The Indigo Project

The Kickstarter campaign is 37% of the way there! $3770.00 has been raised. There is just a month left to reach the goal of $10,000.00. The Indigo Project needs your help!

Do you love textiles, the color blue, a good story, sustainability, helping others?

If the answer is yes – support The Indigo Project!

I have once again been invited to teach at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in the fall. I will be teaching three workshops: a weft Ikat to the original group of weavers from Sept 2010, a warp Ikat workshop to a new group of ten, and Michel Garcia’s method of making a reduction indigo vat.

In addition I plan on traveling to one of the last villages in Mexico that produces indigo. I expect to spend several weeks in the village interviewing the villagers and documenting the indigo production from the field to the indigo cake.

This means I could be in Mexico for up to two months. For all of this to happen I need to raise the funds.

There are two ways that you can donate – join the fun at Kickstarter and receive great rewards!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1038948236/stories-of-hope-the-indigo-project

Or if you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation or your company has matching grants then Fractured Atlas (the fiscal sponsor for Stories of Hope) is the way to go.

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/2928

What will this money be used for? Part of it will be used to produce a book on the indigo growers. This book will document the process from the fields to the indigo cake ready for market. Part of it will go to having both Stories of Hope –Oaxaca (http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2132961)and Stories of Hope –The Indigo Project translated into Spanish. Part of it will go to transportation, room and board for both myself and a translator. Part of it will go to pay the translator. Part of it will go to updating or adding equipment.

Why is this important? This is one of the last villages in Mexico to produce indigo and I feel very strongly that it is important to archive the process and tell the stories of the villagers. Indigo production has sustained them for generations, but this could all become lost as the younger generations leave the village to work in the US or Mexico City. It can become lost because this is a subsistence lifestyle and one bad crop can ruin the village financially. Last year there was too much rain and they were only able to produce a small amount of indigo.

It takes only one generation for knowledge to become forever lost. Twice in the past year I traveled to return to cultures craft techniques that had become lost to them.

Stories of Hope (www.madderlane.com) is making a difference in people’s lives and that is happening because of the generosity and support of people like you!

Stories of Hope – The Indigo Project

Thank you for your support of Stories of Hope – Oaxaca

2010 was a very good year for Stories of Hope!

The workshop in Mexico was successful – the weavers are now utilizing the techniques taught in the workshop to create fresh new products for the marketplace that are selling well. Stories of Hope – Oaxaca, Weavers of Southern Mexico was just published. And I have been invited back to the Museo Textil de Oaxaca to teach in the fall.

In Jan. 2011, Stories of Hope was able to give out a scholarship for Creativity & Experimentation and an interest free micro-loan, I look forward to repeating this in 2012.

I have just started a new Kickstarter campaign, Stories of Hope – The Indigo Project and hope that I can count on your support again this year.

Here is the link to the project:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1038948236/stories-of-hope-the-indigo-project

The Indigo Project

Or if you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation or your company has matching grants then Fractured Atlas (the fiscal sponsor for Stories of Hope) is the way to go.

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/2928

Oaxaca update!

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.

Moises’ Ikat

And Alfredo brought 2 dresses that incorporated ikat.

Dress with Ikat
Detail of 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!

Jose receiving Scholarship for Creativity & Experimentation

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.

Esteban receiving the micro-loan!

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.

They asked me to say Gracias to you all!