Tag Archives: Federico Chavez Sosa

Dos Perros, Durham, NC, Mexican Restaurant Oaxaca Rug Decor

Durham, NC is the destination for dining, named among the top 10 locales in the U.S. for great restaurants and urban redesign.  The downtown is renewed, gentrified and electrified.  It is more than charming.  It is full of spunk and sizzle.  Turn the corner, discover another great dining room and bar with kick-A ambience. One of my favorite Durham eateries is Dos Perros–A Mexican Place. I’ve written about their fresh mango cayenne margaritas and tasty, reasonably priced wine list and knock-your-socks-off pozole with chicken and salsa verde.

 

Federico Chavez Sosa at his loom

 

 

Yesterday, I dropped in for a visit with Charlie (owner) and Raul (manager) who selected four fantastic hand-woven and naturally dyed wool rugs made by our friend Federico Chavez Sosa for permanent display on the walls of the restaurant.  The rugs are beautiful and add a cozy, authentic decor to the brick walls of the renovated historic building that houses the dining spot. Federico is thrilled, too.  There have not been as many visitors to Oaxaca since the fear of drug violence has kept Americans and Canadians from traveling south.   So, we are grateful to Charlie and Raul for wanting to support Federico and his family while adding this special ambience to the Dos Perros restaurant decor.


Woven Lives/Vidas Entretejidas Movie Trailer — Public Premiere Coming April 23, 2011

Spools of naturally-dyed wool wait for the loom

Carolyn Kallenborn wrote to me today about the progress she is making to distribute the final cut of her film about Oaxaca weavers, “Woven Lives/Vidas Entretejidos.”  I want to share her update with you and provide the link to the movie trailer on YouTube.  The film features six weavers, one of whom is our dear friend Federico Chavez Sosa (Galeria Fe y Lola, Av. 5 de Mayo #408, Centro Historico, Oaxaca).

“So.. it is all getting very very close – the graphics for the DVD jacket went out for printing today, final proofreading of the subtitles have to happen before I go to bed tonight, the final video files are in Indiana being prepped for duplication… in two weeks I should have 2000 copies of the 1 hour and 16 minute movie – with both Spanish and English soundtrack and amazingly beautiful visuals and music to accompany it.

I hope you can take two minutes to watch the movie trailer on  You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxFtx0eSPqI
Its best if it is viewed on a full screen.  Feel free to pass it along to others.

Many thanks to the whole crew who worked on this project. It is amazing to see it coming to life!!  I hope you enjoy it!”

Carolyn Kallenborn
www.wovenlivesoaxaca.com
www.vidasentretejidas.com

Upcoming Events:

Cast and Crew Sneak Preview
Sunday March 6th

In Spanish with English subtitles, Cardinal Bar, 6:30 p.m., Madison, Wisconsin, food and dance to follow

Public Premier
Saturday April 23rd

In English with Spanish subtitles, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Union South, 6:30 p.m., dance and cash bar to follow

Shopping Oaxaca: Galeria Lola y Fe

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Around the corner from the Santo Domingo Church on Ave. Cinco de May #408 is the new gallery shop opened by my friends Federico Chavez Sosa and his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas.  Her nickname is Lola and his is Fe!  They weave the most spectacular tapetes (rugs) that I have talked about and featured on my blog and website for the past several years.  This is a new adventure for the family.  They have been based in Teotitlan del Valle their entire lives, where they live, work and sell their rugs from their home on Francisco I. Madero #55.  Now, their dream to have a spot in the city that is more accessible to visitors is realized.

They work only in natural dyes, buying the hand carded and spun churro wool from friends in the Oaxaca highland town of Chichicapam.  They wash the wool by hand and prepare it in skein for dyeing.  Then, they create the glorious, vibrant colors using the natural, organic materials from the cochineal bug and plants:  wild marigold, indigo, pecan leaves and shells, pomegranates, lichens and moss.

In addition to the rugs, wall hangings and table coverings, you will find handbags, folk art and other collectibles.

There are many rug vendors in Oaxaca, but few have the artistic mastery of this weaving family.  Designs range from contemporary to traditional, and many rugs incorporate the Zapotec motifs from the archeological sites of Mitla and Monte Alban.  There is depth and imagination that you will find no where else.

It is important to emphasize that chemical dyes used by most other weavers are toxic and put the people who use them at risk for cancer and respiratory illness.  Using natural dyes takes time, skill and greater expense.  Supporting weavers who use authentic natural dyes is a way to sustain the environment, promote good health, and reintroduce indigenous dyeing techniques.

Galeria Lola y Fe has been open less than a week.  It is inside a lovely courtyard with a bubbling fountain, in a space shared by the Gestalt Institute.  To get there, you enter into the courtyard and it is on your immediate left.  The gallery is not visible from the street, so you have to venture inside the courtyard, past the shop that sells fabrics from Mitla.  It is a few doors down from my other favorite gallery, El Nahual.

You can see the documentary I made about this work on YouTube:  Weaving a Curve Movie

To contact Lola y Fe, telephone (951) 524-4078.  Hours vary.

Or (951) 1302481 (son Eric Chavez Santiago, director of education, Museo Textil de Oaxaca)

El Dio del Maize: Corn God of Mexico–Rug Weaving

This afternoon Federico Chavez Sosa completed this extraordinary handwoven 100% wool rug created with natural dyes and cut it from his loom.  It is a complex design that requires special skill to execute the curves and circles to perfection.  The piece measures 32″ x 57″ and is $500 USD. Dyes are from the cochineal bug, pomegranates, wild marigold and the natural color of sheep wool. Federico is a master weaver from the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.   Since I am in Teotitlan now, I would be glad to bring it back for you and ship it from North Carolina after August 1.  We can arrange payment with PayPal.

Weaving a Curve: A Documentary Short Film

Eric Chavez Sosa and I made this six minute short documentary film during the January 31-February 6 workshop held by Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC in Teotitlan del Valle.  It was our first film making collaboration and we were definitely novices!   Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UHCPpaap3E

“Weaving a Curve” featuring master weaver Federico Chavez Sosa.  He talks about the techniques he learned from his father and another village master who taught him to weave in the style of Francisco Toledo.  At the age of 17, Federico was an expert weaver.  To weave a curve and perfect the technique requires discipline and practice.  He remembers taking the yarn out and trying again, and again, and again.  Federico loves to weave, and the process for him is both relaxing and fun.  He also explains how he uses natural dyes to prepare the wool, another sign of a master weaver.  As the camera pans the village and the sacred Zapotec site of mount Picacho, Federico talks about the meaning of weaving for him personally and how satisfying it is when his work is appreciated by collectors.   For Federico, mastery means the blending of traditional and contemporary designs, the true mark of an artist, and the timeless quality of linking past with future.

Eric and I didn’t have time to finish this piece — it is in Spanish without subtitles.  So, please forgive us and enjoy the visuals if you don’t completely understand the language.  Maybe someday soon, we’ll add the subtitles!

I also want to acknowledge the mastery of our workshop instructors, Erica Rothman of Nighlight Productions, Durham, NC, and Mikel Barton, also of Durham.  They were fabuloso!

The process:  for five days were were immersed in a learning laboratory experience in the village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.  We after two days of classroom instruction and watching examples of documentary footage, we took to the cameras to practice interview techniques and shooting b-roll.  We had 60 minutes of tape to use with the goal of producing a 3-5 minute finished video.  Unfortunately for us, we used about 20 minutes to practice shooting b-roll which turned out mostly to be sunrise and clouds.  You can see a snippet in our opening scene.