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- Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university program development experience. See my resume.
Study Tours + Study Abroad are personally curated and introduce you to Mexico's greatest artisans. They are off-the-beaten path, internationally recognized. We give you access to where people live and work. Yes, it is safe and secure to travel. Groups are limited in size for the most personal experience.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, universities and other organizations come to us to develop customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Our Clients Include *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University
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Tag Archives: workshop
Lower Price, Return to Teotitlan del Valle: 2018 Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing Retreat with Gentle Yoga
So, you are coming to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead!
Here is a chance to get beyond the sugar skulls and cemeteries, the masks and parades, and go deeper into the natural dye traditions of our wonderful region without leaving the city of Oaxaca.
Put your hands into the indigo dye bath. Watch them turn blue: A Day of the Dead Badge of Distinction. (OK, you can wash it off with soap and water, if you want.)
Natural dyes have been used by indigenous people of Oaxaca to color wool, cotton and silk for centuries. It thrives today among a small group of local artisans dedicated to preserving cultural history.
Blue Hands Special:
2-Day Day of the Dead Natural Dye Workshop
Sunday and Monday, October 28-29, 2017 OR
Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017
10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
$250* per person, 4 participants maximum each session
*Bring a friend, get a discount, pay $225 for each
We are based in a Centro Historico neighborhood within walking distance (about six city blocks) from Oaxaca’s Zocalo — downtown plaza.
The hands-on workshop includes 10 hours of instruction to learn about Oaxaca´s natural dye traditions, materials and techniques used in the Central Valley of Oaxaca.
The workshop focuses on understanding how the chemistry of natural dyes act on the protein fibers (we use wool), and how this can be reproduced in your home or studio using local materials.
The workshop includes cochineal, indigo, pomegranate, marigolds, and brazilwood to create 16 different colors. Participant will receive recipes and put together a sampler of each natural dye color created on hand-spun 100% churro sheep wool.
Sourcing local materials
Discussing Oaxaca natural dye traditions
Understanding fibers and how they react to dye
Mordanting, and how it works
Extracting color — sampling for intensity
Preparing the natural indigo vat
Dyeing and over-dyeing to get color range
Limited availability: 4 participants for each workshop
To register, contact: Norma Schafer, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC
We will send you an invoice to pre-pay with PayPal. When we receive funds, we will confirm your registration and send you instructor contact information, and a map.
The workshop includes instruction, all materials, recipes and the sampler. It does not include beverages, snacks or lunch. We suggest you bring your own if you get thirsty or hungry.
About the Dye Studio
We hold the dye workshops on the rooftop terrace of a home located in the City of Oaxaca, only 10 minutes walking from the main square of the capital. The studio was founded by two artisans, wife and husband, who are committed to preserving natural dye traditions. The wife is a native of Oaxaca City. The husband is a fourth generation member of a family of weavers and dyers in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. Both are bilingual, speaking Spanish and English.
For the last 12 years, the couple has focused on natural dyeing processes and traditions. Their experience includes researching local indigo and cochineal, collaborating with local and international dyers, experimenting with recipes and testing fastness of the colors on both protein (wool, silk) and cellulose fibers (cotton, linen, hemp).
Both have taught dye workshops in universities, cultural centers and museums in Mexico, the United States and Europe. Currently, the studio provides the service of dyeing fibers for local artisan weavers and teaching workshops.
I asked my writing sisters who attended the 2017 Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat to write about their experience tasting Oaxaca edible bugs after I wrote the essay for Mexico News Daily. I just heard from Lee Schwartz, who offered up this poem as a taste bud tickler.
Birds, Bees and Witchery Grub by Lee Schwartz, New York City
He won’t eat bottom feeders,
shrimp, scallops, mollusks,
he says it’s not healthy
and religion has nothing to do with it.
I say, more for me.
As for red meat, or free range birds
he says he doesn’t need
to kill an animal to have a meal.
He’s happy with kale, tofu,
chick peas, yogurt from contented cows —
I’m not that zen. I will eat anything
that tempts me. Maguey worms on
matzoh, chicatanas on a bun.
I have no righteous reasons
to turn down fries, fructose or fajitas.
Give me some crunchy chapulines,
I love to pick the little legs out of my teeth.
Serve me stink bugs and ant larvae
down Oaxaca way,
And from Africa, termites lightly roasted,
with nutty bread crumbs is quite a delicacy.
And then you kiss me,
swirl your tongue in my mouth,
lounging on ocean bed crawlers,
scraps of ants and hoof legged lamb.
Tangled in our wet throng,
you lean in to me and taste the forbidden,
the unsavory, the agribusiness
of death and poor husbandry,
crowded pens, feathers flying.
My moist and warm cove,
the enemy you embrace,
the dreaded morsels of sustainable love.
Interested in participating in 2018. Dates are set: May 2-9, 2018. Still working on a place. Send me an email if you are interested.
The third and last day of the three-day Oaxaca Natural Dye Workshop brings together all the preparation of the first two days in a culminating extravaganza of rich, deep color.
The movement toward using natural dyes is taking hold around the world. It is an environmentally healthy process that is non-toxic and sustainable. Here in Oaxaca more weavers are using natural dyes for their beauty and because it’s what eco-minded textile lovers want.
On this last day, we prepare the indigo dye bath to color cotton and wool blue. We also use the indigo for overdyeing. This gives us a rainbow of colors.
Elsa shows the film about the small village on the southern coast of Oaxaca, Santiago Niltepec, where two families remain who preserve the ancient tradition of growing the indigo plant and making it into dye material. All the indigo that Elsa uses is native to Oaxaca.
Cochineal gives us red, orange purple and pink depending on the color of the wool, the number of dips in the dye bath, and whether we use an acid or base to modify the color.
When cochineal is overdyed with indigo, the wool becomes deep purple or lavender or mauve, depending on the strength of the dye bath and the natural wool color.
And a memorable learning experience that is both rewarding and fun.
Oaxaca Natural Dye Workshops from Oaxaca Cultural Navigator