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TEXTILES

The Artists — Page TWO

BACKSTRAP LOOM COTTON WEAVING
Erick Aguilar Mendoza
The Navarro Gómez Family

  • Balbina Mendoza Navarro

WOVEN CLOTHING
Rebeca Rubí Martínez Sosa
Mauricio Méndez Martínez
Faviola Contreras Sosa
Jasmin Azucena Pinzón Palafox

EMBROIDERED CLOTHING
Marco Antonio Peralta Velasco
Faustina Sumano García
Virginia Sánchez de Cornelio and her five daughters

  • Miriam Leticia Campos Cornelio

Carolina Sandoval Melchor

FOOT PEDAL WOVEN COTTON CLOTH
The Orozco Family


BACKSTRAP LOOM COTTON WEAVING

In Santo Tomás Jalieza, approximately 35 minutes from Oaxaca, spinning and weaving of cotton are carried out entirely by hand.  The sign Textiles de algodón hecho a mano (cotton textiles made by hand) announces your arrival.  Belts are created with the use of the back strap loom, a technique that dates back to 900 B.C.  A left turn takes you into town. Neatly trimmed bougainvilleas, many in brilliant shades of magenta and rose, decorate the street.  Almost immediately to the left is a small market in front of which there are always several women and girls demonstrating their techniques. This is where most tourists purchase the woven crafts of Santo Tomás Jalieza. Friday is the day when about 30 women are selling their work, as compared with perhaps ten on the other days of the week. The formation of an artesans’ union in Santo Tomás has resulted in the unusual practice of standardizing prices for items of comparable size, materials, and quality.


Erick Aguilar Mendoza
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest]

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Pueblo of Santo Tomas Jalieza
González Ortega #7
erick.nic.0547@gmail.com

(From US) Cell: 011-52-1-951-180-2156
(In Oaxaca) Landline to Cell: 044-951-180-2156
Cell to Cell: 951-180-2156

Erick both challenges and perpetuates tradition. Backstrap loom cotton weaving has typically been the work of women, so Erick’s interest and growing mastery of this traditional weaving technique represents a new expression. And while most of the young people in his pueblo have no interest in the traditional crafts, Erick is inspired by his cultural heritage. Erick honors his roots by using natural dyes. FOFA’s 2016 contest was his first competitive event. His belt consists of thirty-two figures, including turkeys, deer, a woman carrying a basket, a monkey, serpents, and dancers. These designs are among the fifty shared by weavers in his pueblo, and are not specific to his family.


The Navarro Gómez Family

 
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Pueblo of Santo Tomás Jalieza
Calle Benito Juárez #42

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-528-1114
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 528-1114
 

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In their spacious and tranquil yard, replete with bursts of brilliant purple and pink bougainvilleas, Mariana Gómez Jiménez and her three daughters, Margarita, Crispina and Inés, sit side by side on the ground, each working at her own backstrap loom tethered to a tree. Adjacent is an expansive patio where the family’s wide array of woven goods is displayed. The women of the Navarro Gómez family produce an unusually large number of woven cotton items: traditional belts, bags, place mats, coasters, table runners and napkins, wallets, change purses, belts with leather trim, eye glass and cell phone cases, and pillows created with woven segments mounted in leather. Crispina’s specialty is remarkably fine woven bags and belts, for which she has won many awards.

 

Balbina Mendoza Navarro
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest] (Maria’s granddaughter)

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Calle Benito Juárez #42

From US: Landline: 011-52-951-528-1114
Cell: 011-52-951-305-8096
In Oaxaca: Landline: 528 -1114
Landline to Cell: 044-951-305-8096
Cell to Cell: 951-305-8096
 

Balbina both honors the old designs of her pueblo and looks toward the future by incorporating new designs. Having grown up in a talented family dedicated to the highest quality backstrap loom cotton weaving, she began to work at six years of age and is now teaching her three-year-old daughter. Balbina finishes her belts at each end with carefully formed figures of children who embody happiness, dreams and stories.


WOVEN CLOTHING (Woven rebozos)

Rebeca Rubí Martínez Sosa
[Winner in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest]

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Pueblo of Teotitlán del Valle
Quinta Sección-Privada de Oriente #5
0215rubi@gmail.com

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-524-4530
Cell: 011-52-1-951-289-9913
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 24-4530
Landline to Cell: 044-951-289-9913
Cell to Cell: 951-289-9913
 

This piece captures all that Rebeca Rubí has learned since she moved to the house of her in-laws in Oaxaca in 2014.  She has become proficient with the four-pedal loom, which enables her to produce very soft cloth. This woven piece, special to her, comes from silk worms she and her husband jointly raised. He constructed a machine to card the silk, and her father-in-law taught her how to tie the macramé fringe. The family uses only natural dyes, in this case indigo.  The rhomboid design represents water. She addressed the FOFA competition’s theme – honoring roots and exploring dreams -- by incorporating buttons from belts men wore long ago in this modern-day scarf.


Mauricio Méndez Martínez
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest]

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Pueblo of Mitla del Valle
Morelos #28
virusdac_ska@hotmail.com

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-568-0061
Cell: 011-52-1-951-557-1537
(In Oaxaca)
Landline: 568-0061
Landline to Cell: 044-951-557-1537
Cell to Cell: 951-557-1537

Growing up in Mitla, Mauricio was always fascinated and inspired by the archaeological ruins that his village embraces. In this weaving he casts light on the culture of his ancient ancestors reflected in the columns, geometric motifs, and distinct regions within the archaeological zone. This piece combines silk with the unusual addition of linen which was given to his grandfather by a Swede, and was woven on one of his family’s looms. Mauricio’s family works together in a single workshop. Mauricio explains that the rhythm of their looms conveys family harmony that prevents the threads from breaking, providing him with the serenity he needs to create his weavings. 


Faviola Contreras Sosa
[Winner in textiles, FOFA’s 2013 contest]

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Pueblo of Teotitlán del Valle
Privada de Oriente #5

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-524-4530
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 524-4530

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Faviola made this blouse for herself to wear in the celebratory processions in her village. She learned the technique randa de aguja (lattice work created by tying threads around one another) in a course in the neighboring pueblo of Tlacolula. Her piece has many meanings, incorporating pre-Hispanic elements; small figures on the smocked bodice which represent water and serpents; stars in the sky; and glyphs that signify day and night, or perhaps the balance between good and bad on earth. To make the male and female figures, she employed a technique locally known as hazme si puedes (make me if you can), a challenging reference to the difficult technique.


Jasmin Azucena Pinzón Palafox
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2013, 2016 contests]

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Oaxaca City
Privada 4-A de Totontepec #109
Col. Siete Regiones

(From US) Cell: 011-52-1-951-364-2626
(In Oaxaca) Cell: 044-951-364-2626

 

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Jasmín learned the art of weaving with a backstrap loom from her mother when she was eight years old in the fishing village of San Mateo del Mar, home of the Huave people. This huipil is made with three panels of very fine cotton thread woven with great care. Her designs, such as palm trees, birds, and fishermen, learned from her maternal ancestors, represent their roots in their village by the sea. The huipil is finished using an ancient technique - weaving backwards from the end without cutting the thread - that results in very clean lines and an elegant finish.Jasmín learned the art of weaving with a backstrap loom from her mother when she was eight years old in the fishing village of San Mateo del Mar, home of the Huave people. This huipil is made with three panels of very fine cotton thread woven with great care. Her designs, such as palm trees, birds, and fishermen, learned from her maternal ancestors, represent their roots in their village by the sea. The huipil is finished using an ancient technique - weaving backwards from the end without cutting the thread - that results in very clean lines and an elegant finish.


EMBROIDERED CLOTHING

Many types of embroidery can be found in Oaxaca, on both garments and domestic items, complementing patterns and colors that are woven into the fabric from which they are made. San Antonino Castillo Velasco, and its neighbor San Juan Chilateca, are the main pueblos within easy travel distance from Oaxaca City where this type of embroidery is created. The garments for which these pueblos are best known are called “wedding dresses.”  Generally made from white cotton, they are flowing unwaisted dresses or blouses with elaborately embroidered decoration on the yoke, sleeves and front segments. In addition to embroidery, these garments may have crocheted portions around the arm section and neckline. Some may have a horizontal row of human figures embroidered in the smocked segment of the garment, a difficult technique known as hazme si puedes (literally translated as “make me if you can”).  Artists range in quality from outstanding – those who produce only a few elaborately embroidered dresses or blouses per year – to more commercial artisans whose decoration is far simpler, who omit some of the elements considered crucial by the finer embroiderers.  One clear indication of quality is the degree of delicacy and clarity of the hazme si puedes.  Prices vary widely according to the excellence of the work.


Marco Antonio Peralta Velasco
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest]

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Pueblo of San Juan Chilateca
Independencia #7
m.arq.o@outlook.es

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-528-1274
Cell: 011-52-1-951-189-1370
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 528-1274
Landline to Cell: 044-951-189-1370
Cell to Cell: 951-189-1370 

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Marco Antonio learned embroidery from his mother and his aunts. “My teachers taught me the technique of embroidery, and I learned to bring feelings to it.” He explains that more men are doing embroidery than is commonly appreciated; however, because of gender norms, they put down their work and leave the room when visitors come. Marco seeks to “recover the craft for men,” so for FOFA’s 2016 competition he chose a man’s guayabera shirt on which to display the style of embroidery of his town. His title is a play on words in Spanish, which can be understood both as “blue pansies” and “blue thoughts and feelings.”


Faustina Sumano García

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Pueblo of San Juan Chilateca
Cuauhtemoc #11

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-528-1081
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 528-1081)

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Faustina is a master of gloriously detailed and colorful embroidery in the traditional “wedding dress” style. Her work has been featured in many books on masters of Mexican folk art and recognized in multiple contests. Her array of pieces is breathtaking, both in its range of design elements and color combinations. One dress is made of black silk with a mandarin collar, on which she embroiders stunning, multi-colored pansies and other flowers. Another consists of white embroidery on white cotton, while yet another features primarily pale blue embroidery on white cloth. She created her first wedding dress when she was 27 years old.  Faustina prides herself in completing all parts of the process herself.  She cuts the fabric, designs the figures, embroiders, sews the dress together, and then undertakes the embroidery.  Finally she creates the crocheted portions and the hazme si puedes (the horizontal row of human figures just under the yolk).


Virginia Sánchez de Cornelio and her five daughters

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Pueblo of San Antonino Castillo Velasco
Libertad #1
Avenida Castillo Velasco s/n
(separate workshop of Carmen)

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-571-0092
Cell: 011-52-1-951-123-5616 (Carmen) 
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 571-0092
Landline to Cell: 044-951-123-5616
Cell to Cell: 951-123-5616 

Virginia Sánchez de Cornelio, a talented and feisty woman, works with her five daughters – Reina, Silvia, Antonina, Carmen and María de la Luz (from eldest to youngest) – to create fine hand-embroidered blouses and dresses for which their pueblo, San Antonino Castillo Velasco, has long been known. In addition to the traditional “wedding dresses” and blouses, the members of the Sánchez family have introduced more contemporary items, such as embroidered skirts and everyday dresses for adults and children. The Sánchez’s are one of the few remaining families who carry out their pueblo’s embroidery tradition. Their greatest hope is that their tradition will not be lost, that the younger generation will perpetuate their art.


 

Miriam Leticia Campos Cornelio
Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2013 contest] (daughter of Reina)

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Pueblo of San Antonino Castillo Velasco
Avenida Castillo Velasco s/n
miriamlcc@hotmail.com

(From US) Landline: 011-52-951-539-6097
Cell: 011-52-1-951-136-4888
(In Oaxaca) Landline: 539-6097
Landline to Cell: 044-951-136-4888
Cell to Cell: 951-136- 4888

Miriam, a chemical engineer, continues the work of her female line of embroiderers. She believes in combining efficiency, good design, and tradition. Her small purse, in the style of her village, features colorful flowers and birds. The fabric, tightly gathered at the top and embroidered with Mother on one side and Earth on the other, replicates a technique used by her grandmother. Miriam’s professional life does not leave her much time for the embroidery she loves. She wishes she had time to produce a larger piece. “After all,” she says, “a woman carries everything in her purse.” 


Carolina Sandoval Melchor
[Honorable mention in textiles, FOFA’s 2016 contest]

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Pueblo of San Martín Tilcajete
Calle Tilcajete #6  
carolinasanmel@gmail.com

(From US) Mother’s Cell: 011-52-1-951-228-2485
[Carolina is currently studying in Mexico City]
(In Oaxaca) Landline to Mother’s Cell: 044-951-228-2485
Cell to Mother’s Cell: 951-228-2485

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Since the age of five Carolina has devoted herself to the visual arts, and now has shifted her focus to embroidery. Carolina learned to embroider from her mother who learned from both her mother and father. This dress reflects the cultural and regional diversity of Oaxaca, including religion, dress, gastronomy, plant and animal life, and produce. First Carolina painted the figures of each region on transparent paper. Next she placed the drawings on top of the fabric, positioning them with geographic accuracy as if creating a map. Finally she filled in the details representing the various cultures of the state. 


FOOT PEDAL WOVEN COTTON CLOTH

Woven cotton cloth is used for home decoration (finished tablecloths and bedspreads, and unfinished yard goods suitable for curtains and pillows) and clothing, including shawls (rebozos).  Cloth for home decoration is produced primarily in the Xochimilco section of Oaxaca City, as well as in the pueblo of Mitla, while cloth for clothing is primarily produced in Mitla. In the residential Xochimilco section of the city of Oaxaca – about a 15 minute walk from the central zocalo -the click-clack of shuttle looms can be heard in a number of home workshops. 

Mitla, located approximately 45 kilometers (50 minutes or more) from Oaxaca, is home to the famous Zapotec ruins that inspire many patterns. The artisans of this pueblo create a wide range of cotton weaving for blouses, dresses, rebozos, shirts, pants, bedspreads and tablecloths. Many decorative elements exist, including geometric patterns based on the local pre-Hispanic ruins, lattice-work within the weaving itself, and embroidery and crocheting added to the weaving. A daily market with all types of goods, but especially clothing and other woven items, stands adjacent to the ruins that are enclosed by a wall of cactus.  The winding road leading into the pueblo’s center (called the 5 de Febrero) is similarly lined with countless shops presenting rich displays of woven products.


The Orozco Family

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Xochimilco section of Oaxaca City
(10-15 minute walk from the center of town)
Santo Tomas #214                     
textiles_orozco@yahoo.com.mx

(From US) Cell: 011-52-1-951-130-6907
(In Oaxaca) Landline to Cell: 044-951-130-6907/ Cell to Cell: 951-130-6907

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Guadalupe Orozco Torres and her husband, Alejandro Rojas Miguel, buy crude cotton and wash it to remove impurities.  It is then carded, spun into thread and placed on spools, to be used on large weaving looms; the cotton thread is subsequently dyed with chemical dyes. Although Guadalupe and all of her siblings grew up learning to card and spin cotton thread from an early age, she is the only one to perpetuate the family’s tradition, producing durable cotton fabric from which table cloths and bedspreads of all sizes, table napkins, tortilla napkins, curtains, towels, and place mats can be created.