It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we met textile artist Andrea Donnelly. My mind is calculating back to when Eric Chavez Santiago and his father Federico Chavez Sosa first came to the States. October 2006. They taught a master class and natural dye workshop at the North Carolina State University College of Textiles and Design. That’s when they met Andrea, who was completing her undergraduate education and looking to expand her repertoire.
The following summer 2007 Andrea came to Teotitlan del Valle for an intensive individualized learning program that she arranged directly with the family. She worked alongside Eric and Federico to learn more about the natural dyeing process. Gathering the plant materials and processing them into dye baths that would yield incredible colors. Traveling up into the mountain highlands rain forest to collect the moss. Walking the village to harvest the pecans. Picking the wild marigolds. Crushing the cochineal bugs and indigo with mortar and pestle.
After that summer, Andrea went to Penland to experiment with metal forging. She was applying to graduate school and landed in Richmond, Virginia, where she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an MFA.
Now, she has opened a workshop studio in Richmond, where she is weaving glorious, one-of-a-kind textiles, scarves and shawls, that are hand-painted under the label, “Little Fool Textiles.” You can find her at http://littlefooltextiles.blogspot.com