The Name Game, or The Road to Marrakesh

Morocco

What’s in a Name? Naming books is hard. I think it used to be easier, back in the day when people walked into bookstores and scanned their eyes over actual books, and could go to their section of choice, see the sizes and cover designs and pick up and flip through ones that looked interesting. […]

Hands That Tell the Story

HandTellsStory

Navajo weaver Irene Clark sits before her loom, her fingers gently weaving weft through warp, beating the thread with a comb that belonged to her mother. As she shares her life with us, pointing to photographs of rugs she’s woven over the decades, piles of wool dyed with lichen and sage, battens made by her […]

China, Indigo, Textiles, and Eventually, a Book

Indigo

I’ve been told by a revered marketing guru that it’s not a good idea to write about a book a year and a half before it’s published, and before it even has a title. So I’m not going to write about that book which has no name. But I must share a slice of the […]

A Winning Tradition

Winning Tradition

Exactly one year ago, after learning that two Thrums Books publications had won Benjamin Franklin Book Awards given by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), I wrote, “It’s an honor, and fun, to have the fancy gold and silver stickers and the nifty crystal trophies. But it is the richness of our connection to the artisans whose stories we […]

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 […]

Looking for Textiles in Havana

textiles in havana

Here in Havana My extended family and I (all fifteen of us) spent Christmas in Cuba. We stayed in random Airbnb rooms in Havana’s old Centro neighborhood, in once-grand shabby houses where the amenities were sparse but the people were wonderful. A couple of our hostesses made daily breakfast—eggs, black beans, fruit (bring your own hot […]

Old Year, New Year, and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

Old year New Year

Old Year 2016 was a wonderful year for Thrums Books. Two of our books won Gold (Maya Threads) and Silver (Traditional Weavers of Guatemala) medals in the Multicultural category of the Benjamin Franklin Awards given by the Independent Book Publishers Association. We attended the always informative and inspiring Weave a Real Peace conference in Santa Fe in […]

Gifts from Beyond Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Exactly three years ago, Thrums Books released Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu. It was such a pleasure working with the author, Libby Van Buskirk, who had deeply researched the folk tales and folkways of the Peruvian highlands during her many years of travel in that country. And the illustrator, Angel Callañaupa Alvarez, is a […]

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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