Tag Archives: NC

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.

‘Weaving a Curve’ Movie Just Accepted to 100 Mile Film Series–Short Shorts

ChathamArts in Pittsboro, North Carolina, holds a series of documentary film screenings that are produced and directed by people who live within 100 miles of the “epicenter” — Big Culture in a Tiny Town!  That would be:  Pittsboro.  I submitted our short film (just under 6 minutes) to the Short Shorts screening and we were accepted!  The series coordinator is Linda Booker, a distinguished NC documentary filmmaker.

The screening is Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 7:30 p.m. at the Fearrington Barn, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, NC.  You can find out more on the ChathamArts website www.chathamarts.org This will be the first time the film will be shown on the big screen.

The film tells the story of Federico Chavez Sosa, master weaver of Teotitlan del Valle, how he learned to weave and perfect making the curve using the two-pedal, two harness tapestry loom introduced by the Spaniards in 1521.  Federico talks about what it means to him to be a weaver, combining the aesthetic and spiritual, the past and the present.  In Spanish with English subtitles.

I wrote, produced and directed the film with my friend Eric Chavez Santiago who shares billing with me.  Eric is the director of education at the textile museum in Oaxaca, and took the documentary filmmaking workshop with me in his village of Teotitlan del Valle last February.  We both thought it would be a useful skill to know, and this has proven correct.  Eric has gone on to make short documentaries of aging weavers, dyers, and spinners in remote villages of Oaxaca.  I am now making a documentary at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing about an innovative nursing research project that is looking into hunger and fullness feeding cues that infants and toddlers give to their parents and caregivers.  If the cues are not recognized or are ignored, it is believed that this can result in early childhood obesity which could then lead to childhood type 2 diabetes.

Erica Rothman, our workshop instructor, repeatedly said that the goal of our documentary filmmaking workshop was to provide the skills to enable people to go back to their own communities and tell their unique stories through film.  For me and Eric, I think we achieved this goal.

The next Oaxaca Filmmaking Workshop: Visual Storytelling is scheduled for February 19-26, 2010.  If you are interested in attending, see the blog post for all the details or write me at normahawthorne@mac.com

Fall 2008: Exhibitions, Weaving & Dyeing Workshops

It will be a busy time for Eric Chavez and his sister Janet when they return to the U.S. in October 2008. They will be demonstrating natural dyeing techniques at Cloth Fiber Workshop in Asheville, NC, on the evening of Thursday, October 2.  They will explore cochineal, moss, and pomegranate and the color variations achieved using alum and baking soda. Then, there is a possibility for them to present dyeing techniques using cochineal at a weaving class already scheduled at Penland School of Crafts after that. Penland has already discussed inviting them to teach a two week workshop in summer 2009.

I have just completed writing a Grassroots Grant in partnership with the Arts Incubator in Siler City, NC, to the Chatham Arts Council, for Eric and Janet to do a series of arts in education teacher in-service trainings, classroom demonstrations, artist workshops and public exhibitions with demonstrations in Pittsboro and Siler City, NC, from October 15-26. Then, Eric and Janet will travel to South Bend, Indiana, where they have been invited by the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame to participate in their Day of the Dead program in early November. At Notre Dame, they will construct an altar that represents the village of Teotitlan del Valle and Oaxaca, and interpret it for this exhibition. The Snite Museum is purchasing one of the Chavez rugs woven by Eric’s father, Federico, in their permanent collection. I’ll be writing more about this, but wanted to give you advanced notice so you can attend an event if your schedule permits.

Youth Arts Festival: Greenville, NC — Exhibition & Sale of Oaxaca Rugs on April 5, 2008

This is the second year that East Carolina University has invited Eric Chavez Santiago to exhibit at the Youth Arts Festival in Greenville, NC. He will be demonstrating weaving and natural dyeing techniques, too. The exhibition and sale will be held on-campus all day on Saturday, April 5. Eric and Elsa packed the car this morning and are driving from Chapel Hill to Greenville, which will take a couple of hours. Tonight there is a special dinner for exhibitors and they are excited about attending. They are taking about 40 rugs with them and will offer these for sale, along with hand-loomed shawls, embroidered blouses, baskets woven with agave and palm leaves, handwoven and naturally dyed decorative pillows, and a few wonderful handbags.

Decorative Pillow Covers