Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Colors of Oaxaca. Part One

this will be a story in two parts; one about what captivated me in oaxaca, the second about what we actually made at the workshop.

i'm not much of a raconteur as ellen benson sure was at the casa, but i'm sure the photos of my recent trip to oaxaca will give you a pretty good picture of why it is a MUST VISIT city.  no wonder it has been named Patrimonio de la Humanidad.
9 days at The Colors of Oaxaca Workshop at Casa Colonial: 14 women, each an artist in their own right sharing what turned out to be a trip of a
lifetime! at least for me.
everything ran so smoothly, we all got along, we all learned so much from each other and the city.  it was sunny, warm and welcoming and definitely colorful. sidewalks filled with colorful shops and markets, narrow cobblestone streets with colorful painted houses, street vendors dressed in typical folklore.

our casa....a colonial house owned by jane robeson, an american expat who fell in love with Oaxaca 30 years ago and never left.

this was to be the setting for our workshop.
little did we know that we would end up spending more time out of the classroom than in; the city being so captivating that we would catch up on our needlework at night. well that's if gloria's margaritas didn't keep us, which they often did.  these are my best memories, sitting around that leather table and chairs with kick and kaari and molly talking away and ellen arriving just in time when the margaritas had kicked in to make us roar with laughter with stories of her travels and her one of a kind artwork.
how could you not have fun, roarious fun, with a woman like this?

you see, there was just too much to see and mary and syd and colleen had filled our days with excursions and lunches and dyeing sessions.  

so off we went to teotitlan to learn about the natural dye made from the cochinil and indigo dyes made from local wild flowers. 
photo by kaari meng 

amy at teotitlan
molly, kick, mary, amy and edith at the zocalo

syd, ellen and carol

molly's farewell speech

susan halme, myself, kick and molly meng
note how we are all dressed in mexican tops

in nine days, we only touched the surface...of oaxaca and of each other.  it is a city to move to if one were brave enough to take a sabattical.  i fell in love for a second time in spite of the disappointment of my favorite restaurant being gone (como agua para chocolate) and the strudel at my favorite coffee shop obviously being made by a new cook.

but in its place, la casa de la abuela

and so many other edible options.

everywhere you look in Oaxaca, there is art.
in the churches

in the fabric and textiles

kaari in her very french general colors

in the architecture
and the decor
and just in how everything is presented 
i just kept taking it all in

original frida kahlo letter at MUFA
a few of the things i brought back with me

the truth is there is so much more to tell, so many more pictures to share.  i have tried as best to give you a feel for what my eyes and senses relished.
Stay tuned for part two about our accomplishments in textile which, as always, is a work in progress.