ArtAndes Blog

Global interaction inspires the weaving craft

Posted July 22, 2011 @ 4:51pm | by Melanie


It's incredibly interesting to see how weaving invokes memories, inspires conversation, educates and awes  the young, middle & old and just plain old makes people feel good. Having my great friend and master weaver Wilber Qusipe, here for 2 months every summer, for the past eight years, has really been a gift for both of us. I sell more of his rugs and Maximo's tapestries when Wilber's demonstrating on his loom. Wilber sells his story pieces, that draw people in and give them another reality to ponder. 

More than the economic boost for both of us, it's stimulating to interact around the loom, ancient in design, a hand-built apparatus that produces heirloom textiles that has been used by most cultures worldwide. It's a great conversation piece and it's my in-road to chatting with ALOT of people.

My fears for the future of this craft are affected by the 'progress' in Peru. They have the largest gold mine in South America as well as an abundance of tin and copper- need I say anymore? The lure of a job in a different part of the county calls the young folks who used to want to learn the great skill of weaving. A mining job doesn't pay more, it's that there are many job choices now and when a country progresses, machines & imports take the place of handmade. 

We were a country of textile production and woolen mills, I point that out to Wilber. Our country progressed and now we import most of our textiles. As we work at keeping the craft a viable profession for the weavers, we can't help but wonder how 'progress' will affect the future of Peruvian weavers.

The photos are: The tree of life in Rochester, Wilber visiting his rug at Sam's new condo, Wilber networking with the Damas of the Arab world, and the lively Des Moines Farmers Market


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