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Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connection and Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Meet Makers. Make a DifferenceOaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids *MINNA *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- WEAVE Podcast: Oaxaca Coast Textiles & Tour
- NY Times, Weavers Embrace Natural Dye Alternatives
- NY Times, Open Thread–Style News
- NY Times, 36-Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Cooking Classes–El Sabor Zapoteco
- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
- Friends of Oaxaca Folk Art
- Hoofing It In Oaxaca Hikes
- Living Textiles of Mexico
- Mexican Indigenous Textiles Project
- Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Lending Library
- Oaxaca Weather
- Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dyes
Another Sepia Photography Afternoon with Potter Irma Blanco
Being in Oaxaca must include a visit to the regional artisan villages. That’s one reason why we focus summer photography workshops on “Market Towns and Artisan Villages” — to give participants a chance to go beyond the city and explore the work of Oaxaca’s folk artists. Among the best is potter Irma Blanco, daughter of Teodora Blanco, who developed the style of affixing pieces of clay decoration to the larger clay body.
Irma is featured in the recently published Grand Masters of Oaxaca Folk Art from Banamex Foundation. There is a current exhibit of her work and others in this collection at the San Pablo Cultural Center Gallery (Hidalgo between Fiallo and 5 de Mayo).
Irma sits on her knees atop a folded blanket in front of a small wheel that she turns by hand to form the clay. Her husband digs the clay from a quarry in a nearby village. She uses her fingers and palms to create the shapes that will become sirenas (mermaids), farm animals, catrinas, and statuesque virgins.
Irma’s hands are, in and of themselves, a study in beauty and strength.
We also wanted to stop to visit her brother Luis, but he was in Santa Fe at the International Folk Art Market. Irma is a gracious, welcoming woman with a warm smile. Before we left she asked if we could have a group photo together with her! of course, we were delighted to comply.
I found myself moving back and forth between color, sepia, and black and white, and then using Lightroom, a photo editing software, to take the color down to just a hint. It felt as if some details lent themselves better to the mystery and mood that sepia creates. Our assignment for the day was to get the details, texture and pattern in sepia. It was a satisfying, creative photography experience.
Which do you think works best?
Still spaces left in Day of the Dead photography expedition starting October 28, 2012.