Tag Archives: WARP

Textiles Front and Center: WARP

I’ve been a member of WARP (Weave a Real Peace) since 2017 when Thrums Books recommended that I organize an international textile conference in Oaxaca for the organization. Over the years, I have come to respect and embrace what they do even more — connecting textile artisans from around the world to support, encourage and promote creativity and economic opportunity. This is the WARP mission:

WARP is a catalyst for improving the quality of life of textile artisans worldwide.
We are an inclusive global network of individuals and organizations who value the social, cultural, historic, artistic, and economic importance of textile arts.

The international conference at Kent State University located about forty-five minutes east of Cleveland, Ohio just ended. It was a three-day, jam-packed event that included demonstrations, discussions, presentations, a marketplace filled with textiles for sale from all over the world, a fashion show, an auction, a gallery show, delicious food, and great networking among all of us — weavers, dyers, spinners, educators, collectors, makers, entrepreneurs, and social justice advocates. Now, I’m back in Albuquerque with my son, and will return to Taos tomorrow.

WARP is an inspiration and a place for us to share what we love. It is where we can talk about and see innovation and change. Kent State gave us a place to explore this — how design innovation melds with technology to create ikat, jacquard, and supplementary weft on technologically advanced, computerized looms. It is where we can understand how the Fibershed movement of farmers, fashion activities and makers influences a new textile economy — earth and people friendly, sustainable, and circular, minimizing fast fashion waste. It is how we can embrace the resurgence of innovation in the Rust Belt by meeting entrepreneurs like Faan‘s Aaron Jacobson, who started a Cleveland-based fashion company after working as an architect in China. They make low-waste, recycled, community-centric, eco-friendly fashion with everything sourced locally. We meet John Paul Moribito, assistant professor and head of textiles at Kent State. They open our eyes to creating textiles that speak to a Queer sensibility with beads, loose shimmering threads, evoking drag queen glamour. We talk with Praxis who created a community garden of indigo, involved children and the local neighborhood in natural dye activism to overcome the slave history of indigo culture in the USA.

This is also a place to share our concerns about what threatens hand weavers across the globe. As the global economy tightens its grip on the production of cheap goods made in countries that have no regulation for labor protections, and where often political prisoners are forced labor to reproduce what is authentic around the world, we must read labels and be vigilant about buying hand made. In this way, we personalize rather than depersonalize the shopping/buying experience.

Daniel and Norma, last dance of the evening

A highlight for me during this conference was seeing my friend, North Carolina ceramic artist-potter Daniel Johnston, who is engaged to be married to WARP’s executive director Kelsey Wiskirchen. I’ve known Daniel for almost 25 years, and met him when he was a young studio apprentice with Mark Hewitt Pottery in Pittsboro, NC. I attended Daniel’s first solo show in Asheboro, NC, bought some of his work and continued collecting, going to see his new kiln in Seagrove, and attending studio openings. Even as I was leaving NC, heading to New Mexico, I went to visit him and Kelsey before I left.

The great news is that they have purchased land in Abiquiu, near the Georgia O’Keefe home, and will be back and forth between NC and NM. So, once again, dear people whom I love are migrating to the southwest. In case anyone is interested, Daniel is represented by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. He has a major installation at the North Carolina Museum of Art sculpture garden, and is among the most decent, humble, and caring young men I know (similar to my son, Jacob). A perfect match for Kelsey who mirrors his attributes.

I delivered the last presentation of the conference, talking about and comparing the weaving traditions of two villages, one on the Oaxaca coast — San Juan Colorado, with a Chiapas Maya village — San Pedro Chenalho, just outside of San Cristobal de las Casas. We had a lively discussion about cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, and I’ll be writing more about that as soon as a survey I’m conducting comes in. BTW, we have a few spaces open for both these textile study tours.

Next WARP Annual Meeting: May 16-18, 2024, Golden, Colorado. Join Us!

WARP Conference Marketplace, Kent State, Ohio

Yesterday was a travel day, from Taos to Albuquerque by car, then a flight from there to Denver to Cleveland. I arrived by bedtime and slept at an airport hotel, hauling one huge piece of luggage filled with Mexican textiles to sell at the WARP (Weave a Real Peace) Conference Marketplace. I got to Kent, Ohio, about an hour away, via Lyft. I’ve just finished setting up.

There are representatives here selling goods from Guatemala, Africa, Bhutan, Uzbekistan. Some haven’t arrived yet, so there will be more!

WARP is an international textile organization that I’ve belonged to since 2017, when we helped organize their Oaxaca conference. They promote and support the work of indigenous artisans around the world, offer scholarships and support for young talented artisans, and are committed to social justice. It is comprised of weavers, dyers, spinners, all fiber artisans, and collectors. Consider joining if you aren’t already a member!

Alert: WARP Offers Grants to Textile Artisans–Apply Now


DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 26!

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) is an international textile organization that supports artisans, offers scholarship grants, and holds an annual meeting to bring together textile makers and appreciators to talk about all things weaving, cloth, and community. I have belonged to this organization for many years, organized its Oaxaca annual conference in 2017, and find it to be very satisfying to be a member.

I’ve offered to help spread the word about submitting applications for scholarships to help individuals and organizations improve their capacity. All textile artisans are invited. They may need help with the application based on language skills — so if you work with a Mexican weaving cooperative, we hope you will jump right in and help them submit an application in the next week. Thank you.

Here is the application information:

Dear Friends of WARP,

There is one week left to apply for a 2023 WARP Artisan Support Grant! Please help us spread the word: Textile artisans from any country are welcome to apply. WARP is offering one-time grants of up to $500 for individual artisans and up to $1,000 for artisan groups. This year, we are providing two grant options: one for Basic Needs and one for Development. This reflects the fact that while many artisans may still need COVID or other emergency support, others are transitioning out of an emergency situation and now have needs that are more development-oriented. 

The application deadline is March 19th, 2023. The link to the electronic application form is below, with details about this year’s grant program. Please share this announcement with any textile artisan or artisan group you think would benefit from this grant.For any grant related questions, please contact Diane Manning, WARP Grants Committee Chair, at dkmanning@gmail.com.Best wishes,WARP Grant Committee

Here is the LINK TO THE ELECTRONIC APPLICATION.

Use the electronic form to submit, but I’ve included the language of the grant application below.

2023 WARP Textile Artisan Grant Application

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) is a catalyst for improving the quality of life for textile artisans worldwide. We are an inclusive global network of individuals and organizations who value the social, cultural, historic, artistic, and economic importance of textile arts. Learn more about WARP at: www.weavearealpeace.org.

We are delighted to announce that, for 2023, WARP will again award monetary grants to textile artisan communities in need. 

This year, WARP is offering two grant options: one for Basic Needs and one for Development. This reflects the fact that while many artisans may still need COVID or other emergency support, others are transitioning out of an emergency situation and now have needs that are more development-oriented. 

  1. Basic Needs: This option is for applicants who are still experiencing hardship due to continuing effects of COVID or other circumstances such as drought, extreme heat, or floods.
    • Basic needs could include but are not limited to: food or seeds for food crops, medical care/medicines, clothing, utilities, dependent care, education, or housing.
  2. Development: This option is for applicants who are seeking to grow their business coming out of COVID.
    • Development needs could include but are not limited to: artisan supplies (dye garden, wood for loom, fiber), equipment (sewing machines, looms, etc.), marketing materials (camera, product photography), technology (cell phones, computer, etc.), training (need to specify what, whom, where), and travel (to attend trade fairs, markets).

NOTE: You may apply for a Basic Needs Grant or a Development Grant, but not both.

Eligibility Criteria:

Textile artisans from any country are welcome to apply.

If you are applying for a Basic Needs Grant, you must describe in your own words what you require and how specifically this grant will help you.

If you are applying for a Development Grant you must articulate a plan that includes specific information about what you want to do, how you want to do it, how much it will cost, and how it will help you  grow your  business. 

Total grants will be up to $500 for individual/family applicants and up to $1,000 for associations/coops/businesses.

You may submit more than one grant application: i.e., one for yourself, and one or more for artisans and/or artisan groups with whom you have a relationship. However, you may not combine applications. Each application will be considered separately.

You may apply for a 2023 WARP grant whether or not you applied for or received a grant from WARP in a previous year.

Timeline:

Deadline to submit completed applications: March 19, 2023. Only applications submitted during this timeline will be accepted.

Grant recipients will be notified: April 14, 2023. Grant funds will be disbursed as soon as possible after grantee notification

Grantees confirm receipt of funds via email: As soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after receipt of funds


Summary written report stating how funds were used (form will be provided): July 17, 2023

Questions?
Contact Diane Manning, WARP Grants Committee Chair, at dkmanning@gmail.com.

Non-Discrimination Statement:
No person shall be denied membership or participation in any of WARP’s activities or operations on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.

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BASIC NEEDS GRANT APPLICATION

NOTE: You may apply for a Development Grant or a Basic Needs Grant, but not both. 

If you are applying for a Development Grant, please skip this section and go directly to the Development Grant Section below.

You may submit more than one grant application: i.e., one for yourself, and one or more for artisans and/or artisan groups with whom you have a relationship. However, you may not combine applications. Each application will be considered separately.

Please select one:

I am applying as an Individual/Family (you may request up to $500 USD)

I am applying as an Association/Cooperative/Multi-household group (You may request up to $1,000 USD)

I am requesting the following amount:

Your answer

Please describe what emergency you are experiencing (for example: COVID 19, drought, flood, earthquake, war, etc.)

Your answer

Describe how the emergency has impacted you/your family/household or group? Please provide as much detail as possible.

Your answer

How specifically do you plan to use this Basic Needs Grant? Grants may be used for essentials including medical needs, child/elder care, housing, utilities, food, and seeds for growing crops, etc.

The more details you provide, the better the Grants Committee can evaluate your application. If not enough details are provided to fully assess how the grant funds will be used, a grant will not be awarded.

Your answer

How many artisans (family/household members/group) would benefit from this grant request?

Your answer


How long have you and/or your family/household/group been creating textiles?

Your answer

What type of textile do you produce?

Your answer

Where do you make and sell your textiles?

Your answer

Please attach up to 3 images of your work here. If you are unable to upload the files, please send images to info@weavearealpeace.org. We must see examples of your work for the grant application to be considered.

Add file

Provide any additional information that will support your application. This will help the Grants Committee better understand your needs and how you will use the funds.

Your answer

DEVELOPMENT GRANT APPLICATION

NOTE: You may apply for a Development Grant or a Basic Needs Grant, but not both. 

If you applied for a Basic Needs Grant above, please skip this section and go directly to the bottom to submit your application.

You may submit more than one grant application: i.e., one for yourself, and one or more for artisans and/or artisan groups with whom you have a relationship. However, you may not combine applications. Each application will be considered separately.

Please select one:

I am applying as an Individual/Family (you may request up to $500 USD)

I am applying as an Association/Cooperative/Multi-household group (You may request up to $1,000 USD)

I am requesting the following amount:

Your answer

Please describe your 2023 development plan and how specifically your business will benefit from this Development Grant.

(For example, I/we want to expand our 2023 production by 20%, or I /we want to send 5 people to a training workshop so that we can improve the quality of our designs.)

The more details you provide, the better the Grants Committee can evaluate your application. If not enough details are provided to fully assess how the grant funds will be used, a grant will not be awarded.

Your answer

Describe the specific requirements to execute your plan. These could include, but is not limited to:

– artisan supplies (dye garden, wood for loom, fiber)

– equipment (sewing machines, looms, etc.), 

– marketing materials (camera, product photography), 

– technology (cell phones, computer, etc.), 

– training (need to specify what, whom, where), 

– travel (to attend trade fairs, markets).

Your answer

Submit a budget that lists the cost for each item you will need to accomplish the plan described above.

For example, if your plan states that you needed 5 sewing machines to increase production, your budget would state the following:

– I/we will purchase  5 new sewing machines

– Each one costs $100

– Total grant request: $500

Your answer

How many artisans (family/household members/group) would benefit from this grant request?

Your answer


How long have you and/or your family/household/group been creating textiles?

Your answer

What type of textile do you produce?

Your answer

Where do you make and sell your textiles?

Your answer

Please attach up to 3 images of your work here. If you are unable to upload the files, please send images to info@weavearealpeace.org. We must see examples of your work for the grant application to be considered.

Add file

Provide any additional information that will support your application. This will help the Grants Committee better understand your needs and how you will use the funds.

Your answer

The Social Justice of Textiles

Many of us find comfort in the handmade. We know that most handwoven, embroidered, appliqued, and other ornamental elements of cloth are made by women, many of whom live in rural areas that struggle with poverty, lack of access to health care and limited educational facilities. We buy, collect, wear handmade not only for its innate beauty, but because we are supporting women and families. The social justice of textiles is cross-border and cross-politics.

Yet, political boundaries separate tribal groups and families, too. Think of the Maya of Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala, who were separated by the Usumacinta River post-Mexican Revolution. Think of the Pakistanis and their cousins who live in Gujarat, India, separated after the partition that created the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Textiles know no borders, grew in similar ways on different continents, using the same techniques, explains Yasmine Dabbous, PhD, an anthropologist who is based in Beirut, Lebanon. Founder of Kinship Stories, she delivered the keynote address at the Weave a Real Peace (WARP) Annual Conference that I attended via Zoom on Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Textiles are the human common denominator, creating connections and giving us the capacity to communicate beyond the politics of national borders. Textiles promote cross-cultural exchange and migration. Ancient trade routes expanded our capacity to understand and fuse differences. As human beings, we desire to create or appreciate creativity, and travel has given us the ability to blend different techniques and designs as creators and makers. Across the continents, peoples exchanged fabrics, culture, art, techniques and language.

Visually, we see the similarities of designs: the infinite circle of life, the Eye of God, the butterfly, mountains and rain, the life affirming force of the sun, the power of lightening, the duality of light and dark or man and woman. Common threads point to common interests, dreams, fears and needs. We seek meaning in textiles that share these common motifs even though there was no physical connection between makers from disparate parts of the world.

The symbols of cloth point to fertility and childbirth, abundance, protection, universal hope. The Evil Eye represents fear of the unknown expressed in the embroidered mirrors of India, glass beads of Egypt, amulets in Southeast Asia.

The Social Justice of Textiles now points us to what we value and what we need to pay attention to: handmade beauty of slow fiber or mass produced fast-fashion that results in pollution, cheap prices, subsistance labor in abusive factories. Disposable clothing in a disposable society represents, I believe, deep dissatisfaction that yields multiple marriages, self-indulgences and self-destruction.

Fabric has a lot to teach us. Whether it is embroidery, knitting, sewing, weaving, piecing, dyeing, designing, these are art forms practiced by both women and men. It is a way for individuals and communities to rise out of poverty, to overcome war and refugee experiences. For the individual, the meaningful act of creating can eliminate sadness and depression, is empowering and healing, may resolve conflict, and overcome the ravages of lingering colonialism.

When we purchase clothing to wear, we have a conscious choice to make. Will we invest a bit more to buy something that is created by hand that will directly improve the lives of the makers? Will we choose a low-cost, factory-made garment that will serve us in the short-term? Either way, it is important to be aware of our own reasons and motivations, as well as our own willingness to understand ourselves, others and the world we inhabit.

There are no intellectual property protections for indigenous makers in the international court of law. IP laws cover individuals, not cooperatives or communities. We must also be aware of “knock-offs,” what textile leaders are calling cultural appropriation or cultural plagiarism. This is rampant in the design world, where native symbols of meaning and spirituality are replicated only for the purposes of commercialization and profitability, made by invisible labor hired by factory owners who work under the most oppressive conditions. We call these sweatshops and they follow the international labor market, moving to countries where manufacturing is the most profitable, taking advantage of the lowest hourly wages with no benefits.

One way we can all reassure the continuity of native cultures and fair-market value is to buy directly from artisan makers, and when this is not possible, to purchase directly from representatives who understand and support their endeavors. Please help spread the word!

Some Resources:

Kinship Stories, Yasmine Dabbous, Ph.D.

Weave a Real Peace (WARP)

Spiderwoman’s Children (Thrums)

Weaving for Justice, Christine Eber, Ph.D.

Fashion Revolution

Local Cloth

I am offering textiles and jewelry for sale in my Etsy Store. I support artisan makers. If you are interested in making a purchase, please see the Etsy Store, then send me an email norma.schafer@icloud.com When you buy direct from me, I will offer you a 10% discount and a $12 flat rate mailing fee. You may purchase with Zelle, Venmo or PayPal. Thank you very much.

WARP Textile Conference Free and Online

Annual Meeting/Conference is June 18-20, 2021

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) is an international textile networking organization made up of weavers, academics, and interested supporters. Their mission is to exchange information, raise awareness of the importance of textile traditions to grassroots economies, mobilize textile enthusiasts, and create conversations that result in action.

I’ve been a member for several years, and helped the organizers produce their very successful 2017 Annual Meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico.

This year because of Covid, the annual meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. It is FREE and open to the public. All you need to do is register in advance. I’ll be there and hope you will join me!

Click Here to Register for Unraveling Borders, Weaving Networks and to see the full program.

Kudos are in order: My godson Omar Chavez Santiago from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, was just named an Alice Brown Memorial Scholarship recipient by WARP. It is a two-year honor. Omar will attend this virtual conference and the next one in 2022, which will hopefully be in person! Omar is a fourth generation weaver and works only with natural dyes. He is part of the Fe y Lola Rugs gallery and an accomplished textile designer who incorporates contemporary elements with traditional tapestry weaving techniques.