Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Painting with yarn

The very first yarn painting that I have sold, "The meeting", has been ready already from Saturday and was sent today, but I just haven't had time to put any photos here. This very time consuming technique is used by Mexican Huichol Indians. The yarn is pressed to the beeswax to make the painting, that's where the name comes from.

Here's how it all started: Ravyn was looking for things with her totem animals, so I send her this sketch:
And little by little, the painting started to take form...

And finally it was ready! I'm pretty happy about the way it turned out.

Here are some details, you can see more in my Flickr account.

By the way, I decided to allow also anonymous comments, at least for a while, so feel free drop me a line (but no spam, please!)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home sweet home...

The second workshop on education is over and I'm happily back in Mexico City. It was nice and interesting and a bit less stressing than the first workshop, but I'm still glad that I'm done with it. This time I was sent to Acapulco. Here's the view from my hotel:

Buuuut.... here's where I spent my time:

Well, I actually could spend some time on the beach too, but not as much as I would have liked... Any way, it's nice to get some touch of the reality between the studies. And besides, my group gave me lots of gifts too: one huipil (a traditional Mexican dress), a painted wooden box and a beach dress that I didn't photograph. I guess they liked me!

In order to keep myself busy now that the workshops are done (as if there wasn't enough to do with the studies!) I decided to star my very first lace shawl. To keep things more interesting, I have to finish this Lehmus-scarf next week - I want to use it on Saturday on friends' wedding. We'll see if I can finish it by then...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Back in town...

Here's some chocolate for you! It's a present from my workshop group.

I'm back to Mexico City after my workshop in Chilpanchingo. Interesting and challenging experience, I learned a lot. But it was very tiring too, I have to admit. I have never facilitated a workshop alone for three days, and it really takes all your energy.

I was prepared to encounter some difficulties, especially after I heard that the teachers and school directors who participated in the workshop, had only been told about it the night before it started and were pretty pissed off by that. But my group turned out to be very nice! They worked well together and I think we managed to create a warm atmosphere so everyone felt comfortable enough to speak. I had only one difficult person that joined the group on the second day. He created some negative energy complaining all the time that instead of participating in some useless workshops he should be directing his school and teaching the kids. But finally I won him over too. The third day, when they were telling their feelings about the workshop, he was also saying how important it is that the teachers make the most of the workshops they are offered. I think that was my greatest victory in the workshop!

I learnt a lot about the conditions of the teachers in rural communities in Guerrero state. Nothing to envy, definitively! The salaries are very small and they even have to pay for themselves the sometimes very long trips to the communities where they teach. The material resources are also very scarce. Sometimes they have computers, for example, but not the electricity to use them.

What comes to Chilpanchingo as a town, I really can't recommend it. It's small and ugly and the people aren't very nice - except for my group, of course. We had even difficulties to take taxis - for some reason they always turned away when they saw two foreign girls (my friend was there too as a facilitator for another group). That doesn't happen often in other parts of the country. I'm glad to be send to some other place for the next workshop, even if I'd love to work with the same group (and they wanted me to go back).