Tag Archives: WARP

Textile Conference WARP in Denver

Last Tuesday I drove from Taos to Denver through the La Veta Pass studded with snow capped mountains on my way to the annual meeting of one of my favorite textile organizations, Weave a Real Peace (WARP). I’ve been involved since I organized their 2017 annual meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The welcome circle, that included more than 80 people from through the USA, Canada, and Europe, was a testimony to our knowledge, expertise, and diversity. Some of us are anthropologists, historians, archeologists, textile faculty and students, collectors, appreciators, educators, tour leaders, business people who import and sell artisan craft.

I was especially interested in hearing the keynote speaker, Lynda Teller Pete, a Navajo weaver from Two Grey Hills community on the Navajo Nation. She talked about cultural appropriation and appreciation, how she was raised to become a spinner and weaver in the tradition of Spider Woman, and her take on what it means to be an artist or an artisan. Lynda is also co-author of the book Spider Woman’s Children. https://navajorugweavers.com/books/

She says, As a Navajo weaver you live as your culture and accept those lessons. Art and artisanry are colonial terms. The definition goes much deeper. What we create is art and has to do with meaning, our lifestyle, family and traditions, and dreams and culture. 

In October 2023 I went on a Southwest roadtrip with my sister through Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo territories. We made a detour to Two Grey Hills and the trading post where Lynda grew up learning to become a master weaver with her sister Barbara.

Above: amazing embroidered textiles with bling beadwork from Guatemala.

The conference also includes an artisan vendor gallery that features homemade goods from Mexico, Central and South American, Africa, Uzbekistan, China and Lithuania.

On the left, Lanita and I are modeling indigo jackets made by Azure Blue created by Kathy McHenry, San Francisco. Kathy also designs and sews clothing made from Guatemala fabric. On the right, my dear friend Leslie Roth is wearing an indigo jacket and I’m wearing one made from indigo dyed ikat from Guatemala.

Tonight the conference ends with a textile auction and fashion show. More about that soon!

If you are a textile lover, please consider joining WARP. It’s a wonderful organization.

Come Join Me! WARP Annual Textile Conference 2024 in Colorado

WARP stands for Weave a Real Peace. I have been a member since 2017 when I helped organize their international conference in Oaxaca, and provided most of the programming. I love this organization. It is committed to social and economic justice for artisans all over the world. The women and men who attend are deeply involved in the textile world as makers and supporters. Come to Golden, Colorado this spring. The conference is May 15-18. It is a perfect opportunity to network, learn, and expand your textile friendship circle.

This year, the conference program features an excellent lineup of speakers, starting with keynote Lynda Teller Pete, who is a Navajo weaver and co-author of Spider Woman’s Children.  She is from Two Grey Hills community where I traveled to last October, and marveled at the weaving acumen there.

Other speakers include: Donna Brown, founder of the Janice Ford Memorial Dye Garden, acclaimed Colcha Embroidery artist Julia Gomez, and more.

In addition to speakers from the region’s textile community, there are a number of fun networking opportunities including the annual Welcome Circle, live auction and fashion show, international vendor marketplace, and discussion groups. 

In addition to the full meeting registration rate, day rates and student rates are also available. You can learn more and register at https://weavearealpeace.org/featured-content/2024-annual-meeting/

I hope to see you there! And, please share this post with anyone interested in textiles and folk art.

Eric Chavez Santiago to Speak About Textiles on WARP Chat

Meet a Member Fireside Chat: with Eric Chávez Santiago
Tuesday, April 9th at 3 pm Eastern(Spanish)
Wednesday, April 10th at 3 pm Eastern(English)

Will you be attending?
EVENT DETAILS: NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés.

This program is a series of monthly Fireside Chats on Zoom with a different WARP member each month. (This month with two sessions to choose from, one in English and one in Spanish.)

Eric Chávez Santiago was born in Teotitlan del Valle, he is part of the fourth generation of weavers in his family and has been involved in the textile world since 2002. He has a degree in business from Universidad Anahuac Oaxaca. His professional work experience is in the fields of natural dyes, education programs for artisans and coordination of exhibitions in museums and galleries. Eric was the founding director of education department at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca from 2008 to 2016, serving as a liaison between the museum and textile artists from Mexico and other countries. In 2016 he became director of the Folk Art Department for the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation. In addition, from 2017 to 2021, he directed the Andares del Arte Popular project, where he managed a private fund to promote the work of artisans reaching 16 states in Mexico and over 40,000 handcrafts in purchases. Eric is currently in charge of the production of his textiles at Taller Teñido a Mano studio. He is also travel leader and partner at Oaxaca Cultural Navigator with Norma Schafer.

Conozca un Miembro: Una Seria de Conversaciones en frente de la Chimenea con miembros de WARP Este programa será conversaciones casuales, Fireside Chats, por Zoom, con miembros diferentes cada mes. Nota: las sesiones van estar grabadas y compartidas en la página de nuestra website para Solamente Miembros (Members Only) entonces miembros interesados pueden verlas más tarde.Eric Chávez Santiago nació en Teotitlán del Valle, es parte de la cuarta generación de tejedores de su familia y se dedica al mundo textil desde el 2002. Es licenciado en negocios egresado de la Universidad Anáhuac Oaxaca. Su experiencia laboral profesional se encuentra en el campo de tintes naturales, programas de educación para artesanos y coordinación de exposiciones en museos y galerías. Eric fue el director fundador del departamento de educación del Museo Textil de Oaxaca de 2008 a 2016, sirviendo como enlace entre el museo y los artistas textiles de México y otros países. En 2016 asumió como director del departamento de Arte Popular de la Fundación Alfredo Harp Helu, adicionalmente de 2017 a 2021 dirigió el proyecto Andares del Arte Popular, donde administró un fondo privado para promover el trabajo de artesanos que llegó a 16 estados de México y más de 40.000 artesanías compradas. Eric actualmente está a cargo de la producción de textiles en su estudio “Teñido a Mano”, también es líder de viajes y socio de Oaxaca Cultural Navigator junto con Norma Schafer.

Sesiones de Fireside Chats con Miembro de Eric Chávez Santiago:Martes, 9 de abril a las 3 pm hora del este (español)Miércoles 10 de abril a las 3 p.m. hora del Este (inglés)

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!