Language, Textiles, A Flash of the Human Spirit

At Tinkuy Gathering of the Textile Arts  in Cusco, Peru last fall, anthropologist Wade Davis, gave a remarkable keynote speech, “Geographies of Hope.” His talk was a celebration of the world’s indigenous cultures, but also he warned about the rapid disappearance of these cultures and the impact this has on the cultural web of life, […]

The Cultural Legacy of Mothers

legacy

For centuries, the world over, mothers have been teaching their children to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider, to remember the stories of the ancestors. Passing down these skills to the next generation is practical, of course, because learning them can help develop a livelihood. On the other hand, this intergenerational transference of skills […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pruning

We’ve just sent Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today to press. It will be three months before we have actual printed copies in hand, but in the meantime I’ll be pruning my files: the stacks and stacks of paper, heaps of books for reference, gigabytes of words and images that tend to pile up as […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Longest Night

The winter solstice, that longest night of the year, happens next week. And as with any change of season, it will be celebrated in a variety of ways around the world. Of course, Stonehenge is one of the most highly prized locations to be on the solstice because of how the stones create a perfect […]

Weaving the Past, Present & Future

Linda Ligon and I have been traipsing about Cusco, Peru the last several days, participating in Tinkuy 2017 Gathering of the Textile Arts. Sponsored by the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and Andean Textile Arts, Tinkuy celebrates weaving traditions from around the world. Spinners, dyers, weavers, and artisans from Laos to Afghanistan and places […]

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