Panama

I just arrived from Panama full of inspiration and happy to share time with amazing local people willing to talk and smile any time!

I took the oportunity to know a bit more about indigenous artisanal work, focus on Kuna and Ngobe-Bugle comunities.

The Kuna have a population of around 47,000 members.  They migrated from the Darien region (before Colombia) of Panamá to the San Blas Islands on the Atlantic coast.  In 1938, after a long struggle,  the Comarca of San Blas (Kuna Yala), a semi-autonomous territory, was recognized by the Panamanian government.
 I was helping kuna´s women to clean bamboo to be used for men to build their "cabañas"

I was helping kuna´s women to clean bamboo to be used for men to build their "cabañas"

 Kuna man building "cabañas"

Kuna man building "cabañas"

 Two days later the "cabaña" almost finished

Two days later the "cabaña" almost finished

 Kuna comunity

Kuna comunity

Although you might think the "cabañas" are simple, in fact they are....but they are built on pieces of paradise!!!! Almost 365 islands (one for each day of the year), unfornunetely the climate change is affecting to this comunity as some of the island can be covered by the sea!

The traditional costume of a Kuna woman consists of a patterned blue cotton wrapped skirt, red and yellow headscarf, arm and leg beads, gold nose rings and earrings and the many layered and finely sewn mola panel blouse. 

 Kuna´s women in of the Kuna Yala comunities showing me how to make a mola

Kuna´s women in of the Kuna Yala comunities showing me how to make a mola

Geometric molas are the most traditional, having developed from ancient body painting designs.

Many hours of careful sewing are required to create a fine mola. The ability to make an outstanding  mola is a source of status among Kuna women.

The Ngobe-Bugle  are Panama's largest Indigenous group with around 164,000 members. They live in the mountainous western provinces of Chiriqui, Veraguas and Bocas del Toro.  Although the Ngobe-Bugle have recently had their territories recognized as a Comarca by the government they continue to be threatened by outsiders.
 Ngobe-Bugle women teaching me how to weave a Chacara bag.

Ngobe-Bugle women teaching me how to weave a Chacara bag.

Chacara bags are woven from the fiber of the wild pineapple plant or other natural fibers like pita.  The Ngobe-Bugle use these bags for transporting everything from babies to market goods on the mountainous trails of their tribal homeland in western Panama. 

Every Ngöbe owns several chácaras of various sizes that they use just as their ancestors did. Gigantic chácaras take nine months to complete and are used as baby cribs. Medium-sized chácaras are used daily as shoulder bags. Large chácaras are for carrying produce from the fields.

I was impressed by the amount of work that goes into each chácara.

 My characa bag with snake pattern

My characa bag with snake pattern

The Emberá, has an estimated population of 20,000, inhabit the Darien rainforest of Panamá.  This tribe along with the Wounaan were formerly known as the Choco because they migrated from the Choco province of Colombia in the late 18th century.  Both the Emberá and the Wounaan have a similar river basin culture.

Women of the Wounaan and Emberá tribes make elegant baskets from the fibers of the nahuala plant and chunga palm which grow the Darién Rainforest of Panamá. Each beautiful basket is a unique example of tribal folk art. 

 Emberá marsks

Emberá marsks



Chefchaouen

Some of my inspiration from my last journey in Chechchaouen (Morocco)

From textiles, beautiful berbere (artisans from the mountains) cushions and carpets.

Door open a new dimension, dyes letting our mind blow....everything in Morocco is a trip to the past, to another époque transforming our feelings and impossible to not get involved by the smell of the markets...thinking about "The alchemist" of Paolo Coello. flying to oasis on camels, eating tagin and talking about the beauty of human beings...cause when you travel Morocco the present moment gets stronger and the future doesn´t exist.

Oysho pop up store Tarifa

We want to share the new Oysho pop up store opening in Tarifa, and share some pictures with our plant hangers installation and also the Party hanging! An easy way to add a natural and summer touch to any space!

NICK CAVE

Nick Cave combines elements of sound, performance, color, and costume to create whimsical works that even the darkest soul would find hard to resist. Director of the fashion graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cave has built a notable reputation as an educator and artist.


SOMMER ROMAN SHEFFIELD

¨As an artist I source materials that have shared in those private worlds at one time or another.  I hunt and gather domestic discards: clothing, pillows, bed sheets, kitchen linens…etc.  I’m interested in the potential of these mundane and tactile materials to be transformed in order to approach aspects of life that are immaterial and complex¨. Sommer Roman, CA

DAVID HICKS

David Hicks is an artist living and working in California. Creating impressionistic works spurred from botanical and agricultural products. "Agriculture speaks to me about my own human experience. In the agricultural world there are cycles that that feel like allegorical references to a human struggle, a struggle that starts with fertilization, moves through growth and finally ends in decay" David Hicks, CA

CHEN CHEN & KAI WILLIAMS

Chen Chen & Kai Williams is a New York based design studio working in furniture, products and materials. It was founded in 2011 by Pratt Institute graduates Chen Chen and Kai Williams.

I just post some of their textile and colorful product, check out their web and enjoy the way they play with materials.

JOANA VASCONCELOS

Joana Vasconcelos is a portuguese artist based in Lisbon although exhibit internationally, I attach some pictures of her work because it really doesn´t need words!!! Check out also the video to understand how big her installations are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuGxRFCjTag


RAN RAN VIA HOP3FULLY

This week I received a nice visit at home, the team of  www.hop3fully.com

We had a great time sharing my experience starting my own brand Ranran, here you have the interview, I hope you enjoy :)

NET BAG COLLECTION

When I travel I always have in mind new collections, I know that new people, landscape, and sunset will bring a me new fresh mind!

This time after Senegal I was clear about my dream of sharing time with fishermen and....like dreams come true I woke up one day immerse in a fishnet production day. I spent a really great time sharing talks, laughs and quality time with this strong men who fight every day to bring food to their families!

My collection is the representation of their work converted into fashionable bags.

The yellow/orange one represent the unique african sunset!

The blue, the battle field of this adorable fishermen THE SEA!

....and the red for all of the blood of the slaves taken from their nation to work in the world of NO HEART people!

DIANE COOPER

Living in Japan, a culture much older than our own, developed within me a love for the
aged and worn surface. The Japanese aesthetic has been a major influence on my work.

This work embodies the concept of seeing beauty in life’s detritus. Materials consisting of used bits and pieces of everyday life, including wood, leather, fiber and metal are often used in the condition in which they are found.

My style of working is intuitive. Each piece takes Its inspiration from the material with which I have chosen to work.
Diane Cooper

 DIANE COOPER AT HER STUDIO IN CHICAGO

DIANE COOPER AT HER STUDIO IN CHICAGO

BARBARRA DE PIRRO

Barbara De Pirro is a painter, sculptor, installation artist and educator. She works both two and three dimensionally, translating and cross pollinating her concepts from one media to the other. Her expansive knowledge of acrylic, combined equally with her broad understanding of a full range of media opens the door to vast possibilities. All of this, she generously shares with other artists in her workshops and lectures

Bellow, crocheted with plastic bags sculptures.

MY LAST TRIP TO SENEGAL, AFRICA

I,m happy to share with you some photos of my trip to Senegal. I met lovely people, I also stayed with the "Manufactures senegalais des Arts decoratifs" team, weavers who make handmade carpets and wallhangings, fisherman who shared their technic with me, basket makers who teach me how to weave african baskets and a long list of authentic artisans with an enormous generosity and love. All of this was a wonderful experience, I´m so excited for all the inspiration I had during this journey and all the senegal friends I met!

 Making fishnet in a Peulh Village, man work fishing and women just make food and take care of 9 to 15 children they have. Man also have from 1 to 4 women, sleeping 2 days with each one....normally these women are even 25 younger than man.

Making fishnet in a Peulh Village, man work fishing and women just make food and take care of 9 to 15 children they have. Man also have from 1 to 4 women, sleeping 2 days with each one....normally these women are even 25 younger than man.

 Fisherman getting ready their fishnet.

Fisherman getting ready their fishnet.

 Fishnet

Fishnet

 Saint Louis, it has one of the most populous neighborhoods in the world, in just 1 square meter live 70.000 people.

Saint Louis, it has one of the most populous neighborhoods in the world, in just 1 square meter live 70.000 people.

 Amazing pink lake we found in our way to the Peulh Village, even people from Saint Louis don´t know about this incredible lake. There is also a big one very famous in Senegal.

Amazing pink lake we found in our way to the Peulh Village, even people from Saint Louis don´t know about this incredible lake. There is also a big one very famous in Senegal.

 African carpets pattens

African carpets pattens

 Typical J´s from central Senegal made with recycled cloths

Typical J´s from central Senegal made with recycled cloths

Manufactures senegalaises des Arts decoratifs, the complex was divided into different departments, one (above) for women who weave carpets using "persa" knot. As you see in pics the loom is big and robust and the technic is the same than french tapestry, they draw the detail on the warp and then weave using always the same knot.

Wool samples with the references. They buy it to Belgium. 

Below wool samples and weaving designer drawing the carpets and weavings details in real size (everything handmade, no computer no machines). This belongs to the second department (designers, all man)

The 3º department is the handwoven wallhanging, they work up to 8 month in a big size weaving. I could not take pics to the designs because is forbidden but I can say it is Afican style with bright colors, most of them figurative and they never use textures.

 Thies is all about weaving, on the road from Saint Loius to Thies you just find a big basket market, an explosion of color and good design, I´ve been learning their technic with a sweet family, really amazing experience!

Thies is all about weaving, on the road from Saint Loius to Thies you just find a big basket market, an explosion of color and good design, I´ve been learning their technic with a sweet family, really amazing experience!

Weaving with a really old school loom, it was impossible for me to control pedals.... they make bags and runner table with this technic.

 African sunset

African sunset

TRACY KRUMM

 

Tracy Krumm was born in 1963 and grew up in the Twin Cities area.  Her interest in craft stemmed from 1960’s urban culture and her close relationships with her grandmothers, who sewed, embroidered, tatted and crocheted.  By the age of seven, she was already adept at a number of processes and avidly pursued the making of craft objects.

 Her work is included in hundreds of private collections and has been collected by such venues as Ford Motor Company, Bloomingdale’s, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe.  Krumm currently maintains her studio practice in St. Paul, Minnesota

HEATHER PICKWELL

Heather Pickwell Is a sculptor, artist and teacher, living and working in Grimsby, ENGLAND.

She works with natural materials – rope, wool and charcoal 

 "My sculpture is tactile, meant to be touched and smelled, with surfaces, lines, cavities and protuberances to be explored. "

" Felt is also tactile and I use it to create 3D forms and painterly 2D expressions of the landscape. " she says!