I just discovered Instacart. It’s an App. I create the shopping list. Someone else goes to the store. I stay safe inside. I pay with my credit card. The shopper delivers the goods to my doorstep within hours after ordering. No more bare cupboard. It’s a miracle. And, I’m still safe and healthy, isolated, and needing a distraction.
So, I made some beautiful black clay pottery beaded necklaces this week. The beads are hand-rolled, individually formed in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca. The artist, Adelina Pedro Martinez, is from a famous family that works in traditional high-temperature pit firing, fueled by wood. I have four necklaces to sell, listed below.
In addition, I brought with me filigree and amber earrings, a finely embroidered blouse, and an assortment of other lovely pieces made in Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Thankfully, the USPS is operational, so I can package these up and get them to you within a reasonable time from my sequestered place in Southern California. I’ll ship USPS Priority Mail.
How to Buy: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me the item number, price, your name, mailing address. I will send you an invoice to purchase with a PayPal link. The total cost will be the item price plus $12 USD mailing cost.
A note about the black clay pearls: Each pearl ball is formed by hand. The stringing hole is made by hand while soft with a stick. When leather-hard, they are polished with a stone. Then they are baked in a wood-fired pit oven. Each pearl, therefore, has blemishes and irregularities, which make it an unique object of handmade beauty. If you are looking for perfection, these are not for you!
#11 and #12 are handcrafted in Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico by an outstanding craftsman who hand-cuts gemstones and inlays them on shell. These include onyx, mother-of-pearl, coral, turquoise and sterling silver. Selling for less than what I paid for them.
Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connectionand 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
Norma contributes personal essay, How Oaxaca Became Home
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Click image to order yours!
Meet Makers. Make a Difference
Oaxaca 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.
*Abeja Boutique, Houston
*Selvedge Magazine-London, UK
*Esprit Travel and Tours
*Penland School of Crafts
*North Carolina State University
*WARP Weave a Real Peace
*University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We offer textile experiences in our studio where we weave and work only in natural dyes.You can see the process during our textile tours, dye workshops or customized weaving experiences. Ask us for more information about these experiences, customized scheduling, and prices.
One-Day Custom Tours: Tell Us When You Want to Go!
Oaxaca has the largest and most diverse textile culture in Mexico! Learn about it.
When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture: How is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
New--Ruta del Mezcal One-Day Tour.We start the day with pottery, visiting a master, then have lunch with a Traditional Oaxaca Cook who is the master of mole making. In Mitla, we meet with our favorite flying shuttle loom weaver, and then finish off with a mezcal tasting at a palenque you will NEVER find on your own! Schedule at your convenience!
Go on all 3 Day of the Dead Tours -- Get a 10% Discount
October 27, 2023: Day of the Dead Ocotlan Highway Tour. It’s Market Day! The biggest of the year. See special altar food and decor, visit artisans, explore culture, eat at a traditional open air cocina de humo (grill kitchen).
October 29, 2023: Teotitlan del Valle Altars and Studio Visits to natural dye and weaving artisans who invite you to their altar rooms to share family traditions. Meet a traditional beeswax candlemaker. Eat mole and mezcal in a local family comedor.
January 13-21, 2024: Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. Very popular! Get your deposit in to reserve. For intrepid travelers. Visit 7 back-strap loom weavers. Explore the culture of cloth and community. 4 SPACES OPEN!
We require 48-hour advance notice for map orders to be processed. We send a printable map via email PDF after your order is received. Please be sure to send your email address. Where to see natural dyed rugs in Teotitlan del Valle and layout of the Sunday Tlacolula Market, with favorite eating, shopping, ATMs. Click Here to Buy Map After you click, be sure to check PayPal to ensure your email address isn't hidden from us. We fulfill each map order personally. It is not automatic.
Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle