José Mendoza is the recipient of the 2011 Scholarship for Creativity & Experimentation from Stories of Hope. Between January and May José was to work on one piece that would be for display and for sale. He has completed the tapestry and has decided to have it framed in a shadow box as it is not very large (approx. 24″X24″). José told me he has incorporated all the techniques he has learned from his learning to weave as a child up to his experiences today. The very fine yarns he worked with are all dyed with natural dyes. This tapestry will be on display at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca for the month of June. The tapestry is for sale and he will let me know what the price will be. When the tapestry sells José will keep 90% of the sale price with 10% going back to Stories of Hope as seed money towards the 2012 scholarship. If you are interested in purchasing José’s tapestry please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is certainly the right day to tell you all about my time in Mexico! As I sit here and watch the snowfall I think back to warm, sunny days in Oaxaca. They say that the weather each of the first days of the new year will determine the weather for coming months – if it is raining and cold on Jan 2nd, then February will be rainy and cold. If it is sunny and hot on January 3rd then March will be sunny and warm. Every day was sunny and very warm so Oaxaca is looking at a very warm, sunny spring!
The trip was a great success. I was able to meet with the 10 weavers and go over the next workshop with them. The upcoming workshop will focus on weft ikat and will work as a lab. The participants will bring their own yarns pre-dyed with natural dyes in reds and yellows. We will again work with indigo, over-dyeing to give purples and greens.
Several of the weavers have continued to work with the ikat techniques they learned in September. Arturo told us he sold 5 shawls in one week that were done with ikat. Because they all sold we didn’t get to see them!
Moises brought a beautiful silk scarf to show us.
And Alfredo brought 2 dresses that incorporated ikat.
The museum has invited me to give three workshops in 2011 – I am so honored and excited!
My main purpose in traveling to Oaxaca was to hand out the scholarship and micro-loan. We did not let anyone know that this was why I was there and made arrangements to meet with the recipients in private.
Eric and David, representing the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, and I made arrangements to travel to Jose’s home in Teotitlan so that I could photograph his latest weaving. When I was done we asked if we could sit and talk – then we surprised Jose with the scholarship. He was stunned. The scholarship is for Creativity & Experimentation. The piece Jose weaves will be exhibited at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in June and then it will come here to Brooklyn to be on exhibit in July. The piece will be for sale – 10% of the proceeds will go towards another scholarship. I cannot wait to see what Jose does!
Next we made arrangements to meet with Eufrosina & Esteban at the museum telling them I needed to do another interview with them. I cannot tell you how surprised they were to learn they weren’t there to be interviewed instead they would be receiving a micro-loan to help them purchase a loom – they were both speechless.
At the end of my stay the weavers invited me to lunch – including folks from the museum there were close to 20 of us. It was at this lunch that we told the other weavers about the scholarship and micro-loan. They were so pleased for Jose, Eufrosina & Esteban and thrilled to learn that this program will continue to be available in the future to help others. I explained to everyone that this money was not coming from me – but from a wonderful group of people who care very much about them. They are so thankful that strangers from so far away would do this for them.
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This is the home of Stories of Hope, a charity-based organization that teaches a crafts-based education to those in need.
Feel free to click on any of the links above to find out more about what we do.
The raffle is a success! As of this evening $1235.00 has been raised!
Let me introduce to the recipient’s of your generosity:
Jose will be receiving the scholarship and Estevan will receive the loom.
Jose is 25 years old and the sole support for his mother and two younger brothers, as well as helping out his grandparents. His father died in an accident about 5 years ago. He is a very bright, enthusiastic young man. Weaving is such a part of his being that it is like taking a breath – he can’t imagine life without it.
Estevan worked as a cab driver in Oaxaca City. He has taught himself to weave on a small pedal loom (a floor or treadle loom). His wife, Eufrosina works on the backstrap loom. They needed a wider loom so that Estevan can weave bedspreads and table cloths which are in demand in the market places.
Thank you everyone for helping to make a difference!