Tag Archives: fiber arts

Flexible Schedule, Intensive Weaving Workshops and Studio Time, Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca Cultural Navigator can arrange and schedule intensive tapestry weaving workshops and independent studio time that fits into your travel schedule.  You learn from the Chavez Santiago family weavers in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico, with private or semi-private sessions.

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We are happy to offer you this opportunity to come to Teotitlan del Valle to learn from one of the most accomplished master weavers of the village.  The workshop can be scheduled as a private experience to suit your schedule.  Studio residencies are flexible and can be scheduled for as long as you wish to stay — one day, several days or several months.  This includes independent time at your own dedicated loom to work on your own projects.

Here is what we can offer you:

  • Weaving Workshop: Intensive beginner to intermediate level 4-day workshop at $585 USD per person.  This includes all wool and 4-6 hours of instruction daily. At the end of the workshop you will have completed a tapestry sampler about the size of a pillow cover or small wall-hanging.  You will make your own lodging, food and transportation arrangements.  Note: Weaving workshop may overlap with other participants.
  • Optional:  We can make all-inclusive arrangements for you when you register for Tapestry Weaving Workshop: Dancing on the Loom. 
  • Studio Time: Up to six-hours a day of studio time in the workshop at a dedicated loom. The cost is $100 a day.  This includes naturally dyed wool, plus coaching and instruction to weave more complex designs. Note: Studio time may overlap with other participants.
  • Long-Term Residencies:  If you would like to stay longer than one-week, contact us for special pricing.
  • Materials/Yarn for Purchase:  You may purchase additional naturally dyed locally sourced, hand-spun churro wool directly from the family.  The cost is $20 USD for 100 grams or 260 pesos for 100 grams.

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You can bypass the Intensive 5-day Weaving Workshop and go directly to studio time IF you are an experienced tapestry weaver or IF you have taken the beginner-intermediate workshop from the family at another time.

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If you are interested in making these arrangements, please contact Norma Hawthorne at Oaxaca Cultural Navigator.   We can set up the studio residency for as many days or weeks as you wish.  You would make all payments to reserve the workshop and studio arrangements with Oaxaca Cultural Navigator. We will send you a PayPal invoice for 1/2 the total cost with the remaining amount due 45 days before the workshop/residency begins.  You would need to specify the dates you prefer for the workshop and/or when you want the residency.

Oaxaca Natural Dye Secrets — 3-Day Fiber Arts Textile Workshop with Eric Chavez Santiago

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Natural Dye Workshop (c) Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC

Roll up your sleeves to learn the secrets of natural dyes. Oaxaca is famous for cochineal and indigo natural dyes, plus many others.

January 2014

          January 10, 11, 12, 2014  (arrive January 9) 

March 2014

March 13, 14, 15 (arrive March 12)

Indigenous Mexican weavers also work with pecan shells and leaves, and yellow fustic — a colorfast wood extract dye, which you will learn to prepare in this workshop.   They also collect moss and wild marigold, pomegranates, tree bark, wild cotton and murex snails to dye textiles, which you will better understand.

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You will:

  • gain an understanding of the properties of natural dye materials
  • learn new methods for extraction
  • discover innovative techniques for mordanting
  • work with the cochineal, nuts, indigo and fustic to dye and over-dye wool
  • achieve a wide range of glorious colors to reproduce at home
  • appreciate natural dye use for a healthier environment
  • take home a labeled sample card for reference
  • maximum 8 people for personal attention

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Your Instructor is Eric Chavez Santiago

Eric is one of the most knowledgeable textile resources in Mexico.  In his professional life, Eric is immersed in Oaxaca’s textile traditions and is affiliated with one of Mexico’s finest cultural arts museums.  A graduate of Oaxaca’s Anahuac University, Eric speaks fluent English, is a talented weaver and dyer, experienced instructor, and makes presentations throughout Mexico and worldwide.  He has developed over 100 shades of cochineal and uses innovative techniques for dyeing with indigo.

Eric has traveled to the United States regularly since 2006 to present Oaxaca’s textile traditions to museums, galleries, and universities, including UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, University of Notre Dame Snite Museum of Art, University of California at Santa Cruz, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, San Jose, California Quilt and Textile Museum, American Tapestry Alliance, and The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.

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Cost and Location

The workshop will be held in the weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.  It includes 3 nights lodging, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners, all instruction, materials, samples, workbook and an indigo dyed scarf that you will make yourself.

  •  $595 per person double occupancy with shared bath
  •  $675 per person single occupancy with private bath
  • Trailing spouse option:  Add $155 (food/lodging only, no workshop)
  •  Add-on Zapotec cooking class, Monday, January 13 or Thursday, March 13: $125 per person (includes lodging the night before, dinner, breakfast, lunch, all instruction and recipe booklet)
  • Add-on 4-day tapestry weaving workshop from $895 (includes 4 nights, all breakfasts, dinners, weaving handbook). Click link for schedules.

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Reserve your space with a 50% deposit. The balance is due on December 1, 2013.  The workshop includes:  three days of hands-on instruction, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily for a total of 15 hours, 2 nights lodging, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, all materials and supplies, a natural dye handbook with recipes, and labeled sample cards to take with you.

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Refunds and Cancellations

Please understand that we make arrangements months in advance of the program. Our hosts often require deposits or payments in full to guarantee reservations. If cancellation is necessary, please notify us in writing by email. No refunds are possible after 45 days before the workshop start date; however, we will make every possible effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute. If you cancel on or before 45 days before the workshop start date,  we will refund 50% of your deposit. We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since unforeseen circumstances are possible.

Ready to Register? Tell Norma at normahawthorne@mac.com Have Questions? Ask Norma at normahawthorne@mac.com  and we will send you a PayPal invoice.

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Penland Travel Adventures: Exploring the Textile Traditions of Oaxaca

November 4-10, 2013 — 6 nights, 7 days of cultural immersion and discovery!  Click Here for Registration Form. Spaces open with full payment.

Questions? Call Norma Hawthorne at 919-274-6194 or send an email  normahawthorne@mac.com 

Penland School of Crafts, an international center for craft education located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was founded on the principles and values of preserving and promulgating the rich textile traditions of local weaving culture. In keeping with these roots, we offer you a week-long cultural exchange and immersion to explore the indigenous textile world of Oaxaca, Mexico. Here the art and craft of weaving has been embedded in the culture for centuries. More than body covering, weaving reflects community and mirrors ancient designs adapted from the natural and physical environment. Vintage Garment 2b Juchitan Girl

The mountain ranges of Oaxaca state are scattered with traditional villages where women still weave using back-strap looms just as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. They create amazing textiles adorned with animal figures, plant life and sea creatures or patterns derived from the spiritual world. The woven textiles become shirts, blouses, dresses, scarves, shawls, table linens and floor rugs. The cotton and wool might be prepared with local natural dyes from wild marigold, pecan nuts, indigo or cochineal. Every piece has a back-story and is a testimony to the creativity and beauty that is Oaxaca today. We invite you to become a part of this exciting, personalized program. 

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During our week together, you will

  • discover (or return to rediscover) the 16th century Spanish colonial city of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • meet textile experts, curators, museum directors and weavers
  • participate in a hands-on indigo dye workshop to create a shibori textile of your own design
  • create a nuno felted wool scarf on silk during a hands-on felt fashion workshop with one of Oaxaca’s leading designers
  • explore the famed Zapotec archeological site of Monte Alban with an expert English-speaking guide
  • sample local cuisine during a cooking class with a Rick Bayless-trained Zapotec teacher in her village kitchen
  • dine at some of Oaxaca’s greatest restaurants and meet the chefs
  • see Oaxaca like an insider through the eyes of Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator

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Itinerary

Day 1: Monday, November 4, 2013. Participants will travel independently from their home city and arrive at the Oaxaca, Mexico, international airport. If you come directly from Houston, you will clear customs and immigration in Oaxaca. If you connect through Mexico City, you will clear customs and immigration there before boarding your connecting flight to Oaxaca. We will send you a complete travel guide one month before the program date. When you give us your flight arrival information, we will arrange private transportation to meet you at the airport and bring you a short distance to our comfortable Oaxaca city hotel. If you arrive in time, meet us in the lobby at 8:00 p.m. for a light supper, if you wish. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Oaxaca.

Day 2: Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Introduction to the textile traditions of Oaxaca. After breakfast, tour the Museo Textil de Oaxaca with education director Eric Chavez Santiago, discuss the collection and textile preservation techniques. We have invited special guests to demonstrate back-strap loom weaving techniques and to present a private show. Then, we will walk down the street and have a welcome lunch at a local, highly-rated organic restaurant that prepares traditional Oaxaca food with flair. After lunch, meet and talk with a private collector and textile curator. Overnight in Oaxaca. Dinner on your own. (B, L)

Day 3: Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Just outside of Oaxaca city lays the stunning and important Zapotec archeological site of Monte Alban. The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago considers Monte Alban to be the finest example of social and government organization in Mesoamerica. Sturdy walking shoes and walking sticks encouraged! We will have a private, guided visit with one of Oaxaca’s most knowledgeable guides. Snack in the Monte Alban sky café. Return to Oaxaca for lunch on your own. Depart for an overnight in the rug weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle. Group dinner. (B, D)

Day 4: Thursday, November 7, 2013. After breakfast, we will visit the tapestry weaving workshop of Federico Chavez Sosa, master weaver. Federico will demonstrate the two-harness loom introduced by the Spanish in 1521. Then, we will roll up our sleeves to participate in an Indigo Dye Workshop. We will enjoy a delicious group lunch prepared by one of the finest village cooks in the village. Afternoon on your own to meander and explore this historic site that blends Zapotec and Spanish culture. Group Dinner. Overnight in Teotitlan del Valle. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Friday, November 8, 2013. After breakfast, we will meet Reyna, one of Oaxaca’s famed cooking teachers for a cooking class in her outdoor kitchen located just around the corner from our B&B. She will take us on a walking tour of the village market where we will shop for fresh ingredients, then work together with her guidance to prepare a delicious traditional repast that includes, of course, one of Oaxaca’s famous mole dishes and a mezcal tasting. After lunch, we will depart for Oaxaca where we will spend the night. Dinner on your own. (B, L)

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Day 6: Saturday, November 9, 2013. Today we will join noted international fiber textile artist Maddalena in her Oaxaca studio to make a scarf of your own design using the nuno felting technique of wool on silk. In keeping with our commitment to sustainable development, we only use natural dyes which are made from local sources. Maddalena has been working with indigenous women in Oaxaca and Chiapas states to preserve natural dye traditions for many years. Lunch in Oaxaca. Return to Oaxaca for a gala grand finale group dinner. Overnight in Oaxaca. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Depart, Sunday, November 10, 2013. We will provide private van or taxi transportation from our Oaxaca hotel to the airport based upon your departure schedule.

$3,185 per person double occupancy. $3,485 for a single supplement. Includes $500 per person tax-deductible gift to Penland School of Crafts.

Register Today. Have Questions? Ask Norma Hawthorne at normahawthorne@mac.com or call 919-274-6194

Ready to Register?

Click Here for Registration Form.

About Norma Hawthorne. Norma started Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC in 2006 and began offering weaving and natural dyeing workshops in the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, where she now lives part of the year. Soon after, she expanded workshop offerings to include women’s creating writing, yoga, photography, and other forms of textile and fiber arts programs. In 2011, she retired from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she raised $23 million for the School of Nursing, and directed the School’s marketing and communications. Before that, she had a 25-year career in higher education continuing education and marketing at Indiana University, The University of Virginia, and The George Washington University. Norma holds the B.A. in history from California State University at Northridge and the M.S. from The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. A lover of indigenous textiles, Norma started weaving with naturally dyed wool in San Francisco, collected Amish Folk Art textiles which she recently donated to the Indiana State Museum, owned and operated a gourmet cookware shop and cooking school, and fell in love with Oaxaca arts and artisans when she first visited there in 2005. See Norma’s resume.

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About Eric Chavez Santiago. Eric has worked to preserve Oaxaca’s textile traditions for most of his adult life.  A graduate of Oaxaca’s Anahuac University, Eric speaks fluent English, is a talented weaver and dyer in his own right, is an experienced instructor.  Eric has traveled throughout the State of Oaxaca to create documentary videos that include interviews with seasoned weavers and the new generation of young weavers committed to carrying the traditions forward. He is currently working on a documentary to record and preserve the Mexican tradition of Spanish needle lace. Eric has traveled to the United States regularly since 2006 to present Oaxaca’s textile traditions to museums, galleries, and universities, including UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, University of Notre Dame Snite Museum of Art, University of California at Santa Cruz, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, San Jose, California Quilt and Textile Museum, American Tapestry Alliance, and The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. He is one of the most knowledgeable textile resources in Mexico.

ReynaAmarilloMetate2 ReynaSaladIngred Lodging/Accommodations. We have selected highly rated, elegant, upscale accommodations for you in Oaxaca city where we will spend four nights at Casa Las Bugambilias B&B.  We will also spend two nights at family owned and operated Casa Elena B&B or Las Granadas B&B in Teotitlan del Valle to give you a flavor of village life. 

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Cost: The basic cost for the trip is $3,185. USD. This includes six nights lodging shared occupancy with private bath, six breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners, transportation to/from airport and activities as noted in the itinerary, site entry fees, all instruction, and a $500 tax-deductible contribution to Penland School of Crafts.

The cost does NOT include airfare and related taxes, tips/gratuities, travel insurance, liquor/alcoholic beverages, and several meals as specified in the itinerary. If you want travel insurance, please let us know and we will quote you a cost.

Base Cost: Shared double room with private bath; $3,185. 

Option 2: Single Supplement, private room with private bath; $3,485.

Please make your deposit check payable to Norma Hawthorne, OCN-LLC and mail to Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, 110 Blue Heron Farm Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or tell us you want to pay by Credit Card and we will send you a PayPal invoice via email.  PayPal transactions are online, safe and secure.

See the Registration Form for complete details.

Dolores with Shadows Doug_03.2 DSC_0081.JPG Reservations and Cancellations. Please understand that we make lodging and transportation arrangements months in advance of the program. Our hosts often require deposits or payments in full to guarantee reservations. If cancellation is necessary, please notify us in writing by email. After September 1, no refunds are possible; however, we will make every possible effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute. If you cancel on or before September 1, we will refund 50% of your deposit. We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since unforeseen circumstances are possible.

Ready to Register? Tell Norma at normahawthorne@mac.com Have Questions? Ask Norma at normahawthorne@mac.com  or call Norma at 919-274-6194.

This program is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC in cooperation with Penland School of Crafts. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary and make substitutions as necessary.

A Word About How to Get There Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, U.S.A., has offered arts workshops and cultural immersion experiences in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 2006. Many participants often travel independently to reach Oaxaca on a direct flight from the gateway city of Houston, Texas, on United Airlines. Other major U.S. airlines connect to AeroMexico in Mexico City, which offers several flights a day to Oaxaca. Delta operates a Code Share with AeroMexico. The international airport at Oaxaca is new, safe and clean, as is the Mexico City airport. Our trusted Oaxaca airport pick-up service will personally greet you as you depart from baggage claim. Note: Tips may be given to your local guides, instructors, and service providers throughout the trip. The recommended tip is 50 pesos per day for each provider per person. Be sure to collect your belongings from your room and check the Safety Deposit Box. Have your Passport, Mexico Exit Visa, and Plane Tickets ready! Please Note: This is a working itinerary, is subject to change and may be modified as we confirm final details for the trip. Be assured that any changes made will only enhance the program and add to your total experience. Thank you for your understanding!

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Weaving Workshop: Dancing on the Loom, August 2-8, 2013

Imagine! A 4-day hands-on weaving workshop in Teotitlan del Valle, plus a 1-day cooking class, for a total of 5 days and 6 nights!   For beginners and experienced textile and fiber artists and designers, or anyone who wants to know more about tapestry weaving. 

Includes 22 hours of instruction, 6 nights lodging, 6 breakfasts, AND a traditional Zapotec cooking class with lunch.  Perfect for fiber artists, weavers, knitters, natural dye aficionados, artists, teachers.  A great shared experience for parents and children.

  • Arrive Friday, August 2 —  participate in the weaving workshop from Saturday, August 3 through Tuesday, August 6, with master weaver Federico Chavez Sosa and his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas.

Then, take a traditional Zapotec cooking class with one of Oaxaca’s premiere cooking teachers — fun, flavorful and hands-on!

  • Cooking Class, Wednesday, August 7.
  • Depart Thursday, August 8.
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  • The workshop was an incredible program. I have enjoyed the process! Thank you very much for your hospitality and for sharing your talent, knowledge and wonderful teaching.  I would recommend this program to any friend.  This has been an unforgettable week.” –Giovanna Balarezo, New York City

Tuition is $995 per person, including lodging (double occupancy), most meals, and cooking class.  Workshop is limited to 6 participants. For a single room with private bath, add $150 for a total of $1,145.

Dancing on the Loom” was a marvelous experience; not only did I learn the essentials of weaving and dyeing, but I have the opportunity to see people engaging in the building of a sustainable production.” — Akilah Zuberi, Philadelphia

Not only will you learn the way Zapotecs have been weaving for over 500 years, and dyeing for millenia, you will be experiencing village life through a very unique and personal perspective.

The Chavez Santiago Family Weavers has traveled and exhibited throughout the United States, are in the permanent collections of galleries, museums and artists, including the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. They have exhibited and lectured widely, including at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago), the San Jose (CA) Quilt and Textile Museum, the American Tapestry Alliance, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Purdue University, and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Who Should Attend: Weavers, artists, knitters, textile designers, teachers, university students, anyone interested in weaving and natural dyeing techniques, and sustaining indigenous art forms using traditional methods.

Level of Experience Necessary: These are small group, hands-on workshops that can accommodate varying levels of ability, from beginner to advanced student. Because the size of each group is limited, you will receive individualized instruction and coaching from the master weaving family of Federico Chavez Sosa. More experienced weavers can create more complex projects.

Participants will have a personal loom for the session. The loom will be dressed (warped) and ready for you to begin weaving upon arrival. Materials include your choice of naturally dyed wool yarn from which you will weave a sampler textile that can be used as a wall hanging, pillow cover, or form the body of a purse or shoulder bag. You will select the wool from colors dyed with pomegranates, pecans, mosses, indigo, and cochineal.  Our participants have created amazing textiles that range from 18 inches to 30 inches in length.

What You Will Learn:

  • Traditional Zapotec weaving techniques, patterns and motifs that produce squares, stripes, diagonals, circles and color gradations;
  • Use of the two-harness pedal loom and shuttles;
  • Practice weaving simple or more complex patterns, depending upon your level of experience;
  • The cultural history of rug weaving in Teotitlan, ancient wool preparation techniques, natural dyeing methods, and how to discern synthetic dye use
  • Participate in natural dyeing demonstrations to see how the range and variety of color comes from native plant materials;
  • Complete a finished textile: cut the sample tapestry from the loom, clean the wool tapestry, twist and tie the fringes; and
  • Work under the expert guidance of weavers who have created extraordinary textiles for generations.

Day 1:  Arrive and settle in to your Bed and Breakfast lodge. Light supper included.

Weaving Workshop: Days 2-5, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Day 2: Arrive at the Chavez Santiago Family Weavers for an orientation and demonstration of Zapotec weaving patterns and techniques to create squares, stripes, diagonals and circles. Choose your loom and select the colors for your tapestry. Prepare the bobbins. Begin your project. (Breakfast and dinner included.  Lunch on your own.)

Days 3-4-5: Participate in demonstrations and then practice using the two-harness pedal loom using a variety of shuttles to make more complex patterns and greater variety of colors, experiment with using the equipment on your own, see dyeing demonstration using cochineal, indigo, and wild marigold (pericone). Learn how to count threads to create a circle or square within the overall design. Finish off your piece by cutting it off the loom, rolling and tying fringes.

Day 6:  After breakfast, walk around the block to the kitchen of the famed cooking teacher Reyna Mendoza Ruiz.  You’ll go to the market with her, select the food you will prepare, join her in her kitchen for all the preparations, then enjoy what you have cooked for comida!

Day 7:  Depart for the airport and home after breakfast, or extend your stay in Teotitlan del Valle or Oaxaca city.

What Is Included:

  • All weaving equipment and supplies to create a finished wool tapestry sampler that is approximately 18” wide by 24” long
  • 22+ hours of supervised instruction in English
  • An educational reference notebook of workshop materials
  • 6 nights lodging (double occupancy) with daily breakfast in Teotitlan del Valle at family-operated posada/bed and breakfast within easy walking distance of the weaving studio

Cost for the 6 Night/7-Day Program is $995 USD per person, double occupancy.  Add $150 for single room with private bath, for $1,145.

Option 1:  Add-on pre- or post-workshop nights.  $55 per night per person in Teotitlan del Valle.  $125 per night per person per night in Oaxaca city  (includes breakfast).

How to Register: A $500 USD deposit is required to reserve your space.  Tell us you are ready to register and we will send you a PayPal invoice.  Payment is only accepted with PayPal.

Final payment of the balance is due 45 days before the start day of the workshop. If the final balance is not paid by then, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as cancelled and no refunds are offered. Any registrations made within 60 days of the workshop start date must be paid in full at the time of registration.

Cancellations and Refunds

If cancellation is necessary, deposits are refundable, as follows:cancellations must be made in writing by email.

Deposits may be refunded:

  • up to 60 days before the workshop start date, 50% of the deposit will be refunded.
  • After that, deposits are not refundable.
  • If cancellation is necessary, you may apply the deposit to a future workshop scheduled in the same calendar year or transfer your registration to another person.
  • We reserve the right to cancel or reschedule workshops, in which case you may choose a 100% refund or to apply the tuition to a future workshop.

We prefer payment with PayPal.  See “Register Today” for form and procedures.  We will send you a PayPal invoice when you tell us you are ready to register.

What Is NOT Included:

  • Transportation in/to Mexico, Oaxaca and Teotitlan
  • Local transportation costs (bus, taxi, collectivo)
  • Gratuities and fees
  • Trip insurance, medical expenses, hospitalization, and other fees
  • Lunches and dinners (unless noted in the itinerary), snacks, liquor/alcoholic beverages
  • Optional afternoon side trips and excursions

Upon registration for the workshop, we will provide you with:

  • Transportation options to get from the Oaxaca airport to the city and to Teotitlan del Valle and your bed and breakfast
  • A self-guided tour map of Teotitlan del Valle
  • How to get from the airport to the village
  • A seasonal packing list, and travel tips to make your journey easier and fun

Note: Zapotec weavers use the pedal loom, which they stand at to work. People who have difficulty standing for any period of time, or who have back problems are discouraged from attending. Many of Teotitlan’s streets and alleyways are cobblestone and/or dirt, with many uneven surfaces. It is a several block walk between lodging options and the weaving workshop. Please bring sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.

Documentation

U.S. Citizens traveling to Mexico are required to carry a current passport, valid for at least three months after your re-entry to the U.S. It is your responsibility to obtain proper documentation. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, contact the Mexican embassy, consulate or national airline of Mexico for entry requirements.

Trip Insurance

Please consider purchasing travel insurance.  We can arrange to purchase trip insurance for you and include this in your final statement.  Let us know if you would like a quote.  The price is based on your age and length of stay in Mexico.  In the event of an emergency or natural disaster caused beyond our control, trip insurance will cover any unexpected expenses.

Questions? Contact oaxacaculture@me.com

Natural Dyes Making Comeback in Oaxaca

A special feature of our upcoming Felted Fashion Workshop that starts February 2 is the day we will spend with Eric Chavez Santiago at his family home in Teotitlan del Valle.  Eric, who is the director of education at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, will work with us to dye the 25 pounds of merino wool I am bringing from the U.S. using the traditional dye sources from Oaxaca, such as cochineal, indigo, moss, wild marigold, pomegranate, pecan shells and leaves.

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He will be teaching us about how to make the dye bath and ways to achieve a range of colors by dyeing the wool and then dyeing it again with a second color.  The depth of color often depends on the shade of the natural wool, too.

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Note:  We have 2 spaces left in the Felted Fashion Workshop and we are offering a 2-day natural dye workshop on Jan. 21-22, with room for a few more people.  Contact Norma Hawthorne to register.

A comprehensive discussion about natural dyes from MAIWA came up on their blog today.  It features natural dye history and how natural dyes are used around the world today.  An excellent read!

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Working with natural dyes requires commitment to sustainability, expertise, and money.  Natural dyes are much more expensive — especially cochineal and indigo — than are chemical/commercial dyes.  The process is at least twice as long.

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In Teotitlan del Valle, painter Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez mixes his paints using natural dyes and beeswax.  The experiment to renew this resource and use it for creativity endures.

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And the finished products are magnificent!

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