexico this winter I visited two that have become my favorites […]

The Closer

craft closer

Craft Chores I call my mom, affectionately, “The Closer.” Over the last several years she’s been the recipient of this friend’s or that’s unfinished craft project. Sometimes the assignment is from a friend who has passed away (not to be morbid, but at 86, these things happen), whose children want their mom’s handiwork finished but […]

A World of Blue

Peru Indigo

It was pretty blue at the Textile Society of America Symposium a couple of weeks ago, indigo blue. There was the indigo dye workshop on Ossabaw Island and a tour of its indigo history, an indigo art exhibition, and Catharine Ellis and Rowland Ricketts each chaired different sessions called “Indigo and Beyond” offering seven different presentations related to […]

Cultural Roots Near and Far

Oaxaca Stories in Cloth

When I was growing up in Oklahoma in the 1950s, I had a music teacher, Miss Sadlo, whose father had emigrated from Czechoslovakia early in the century. She had grown up in the nearby little town of Prague (which we Okies pronounced “Prayg”), founded and largely populated by her fellow countrymen from Bohemia. Miss Sadlo […]

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