Weave a Real Peace Blog

International Folk Art Market 2022

by Debbie Durham Image above: Yanet Soto of CTTC The International Folk Art Market (IFAM) is held annually in Santa Fe, NM in July.  Many WARP members volunteer at the Market, filling roles ranging from delivering water or box lunches to helping artists with sales in their booths. 2022 was my second year volunteering, with 3 shifts on the schedule…

WARP Volunteers Speak Out

Volunteering for WARP can be hard work or light. Fun or serious. Big job or small. In a team or isolated. There are many opportunities requiring many skills and welcoming many personalities. What follows are notes from some of our current 23 volunteers – over and above the nine on the board – women whose words you can read to…

Some Challenges in Artisan Production in Guatemala

by  Julio Alfredo Cardona Morales Photography by Mark Van Wormer Image above: A group of weavers in San Rafael, Rabinal: Gilberta Gonzalez, Berta Cuja, Bernarda Morales, Celestina Gonzalez, and two others who have left the group. NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés Labor Supply in Guatemala Guatemala is a country with a diversity of artisanal handmade…

Introduction to Embroidery from the Arab World

by Ansie van der Walt Image above: a Ramallah (Palestine) head shawl, photo from @tirazcentre In her book Threads of Identity, Widad Kawar tells the stories of four women she knew who played a significant role in not only creating beautiful tahriry embroidery and malak outfits but in spreading its legacy across Palestine and beyond. Women from Beit Dajan and villages in the Jaffa…

Navajo-Churro Sheep and Their Wool: Digressions and Ponderings

by Deborah Robson If you have not yet watched “A Sheep’s Tale: Preserving the Churro,” the WARP-organized webinar about Navajo-Churro sheep, don’t miss it. The three presenters—Molly Manzanares, Alta Piechowski-Begay, and Lyle McNeal—have been stars in one of the primary constellations by which I’ve navigated my life for a number of decades. In 1985, when I was editing Shuttle Spindle…

Working Beyond the Museum

by Tara Gujadhur What do you imagine when you think of a museum? Spare displays of ancient objects on a white wall? Taxidermy? Tiny print labels with obscure words, the name of a donor, and an accession number? In the 21st century there has been the much overdue recognition that the traditional model of a museum, potentially based on an…

Creating Connections through Stories

by Linda Ligon If you’re a weaver, maybe over the age of 40, and someone says “green book,” you know exactly what they’re talking about. That label doesn’t describe the title or the content or name the author, but its existence since 1944 has created an ecosystem of readers—tens of thousands of them—for whom it is a defining touchstone of…

Textile Travels in the Pandemic

Above: Group photo with the tejedoras of “Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Rial Poop B’atz”, Chamelco, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Photo credit: Lyndsay Harshman by Bob Miller The most recent WARP online panel discussion “Follow the Thread: Textile Tours and Traditional Craft” provided a welcome hour for many of us, whether experienced past or hopeful future textile travelers, to vicariously journey to the special…

The National Weavers Movement of Guatemala

by Brenda Rosenbaum “Between 2013 and 2014, several of us weavers started noticing a practice that was becoming common.  Businesses and individual designers who sell pieces of our clothes, especially huipiles, were approaching us and requesting us to weave textiles with certain changes in their figures and colors.  Even when these changes were minimal, once they had the pieces in…

Books by WARP Authors

The above books written by WARP authors can all be found at Schiffer Books Ltd. (schifferbooks.com) by Deborah Chandler Recently we put out a call for WARP authors to send in a list of their books to be included in an online library, or at least reference list, available on WARP’s webpage for the people who want to know more….

WARP COVID-19 Relief Grants

Image Above: Rubona basket weavers with the water jugs they purchased with the WARP grant. Other purchases included food, investment in artists crops, and artisan training. by Deborah Chandler In 1992, at our first organizational meeting of what would become Weave A Real Peace, we had as an invited guest a woman from Potters for Peace. We wanted to know…

A Big WARP Thank You

As hundreds of people already know, the WARP Annual Meeting that took place over the weekend of June 18 – 20, 2021 was an amazing event, successful on all counts. Our first Zoom conference, there were almost no technical glitches in spite of the 24 presenters coming to us from not only the full spread of the United States but…

Sunday Seminars – Connecting Around the World

Image Above: Winnie Nelon has a large collection of batik and ikat textiles she has accumulated through her travels in Asia.  She will discuss textiles from Borneo in her presentation in May.  Prince George Fiber Arts Guild Prince George, British Columbia, Canada   Reading through the website of the PG Fiber Arts Guild is enough to make a fiber artist…

Artisans in Argentina in Times of Pandemic

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. by Vanina Bujalter As throughout the world, also in Argentina, the impact of the pandemic produced by COVID-19 and the measures taken in the context of the health emergency produced an abrupt interruption of fair events and permanent handicraft fairs, suspension of the services of shipping and logistics, and almost…

Stories from the Field

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. by Yasmine Dabbous   WARP members work in cities and villages all over the world, and it is safe to say that the work is always challenging. WARP offers a community of peers, others experiencing the frustrations and joys of community development work, of helping provide opportunities for people to…

WARP in the Age of Zoom

By Deborah Chandler NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. For WARP the conversion from face-to-face to online connection is nearly complete. Painfully but realistically, the board has made the decision to again cancel the Annual Meeting that was scheduled for Bozeman next summer, opting to have an online meeting/conference instead. One advantage is that members who…

Spinning and Weaving Week – October 5-11, 2020

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. This may seem a little too fluffy for WARP, but then again, maybe not. In fact, maybe it could be profoundly important for indigenous weaving communities everywhere. In 1981 the Weaving and Spinning Council sponsored the first National Spinning and Weaving Week. The idea was to promote the crafts among…

Plagiarism and the Power of Travel

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. by Stephanie Schneiderman (adapted from her blog) Cultural appropriation is a loaded and complex concept. Given the power of social media much discussion is generated, especially when a designer integrates elements deemed to be cultural patrimony into his/her designs.  Global influence on the world of fashion is not new, and…

IFAM – The Biggest Party of Them All

     Above: Sita Devi Karna of the Janakpur Women’s Development Center (JWDC), Nepal, at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Photo by Bob Smith. By Deborah Chandler NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. Remember four years ago when then Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise Forum and informed…

Seeing the World Anew

Photo Courtesy of Multicolores: Healthy Environment by Imelda Estela Pich Chopén NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. With the onset of the Pandemic, artisans, both individuals and groups, are as hard hit as the millions of other people suddenly without work. As we all know, by the time we emerge from this we will be looking…

Cultural Appropriation – From the Outside In

By Dr. Paul Zolbrod NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. The appropriation of Native American resources is a tricky issue, with wider cultural implications than just taking possession of something not one’s own.  Yes, there has been plenty of that.  Just look at a map to see what little sovereign tribal U.S. land remains.  Other examples…

Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda!

By Chara Itoka NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. My name is Chara Itoka and I have always recognized that there’s more to fashion than meets the eye. My work in international development initially brought me to Rwanda but it was my insatiable passion for textiles that has rooted me in the Land of a Thousand…

For the Love of Textiles

For this month’s blog, we have a special article! WARP Member, Deb Brandon, shares the story of her book, Threads Around the World: From Arabian Weaving to Batik in Zimbabwe, published by Schiffer Books. What began as a regular column for the WARP newsletter (which Deb has been writing for over a decade), grew into a beautifully published collection of…

Maya Mam Weavers of Guatemala

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. Tejedoras Maya Mam is a cooperative of 26 women in the municipality of Cajolá, Quetzaltenango, in the highlands of Guatemala. The cooperative was born through the work of Grupo Cajolá, a group of undocumented immigrants that was organized in 2000 in the town of Morristown, NJ to watch out for…

Argentinian Artisanry and Textiles

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. Exhibition “QR: Between the Ancestral and the Future” – A collective manner to unite worlds, where the past and the future, traditions and innovations, the isolated and the interconnected are joined together. Patricia Hakim is the author of this “techno-artisan” project, in her own words. A recognized Argentine artist and…

Knitting Peace Circus

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés. Weaving is not the only fiber path to peace.  In 2012 as director and concept driver of the Swedish Circus Cirkör, Tilde Björfors turned the idea of knitting peace into the realm of performance art by turning it into the fundamental thematic driver of its production.  Invited to present at the Nobel festivities in December 2012, Knitting…

Local Connections – Working in Your Neighborhood

We don’t have to work internationally to do important work. Much is being done in our own backyards. This month, board member Judi Jetson shares her local connections…Judy Newland In 2009, when I joined the staff of a nonprofit called HandMade in America, for the first time my love of textiles merged with my career in economic development. In a…

Connecting the Social Fabric Part 2

Two WARP members add to the story of making connections, both local and global at the Textile Society of America Symposium in Canada…Judy Newland From Teena Jennings The opening plenary and keynote was given by Meghann O’Brien, who described her reconnection with her people and place through her personal discovery of traditional textile and basket making techniques. The closing plenary…

Connecting the Social Fabric in Canada

This month and next WARP members share their experiences at the Textile Society of America Symposium in Vancouver BC, which was September 19-22 and centered around the theme The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global From Susan Weltman What an incredible treat it was to attend the TSA Meeting in Vancouver!  This was an opportunity to spend time in…

Connecting with Young Members

Nicole Giacomantonio, our young WARP member from Nova Scotia, shares her experience at the annual meeting in Decorah, her reasons for embracing our group of textile enthusiasts and her hopes for the future…Judy Newland An Adventure in Iowa Iowa was beautiful, and Decorah was truthfully a place I never expected to find myself. I thought it great to have the…

Weaving a Life and Connecting With A New Community

This month Hellen Ascoli is sharing her experience at the annual meeting in Decorah. She gave a wonderful presentation about her work as the Director of Education at Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Dress in Guatemala. She now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Here is Hellen with new WARP friends and this is her story… (judy newland)   A couple months ago…

Sustaining Communities Through Museums

Museums have helped support cultural diversity in the US by collecting and preserving artifacts and documents from immigrants around the world. During the annual meeting June 7-10, we will visit the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, which houses a collection of fine arts and folks arts made by Norwegian immigrants and their descendants. Preserved History The museum collection started in 1877…

Creating Connected Communities Through Seed Saving

Weavers, spinners, fiber artists and anyone working with natural fiber and cloth rely directly on seeds for fiber plants like cotton and flax. Seeds are vital in the food production for wool-producing animals like sheep and alpaca. So it is easy to imagine the importance of safe-guarding access to seeds. Seeds are the first step in our food and fiber…

Connecting to WARP Leadership

Our April blog introduces you to a new board member and two nominees. Janice G Knausenberger will fulfill the term left open by the resignation of Devik Wyman. Mariana Mace and Carrie Miller have been nominated to run for two open board positions and if approved by the membership in June, both will serve on the WARP board for three-year…

The Making of THREADS: Kantha Behind-the-Scenes in Bangladesh

This month I would like to share a blog I recently wrote for ClothRoads about the documentary film project our WARP member, Cathy Stevulak, produced in Bangladesh. Cathy has an article in the current newsletter. The film THREADS is a story of kantha cloth and women. Kantha is an ancient form of hand-stitch embroidery originating in the Indian sub-continent (Bangladesh,…

Dakota Mace Weaving Diné Art

Dakota Mace is a graduate student in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a 2017 recipient of the Alice Brown Memorial Scholarship. She shares her work and philosophy. Dakota’s work “speaks about the dialogue between traditional vs. fine art and the way that the western world continues to perceive Diné weaving as utilitarian objects…

Spotlight on St. Louis ArtWorks by Kelsey Wiskirchen

St. Louis ArtWorks is a job-training program combining art and life-skills education to create opportunities for high school students through a vigorous program using the arts as a vehicle for gaining multiple skills. Teens are hired as apprentices, working closely with a teaching artist to become immersed in a specialized artistic discipline. I teach textiles, and apprentices begin by learning…

On the Road with Weaving for Justice

ON THE ROAD People who love textiles love to travel because of the many opportunities to learn and experience culture through textiles and textile traditions. Traveling is one way to create or be a part of a connected textile community like WARP. But when travel is not possible, you can often connect to textile communities in your own back yard!…

Weaving Through a Garden

Weave a Real Peace members visited the Oaxaca botanical garden in June during the 2017 Annual Meeting  Guest post written by Gail Ryser ….. The thing that I love about visiting a botanical garden is how easily the landscapes and vistas transport you across space—to different climates and other places around the world, sometimes familiar– sometimes not. And the really…

Welcoming our 2017 Scholarship Winners!

This year, due to generous donations, WARP selected three Alice Brown Memorial Scholarship winners. Alisa, Dakota and Nicole will be joining us for the conference in Oaxaca. Here is a preview of what we’ll learn about them in-person! ————- Alisa Ruzavina Alisa Ruzavina is a fashion/textiles designer and a Central Saint Martins student, specializing in Womenswear Design with Print. She was brought…

Creating Connected Textile Communities in the US

This month Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen  has written a guest blog about her work with textile communities in the US. The International Institute in St. Louis, Missouri, is a welcome center for new Americans. Serving immigrants and refugees from over 80 countries, the International Institute provides language classes, employment training, and a wide variety of community integration support services. The Institute…

Textile Education in Public Schools

In November, my fellow CSU student, Joe, and I delivered an interdisciplinary textile education workshop to the Colorado Art Educators Association in Breckenridge.   Joe is about to complete his degree in Chemistry education, and I am half-way through my MFA in Fibers. We combined our interests in chemistry and textiles to create a lesson plan that art teachers can…

Catharine Ellis at Growing Color-Natural Dyes Symposium

WARP member, Catharine Ellis, will speak at the event Growing Color- Natural Dyes From Plants Symposium in North Carolina.   The Growing Color Event This event will be hosted by the North Carolina Arboretum. Here’s how to get involved if you are near Asheville! Where: The North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806-9315 When: November 5, 2016 Timing: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Admission: Registration Fee: $70 Member/$75 Non-Member…

Traditions of Slow Clothing in Central Mexico

This is a guest post on slow clothing by author and textile collector Sheri Brautigam. The concept of slow clothing – hand-made artisan clothing – has been a reality for most of the world until very recently. Commercial goods either weren’t available or too expensive for people in developing countries to buy, so making your own garments from cloth you…

WARP Conference Reflections 2016

This year WARP’s annual meeting was held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were extremely fortunate to be staying just down the road from the International Folk Art Festival! The two recipients of the Alice Brown Memorial Scholarship that attended the meeting this year were Bridget Thompson and Carrie Miller. In this…

First Annual WARP Board Art Raffle!

Announcing the First Annual WARP Board Art Raffle! Want to help support WARP’s work and have fun at the same time?  For the First Annual WARP Board Art Raffle, our board members have all generously donated artworks they created in order to raise funds to help support our organization.  Click HERE to order your tickets today! Here’s the deal –…

Profiles: 3 WARP Members Helping Artisans Reach IFAM

by Mary Anne Wise  The occasion of the WARP annual meeting at the International Folk Art Market is an opportunity to examine the organization’s mission in action. This blog introduces you to 3 WARP members who help IFAM artisans access opportunities. If you work with global artisans and have wondered about participating in the IFAM, I encourage you to seek…

Learn Wedge Weaving!

Come and learn from Deborah Corsini about how to use this simple technique that is a prominent design feature of many Navajo rugs. Using primarily natural dyes for her work, Deborah will discuss how she uses color choices and the weave structure to develop her amazing woven compositions. Notice how the edges of the weaving contribute to the dynamic flow…

Weaving, Like Friendship, Lasts A Lifetime!

Some life lessons come in colorful packages.  For years, Mayan Hands has successfully used the consignment model to sell their products. The Friendship Bracelet program is a creative way to harness some of the teen (13-19 years old) and tween (9-12 years old) discresionary spending power for good. The bracelets (shown at right) are available in a wide variety of…

Tajikistan Bound Part Two: The Program

This is part two of a post by Cindy Lair’s, Chair of the WARP board, efforts to get a loom to Tajikistan. In the previous post, Cindy talked about helping to get a donated (nonfunctioning) loom to Tajikistan. The loom was destined to assist a group of rural women who weave incredible mohair blanks. Before she tackled the loom project,…

Tajikistan Bound Part One: The Loom

This is the first of a two-part post about Cindy Lair’s efforts to get a donated loom to Tajikistan. Cindy is the WARP’s board chair and the Planning Manager at Schacht Spindle Company, a loom and spinning wheel manufacturer. Part two will be posted on March 17. I have spent a great deal of time in Central Asia over the…

The Road from Guatemala to Santa Fe

Recently the Cooperativa de Alfombras de Mujeres Maya en Guatemala (Maya Women’s Rug Hooking Cooperative of Guatemala) was accepted into the 2014 International Folk Art Market, July 11 – 14. We spoke to one of their delegates to this year’s market. Reyna Pretzantzin is thirty-one years old and attends Rafael Landivar University studying for her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She divides her time…

Resolution Revolution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4VwnucrQcM As a new year is dawns, many of us are writing down our resolutions—promising to be better, stronger, smarter, and more aware of the world around us.  We are grateful for what we have and we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead. At WARP, our ongoing resolve is to create connections between people that honor the work of…

A Postcard from Tinkuy

In the past few blog posts we have seen a recurring theme that travel leads to stronger connections among weavers of different nations.  Katie Simmons sent this remembrance of one instance during her recent journey to Tinkuy a gathering of weavers in Cusco, Peru. Katie and other WARP helped raise funds to support Doña Maxima’s journey to Tinkuy.  Thanks to everyone who…

The Value of a WARP Membership

When Jackie Abrams stumbled upon the WARP booth at Convergence, the biannual conference of the Handweaver’s Guild of America, she knew she had found her tribe. She joined WARP right away. A contemporary basket weaver, Jackie appreciated the value of working with your hands. “My first trip to Ghana, Africa, was with a Cross Cultural Collaborative. I was entranced, but…

#fairtradehandmade for the Holidays

Absolutes are like New Year’s resolutions, bound to fail.  We may have good intentions to make everything we wear, grow everything we eat, and exercise every day, but face it—most of the time we don’t.  Small is beautiful, and that includes small steps. Let’s pledge to buy more gifts that are fair trade and made by hand. Giving one or two…

A Connecting Thread

Joan Ruane has championed cotton spinning for decades. A chance e-mail from a local woman in Uganda created a connection between Joan and a group of crocheters. We asked Joan if she would share her experience with us. Allen Nansubuga, founder of Crocet4Life in the small village of outside of Kampala, Uganda, e-mailed me in in February of 2012 to ask…

Weavers Wanted

A WARP member sent us a clipping about a community in Belize looking for weavers to volunteer in their village.  We reached out to Roy Rylander, a community organizer in this small village, for more information.  In 2008, Rod Rylander decided to retire in the small community of San Antonio Rio Hondo, located on a narrow island in Belize near…

A Conversation with Renee Bowers of the Fair Trade Federation

October is Fair Trade Month. We asked Renee Bowers, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) and a WARP member to answer a few questions about fair trade, textiles, and the best way to make a difference.  WARP: How would you describe the FTF in five words?  Renee Bowers: Strengthen fully fair trade businesses. What is the biggest challenge…

Spinning and Weaving Week

This week is National Spinning and Weaving Week.  In the United States, the first full week in October is set aside for textile enthusiasts to share their love of weaving and spinning with their communities.  Many find unique ways to inspire others to think about textile traditions in new ways.  Judith Saunders gives her basketry student students an annual challenge…

The Power of Conversation

For over twenty years WARP has fostered a conversation between people who have a deep and abiding love for textiles and those that create them. Established as a networking organization, WARP works to educate, connect, and inspire us all to take a second look at the cloth that surrounds them and think about the people and processes that made it,…

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