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See-Do-Learn Travel Programs
Workshops, Retreats, Residencies. We offer hands-on, in-depth cultural immersion experiences in small groups, limited to 10 people. You develop skills and explore your creativity with lots of personal attention. We pride ourselves on giving you affordable experiences. Ask us about customized programs individually tailored or for groups.
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Tag Archives: weaving
Fringe is a common thread for knitters, weavers, sewers and textile artists around the world. It’s a metaphor for finishing the edge, binding off, completion and embellishment.
Here’s what Jess wrote in Fringe Association, a blog for knitters.
Jess Schreibstein came to Oaxaca for a wedding in May. She wanted to experience something special beyond the wedding celebration. So she contacted us about taking a four-day Oaxaca Weaving Workshop: Dancing on the Loom with Federico Chavez Sosa and his wife, Lola, in Teotitlan del Valle.
A writer, artist, photographer, cook and founder of the D.C. Food Swap, Jess asked for customized dates that would fit into her travel schedule. We were happy to make this arrangement for her that included lodging and meals at a local guesthouse.
Here’s what Jess wrote to me about her experience:
I want to thank you personally for organizing such a wonderful trip to Teotitlan and my workshop with Federico. It was one of the richest weeks of my life, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity that you provided. Thank you!
If you would like a customized weaving workshop to fit into your travel schedule, please contact us!
Today was the first of two Sundays when the Zapotec village of San Juan Guelavia holds its annual basket fair. Next Sunday, February 2, is the last day. They open in the compact zocalo at 9 a.m. By the time we got there, close to noon, there wasn’t much left. Before I could say basket, two that caught my eye were snatched up from under my outstretched arm.
The bamboo used to make the baskets is picked young and green, much easier to manipulate. Then, it is washed and stripped. After the basket is complete, the sturdy handles are wrapped with palm leaves. Most of the Zapotec women in the central valleys of Oaxaca prefer these baskets for daily shopping use. The handle fits easily over the crook of the elbow, is smooth and comfortable.
Both men and women are basket weavers. They are also makers of corn husk flowers, lamp shades, bird cages, decorative woven bottle coverings, and traditional storage baskets for maize.
Some of the workmanship is so fine, one wonders how fingers can weave the course strips of bamboo, let alone strip the cane and prepare it for the weaving process. The basket I bought is above, left, held by the weaver who made it. He was happy and so was I.
Basketmaking in San Juan Guelavia, Oaxaca is a craft in decline and I have included this link to an academic paper that references San Juan Guelavia and their struggle to keep this craft tradition alive.
I hope you get to the Feria (fair) next Sunday. I paid 140 pesos for a beautiful handmade basket, quite large. That’s about $11 USD. A day’s wage here in Oaxaca. Who knows how long it took to make! Looks like more than a day to me. A basket this size for sale at the Tlacolula market would cost double the price, maybe more, and still a bargain at that!
In addition to the baskets, there is lots of home-style cooked food like quesadillas, tamales, and hot steamed corn-on-the-cob. Come and linger.
Where to Find San Juan Guelavia: From Oaxaca City, take any bus or colectivo taxi heading to Tlacolula or Mitla. Get off at the San Juan Guelavia crossroads (which is about 1/2 mile before you get to Teotitlan del Valle, and maybe five miles beyond El Tule). There are village taxis and tuk-tuks that will take you along the beautiful curving road that leads to the village, set about three miles off the Panamerican Highway 190, nestled in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur.
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.
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.
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.
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.