Monthly Archives: June 2011

Artists Added to Las Bugambilias Show on July 16 in Oaxaca

Weaver Reyna Mendoza Ruiz and ceramic artist Angelica Vazquez are joining the group of Oaxaca artists invited to participate in the Saturday, July 16 exhibition and sale of their work at Casa de Las Bugambilias, Calle Reforma #402 in Oaxaca’s central historic district.  If you are in town, DON’T MISS IT.


  • Brigitte Huet and Ivan, Kanda Designs, San Agustin Etla– Carved and hand-cast silver jewelry
  • Jacobo Angeles, San Martin Tilcajete — alebrijes: copal wood carved figures brightly painted
  • Reyna Mendoza Ruiz, Teotitlan del Valle — tapetes, tapestry woven rugs and pillows
  • Angelica Vazquez, Santa Maria Atzompa — barro natural, ceramic figures and sculpture
  • Silvia Cornelio Sanchez, San Antonino–finely embroidered blouses
  • Maria Lopez, Juchitan–huipiles of the Isthmus
  • Senora Martha, Oaxaca — antique filigree jewelry
  • Boris of Oaxaca–recycled artisan designs

Reyna's pillow covers

Oaxaca, Mexico to Host 2011 North American Textile Conservation Conference

When you travel to Oaxaca, Mexico this coming November, be sure to stop in to visit the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.  Arts and educational programs are scheduled during the North American Textile Conservation Conference from November 8-11, 2011.  (Consider attending our Day of the Dead Photography Expedition as a pre-conference cultural immersion.)

“Plying the Trades – Pulling Together in the 21st Century”, features lectures, discussions, demonstrations and social events that bring together artists, collectors, academics, and textile experts from throughout North America.

Caracol handwoven rug with natural dyes by Federico Chavez Sosa

Hector Meneses, the textile conservator at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, is the chair of  the event, and is assisted by the other wonderful staff of the museum:  Ana Paula Fuentes, director; Eric Chavez Santiago, director of education; and David Silva Garcia, promotion director, plus many others.

Here is the registration information, prices, and discount deadlines:

– Early Bird, Full Registration (June 6 – 30): US$295.00

– Regular fee, Full Registration (July 1 – October 7): US$325.00

– Late fee, Full Registration (October 8 – 21): US$350.00

– On-site Registration (Nov. 8 – 11): US$350.00

– Student fee (June 6 – Oct. 21): US$200.00

*Full conference registration includes the conference preprints, two lunches, breaks during the papers sessions, one entrance to the welcoming reception at the Former Convent of San Pablo and one entrance to the closing dinner at the Ethno-Botanical Garden of Oaxaca.

You can register through the organization’s website.  Also take a look at the titles of the papers and posters that will be presented, as well as the optional workshops and tours that will be offered.  Workshop and tour registration is now open.

Hector invites you to contact him if you have questions or need more information.  The entire museum looks forward to welcoming you to Oaxaca.

Hector Manuel Meneses Lozano, NATCC 2011 – Chair,  Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Tel. + 529 51 501  1104,            Email:

Video: Day of the Dead, Oaxaca, Mexico

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a sacred celebration that welcomes back the souls of departed loved ones between All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This is a joyful, festive time in Mexico and nowhere is it more so than in Oaxaca, where indigenous pre-Hispanic traditions blend with Catholic ritual practices.

I took the photos in this video during Day of the Dead 2009 and 2010.

Sign up today for Oaxaca Documentary Photography Expedition, October 29-November 4, 2011, to document your own experience! Read more about Day of the Dead traditions.

Video: Mexican Rug Designs from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca

In the spirit of my own continuing education, I went to the Apple Store last night for a tutorial about how to make an iMovie using my photographs.  My computer is storing over 6,000 photos — many of which are published on this site.  I learned the basics and am now experimenting, so hopefully, over the new few weeks, I’ll be able to translate still photography into a visually appealing presentation for your viewing pleasure.  Hopefully, this works!

The video I created here features many fine examples of the hand-woven, naturally dyed tapestry weave textiles made by The Chavez Santiago Family Weavers in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.  Federico Chavez Sosa, the head of the family, is a master weaver, as is his wife Dolores Santiago Arrellanas.  They and their children, Eric, Janet and Omar Chavez Santiago are also shown in the video interspersed with village scenes.  The music is by Susana Harp.

I hope you enjoy it!

What you’ll see in this video:

  • Zapotec and Mixtec stone carvings at the archeological site of Mitla
  • The Catholic church built with Zapotec temple stones
  • Weavings by the Chavez Santiago Family Weavers
  • Selected Saltillo-style weavings by Tito Mendoza Ruiz and Roman Gutierrez
  • Adaptations of traditional designs for more contemporary styles
  • Teotitlan del Valle Church of the Precious Blood, 16th Century
  • Parade of the Canastas (baskets) in early July

And, if you want to take a weaving class (all levels, from beginners to more experienced are welcome), please let me know.

Oaxaca Gallery-Hopping, Shopping + Dining Expedition with Norma Hawthorne

Oaxaca Gallery-Hopping, Shopping and Dining Expedition with Norma Hawthorne, Wednesday, February 1 to Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Collectors, foodies, shop-a-thon pacesetters and novice wannabees are invited to join me for an all-inclusive adventurous foray into the back streets, alleyways, and dirt paths of indigenous villages and cobbled city streets to discover the best of Oaxaca.

First, we will set out on an urban hiking expedition by foot to explore the fantastic art and crafts galleries of Oaxaca city (bring your most comfy shoes and your largest tote bag).  You’ll see examples of the best textile designs and weaving, contemporary art, ceramics, and folk art.  On another day, we’ll climb into an air-conditioned (this time of year, it’s not really needed) van to go out into the villages of Ocotlan, San Antonino, and San Martin Tilcajete to visit the finest artisans who are exemplars of their craft:  pottery and sculpture, back strap loom weaving, and carved and painted wood figures.  You’ll visit the studio of silversmith Brigitte Huet who uses the lost wax technique to cast extraordinary jewelry.  I’ll take you up the Crespo Hill to an antique gallery that sells outstanding old Mexican jewelry and displays a fine museum collection of the same.

Each day will be punctuated by a great meal — I will take you to a mix of four-star dining rooms and little cafes where food is prepared with love and served fresh by a local chef.  You’ll savor and sample some of Oaxaca’s famed seven moles, dine al fresco, toast life with a fresh mango margarita (or traditional squeezed lime one, if you prefer), and perhaps sprinkle a bit of chapulines on your chicken tamale made with just ground organic corn masa.

We will take a respite in the Zapotec weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle where I will introduce you my favorite weavers (including Federico Chavez Sosa) who work only in 100% wool and natural dyes.  You’ll meet another friend who creates large-scale canvases with paint colors made from natural plant materials and beeswax.  There will be plenty of time, too, to go to the Tlacolula regional market or take a side excursion to the archeological site in the weaving village of Mitla where flying shuttle looms whip up fabulous, colorful tablecloths, napkins, bedspreads and curtains.

Hmmm. Have I said enough?  Are you on-board yet?  I promise this will be lots of fun — with enough down time to catch your breath for the next activity.

Arrive Wednesday, February 1, Depart Tuesday, February 7

Wednesday — Check in to our hotel, overnight Oaxaca City

Thursday — Orientation and urban hiking in Oaxaca City (B, L, D), overnight Oaxaca City

Friday — Shopping excursion to Ocotlan and surrounding crafts villages (B, L, D), overnight Oaxaca City

Saturday — Morning free and lunch on your own or optional morning trip to Arrazola or Atzompa, afternoon travel to Teotitlan del Valle and check in to bed and breakfast (B, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Sunday — Excursion to Tlacolula regional market (B, L, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Monday — Meet the weavers and artisans of Teotitlan del Valle who work in natural dyes, final celebratory dinner with show and tell (B, L, D), overnight in Teotitlan

Tuesday — Depart after breakfast (B).

Lodging and Costs:

To keep this program affordable, we have selected clean and basic accommodations in Oaxaca City and in Teotitlan del Valle.  In the village you will stay at a woman-operated bed and breakfast inn that is part of the family compound.  Josefina, along with her mother-in-law Magdalena and daughter Eloisa, prepare delicious meals from scratch.  (If you desire luxury travel, please consider a different experience.)

Base Cost: $975 per person double occupancy with shared bath facilities.  Single rooms are available with a single supplement. A limited number of double occupancy rooms with private bath, and single occupancy with private bath are available. Please write down your preference below.

[  ]  Option 1: I will share a room, double occupancy with shared bath, $975 per person.

[  ]  Option 2:  I prefer a single room with shared bath for a total of $1095 per person.

[  ]  Option 3:  I will share a room, double occupancy, with private bath for a total of $1095.

[  ]  Option 4:  I prefer a single room with private bath for a total of $1395.

Option A: Arrive early, on January 31, and take a 5-hour cooking class on February 1 with a famed Oaxaca chef, $225 (includes cooking class, one extra night lodging, breakfast and lunch)

Option B:  Stay a day longer and take a 5-hour cooking class in Teotitlan del Valle with an accomplished Zapotec cooking teacher on February 7, $135 (includes cooking class, one extra night lodging, breakfast and lunch)

Option C: Add on more days in Teotitlan @ $45 per night per person (includes breakfast).

Option D:  Add on more days in Oaxaca city @ $125 per person per night (includes breakfast)

Most travel workshops of this type and length cost more than twice as much!

The trip includes most in-country meals and transportation. It does NOT include airfare, taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation to and from Oaxaca city.

We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.

Reservations and Cancellations

A 50% deposit based on your preferred options is required to guarantee your spot.  The last payment for the balance due (including any more costs) shall be postmarked by December 1, 2011.  Payment may be made by check or PayPal.  We will be happy to send you an itemized invoice.

Please see our cancellation policy in the “Register Today” section of the home page.  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.

To get your questions answered and to register, contact: or call (919) 274-6194

Please make checks payable to Norma Hawthorne, OCN-LLC, and mail it to: Norma Hawthorne, 110 Blue Heron Farm Rd., Pittsboro, NC 27312.  Thank you.

This program is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.  We reserve the right to make itinerary changes and substitutions as necessary.