i think it´s time that i start posting about the lovely teachers who led my workshops in arequipa, peru. it was amazing to work with indigenous artesans. i was especially lucky, because unlike most of the participants on my tour, i could actually talk to them (they spoke spanish and quechua, an old andean language). i learned a lot from these teachers, not just in terms of making things, but also in terms of their general attitudes towards life. i loved how these workshops were calm, relaxing, and funny. unlike many other art classes i´ve taken, i never felt frustrated, even though i know it would take me years to master the skills of my talented teachers.
panchita, see above, was our wonderfully silly backstrap weaving teacher. her laugh is infectious and she loves to talk, even when the person she is talking to cannot understand her. the looms we used, however, were quite complicated. for anyone who weaves, there were three sheds and because there was a mix of different types of yarn we ended up with lot of bolitos, little balls of yarn that made it difficult to move our sheds down. still, we just laughed and laughed. below you can see me weaving, and contrary to what the photo implies, i didn´t get so good that i could weave with my eyes closed. i needed both of them, and probably would have been better off with an extra pair.
i now have a whole new appreciation for textiles woven on a backstrap loom. i bought a beautiful shawl made by elsa flores huaman of acha alta.
i wish i could weave like this...maybe one day. panchita would be proud!