World Shibori Network

Celebrating the visual languages of PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENT through the global practice of resist-dye traditions and innovations, keeping in mind authenticity, reciprocity, and networking.

Throwback Thursday :: Team WSN’s Oaxaca Diary

Earlier this year, WSN President Yoshiko Wada and team spent a week, planning and talking with host institutions and scouting  local venues in Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is internationally reputed for it’s vibrant and culturally diverse art, cuisine and architecture – making it the ideal place to host the upcoming 10iss in 2016!

The ISS will be organized by the World Shibori Network in collaboration with the directors and architects of the Fundación Alferdo Harp Helú, Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, Museo de Textil Oaxaca, Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CASA), and Centro Cultural San Pablo.

The team also visited the robustly creative town of Teotitlán del Valle, where many weavers reside using wool and natural dyes to create beautiful narrative tapestries.

Some highlights from their travel…

The Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca

This place seems like a beautiful art collaboration between Nature and humans!  The tours are by appointment only and it was special privilege to get a guided tour from Giovanni, who is a botanist and has worked on several projects with the garden. The team explored this garden to learn about the indigenous plants of Oaxaca.


Feather-work in progress at the garden; Photo credit: Sarah Chu

The Director of the garden, Alejandro de Avila among other things, is working with Noé (a wonderful young weaver from San Mateo del Mar, a Huave indigenous community) to replicate historical feather work weaving which was taking place in the garden during the visit.

Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CASA)

Here, the team saw an impressive exhibition, toured the classrooms, spacious upstairs hall and more possibilities for the 10iss contemporary exhibitions.

They also attended felt-making and paper-making workshops and observed the process of turning pulp into paper (the paper pulp was then hand manipulated to directly create texture and impressions). At the felt workshop, there were examples of contemporary artworks by Francisco Toldeo.


Paper jewelry; Photo Credit: Jiang Guo

The team was quite seduced by the intricate paper jewelry made by the artisans with Kiff Slemmon’s exquisite design.


Yoshiko had a reunion with Jacobo Mendoza and his wife Maria Luisa, who have been practicing natural dyeing techniques taught by Michel Garcia. They shared their success story of obtaining a neon-yellow from an ancient Zapotec plant and some wonderful tapestries handwoven in the family. Some were made by their 15-year old son, Jacobito!

At the cochineal farm owned by Manuel Vasquez of TLAPANOCHESTLI ™ (from the nahuatl language, meaning scarlet color) the team learned the process of raising and harvesting the most coveted red dye called grana cochinilla .

Museo Textil de Oaxaca – MTO

This jewel of a museum was hosting three remarkable textile exhibitions during the visit, each addressing personal, social and historical aspects of textiles and costumes executed with skill and beauty.

~ Mirar por ojo de una aguja, el arte de Tamara Rivas (beautiful hand made blouses)

Historias de ciudades ( history of cities)

~ Lienzos para estar con Dios: textiles rituales de cuatro continentes (textile traditions and rituals from across Oceania, Asia, Africa and America)

Food 🙂

Oaxaca is well known for it’s range of cuisines and unique beverages.  We were at the Sunday Organic Market in Xochimilco. The above is a gallery of the types of food that simply couldn’t be resisted!

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This entry was posted on 17 December 2015 by and tagged , , , .
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