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Norma writes for Selvedge Magazine Issue #109 -- Rise Up, November 2022
Norma Writes for Selvedge Latin Issue #89
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with weavers 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. Our interest is in creating connection and artisan economic development.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma Contributes Two Chapters!
- 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 Toursd 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 weaving relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *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
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email email@example.com
- 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
Studio Xaquixe: Recycled Art Glass Combines Beauty with Environmental Responsibility
Glass shards are piled by color — clear, brown and green — and frame the parking area of the Magdalena Apasco Etla industrial park that Studio Xaquixe (say Sha-Keech-Shay) calls home. Inside looks more like a warehouse than a place where artist Francisco Toledo collaborates to make the stained glass windows at San Pablo Academic and Cultural Center in Oaxaca’s historic center.
Studio Xaquixe glass artists form practical vessels and sculpture using traditional mouth-blown techniques in a glory hole fueled by recycled used vegetable oil. Molds give uniform shape to fused-glass bottles that will hold private-label artisanal mezcal. The glass is post-consumer, recycled and Xaquixe is a model for environmentally friendly, energy-saving practices.
When Eric and Elsa got married, gifts for guests included blown glass flowers from Xaquixe (which means foot of the mountain in Zapotec) where Elsa is the administrative manager. Today, we had a hard time choosing from amng the array of the glass flower-topped cork stoppers and colorful bottles.
In the 1980’s, I learned to blow glass on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then, I began collecting to support artists who could do it much better than me. When my father died years ago, I bought a studio art glass vase in Tucson, Arizona, to commemorate his creative life. In the 1990’s, I met the Cenedese family in Murano, Italy, and was gifted with two tall asymmetrical vases that I hand-carried back home where they hold a place of honor.
When Dale Chihuly exhibited at the Smithsonian, I went. I followed Chihuly on film as he showed us the world’s five greatest glassblowing centers, including Mexico. I am in awe of the skill required to execute this art-form. I am mesmerized by what results. Visiting Studio Xaquixe returns me to the soul of art glass. Even though the glory hole is cold, the space is hot with transformative energy. And my companions — well, muy amable!
Thanks to Elsa Sanchez Diaz for showing us the studio and gallery, and to Christian Thornton and Salime Harp Cruces who dreamed the dream and manifested it in 2002. Their work adds to what distinguishes Oaxaca as center for artistic creativity and innovation.
How to Find Studio Xaquixe
Don’t make the mistake I did by going first to San Agustin Etla! Studio Xaquixe is 45 minutes from Oaxaca’s historic center just off the Pan American Highway 190. Drive north from Oaxaca on the federal highway toward Mexico City. Pass the turn-off to San Agustin Etla. Keep going another 20 minutes to Magdalena Apasco Etla. (How many Etla’s are there? Since Etla is a district, many villages carry it’s name.) You will arrive at Industrial Park Oaxaca 2000. Turn left. (You or your driver will need to leave a driver’s license at the gatehouse.) Continue to Avenida Mexico. Turn left. A sign at the driveway entrance marks the place: Avenida Mexico Lot 7A, Manzana D. Tel: (951) 521-5612, firstname.lastname@example.org