I want to share with you a wonderful opportunity coming up in August, 2018. Mari Gray of our favorite Guatemala-based textile brand, Kakaw Designs is offering a unique opportunity for creatives and makers, Textile Travel For MakersTextile Travel For Makers/ Collectivitea

This Guatemala textile tour is geared towards an exchange of ideas between participants of the tour, and local artisans. Interested? Let me give you a little background. Mari runs Guatemala-based Kakaw Designs with the goal of sharing and keeping alive the textile heritage and traditions of Guatemala. Because the artisans often live in rural areas, their access to other creatives, and to benefit from the exchange of ideas and skills, can be limited. With that in mind, Mari has organized a travel itinerary that will involve you learning about weaving, embroidery, dyeing textiles from the artisans. In addition, you as a participant in the tour can share your creative skills and strengths, and be a part of this fantastic initiative for creative exchange. In Mari’s words, “We will be hosting workshops to exchange ideas.  Of course, there is so much to learn from the traditional artisans: backstrap weaving, dyeing with local plants, making ikat knots, different weaves, and embroidery techniques, too. This is all valuable for the participants, and the artisans are so excited to share their crafts.  But again, we want our partner artisans to benefit in this idea exchange too, so we’ll be arranging workshops for the participants to share their creativity with the artisans.  Things like different dyeing techniques (think shibori or wax-resist), or color preferences, new embroidery techniques, or just different products we might use in non-rural settings.  These ideas will be for the artisans to use on their own if they wish. I can’t wait to be sharing different textile traditions from around the world, flipping through books and physical samples, and I hope that you’ll join us.” – Mari Gray

For so long the language around artisans has been about ’empowering’ them, with lesser acknowledgment of how much we learn from each other. I love the idea of this trip, and if you are able to go next August, do so! I am sure it will be awesome as Mari takes you on an insider textile tour of the Guatemala she grew up with.You can reach Mari via email if you are interested in this trip! Have a wonderful day!- Priya

Image courtesy of Mari Gray/Kakaw Designs

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