Oaxaca, México.  French artist Michel García—one of the world leading experts in sustainable natural dyeing—is giving some workshops at the beautiful Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (formerly a huge textile factory), from March 12 – 20, 2012.

El artista francés Michel García, uno de los grandes expertos en tintes naturales sostenibles, ofrece talleres en CaSa (Centro de las Artes de San Agustín y antigua fábrica textil de Oaxaca), del 12 al 20 de marzo.


 ColorFest: Exploring Primary Colors (cochineal, indigo, yellow)

Explorando colores primarios (cochinilla, índigo y amarillo)

Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia • Ikat Weaving • Paper Making •

Zapotec Field Trips • Local Culture

Talleres en tintes naturales • Ikat • Papel picado • paseos Zapotecas • cultura local

MARCH 12-20, 2012  (suggested arrival/llegada: 3/11, depart/salida: 3/21)

Springtime excursion inspired by the colors of amarras Pre-Columbian textiles

 Paseo de verano inspirado por los colores de amarras precolombinos.

 Explore Oaxaca and the vibrant natural dyes for which the area is famous.

Explore Oaxaca y sus tintes naturales que la hacen famosa.

Natural dye expert and world traveled botanist, Michel Garcia of France, will lead an eye-opening series on the primary colors of the Americas – indigo, cochineal, and yellow. The workshop will explore sustainable processes on animal fibers.

Sessions will be conducted in and out of the classroom, with hands-on technical training plus field visits to an ethnobotanical garden and a cochineal farm.

Our program will connect participants with local master artisans who will instruct us in traditional crafts that sadly are fading, like jaspe rebozo (ikat shawls) from Tenancingo, and papermaking.

Standout Oaxacan attractions included in our activities: the MUSEO TEXTIL de OAXACA (March exhibition will be “Herencia de moros, alforjas, alfombras y almohadas”); JARDIN ETNOBOTANICO de OAXACA; and ZAPOTEC ruins. Other Oaxacan traditions sure to inspire: stitch-resist dye traditions; papel picado (paper cutting), tapestry weaving with natural dyed wool.

We are fortunate to have as our base the beautiful artists facility of el CENTRO DE LAS ARTES DE SAN AGUSTÍN (CaSa) with support from Trine and the founder, artist Francisco Toledo—one of Mexico’s greatest living artists and a Oaxacan native. CaSa is a 20-30 minute drive from downtown Oaxaca.*Our participation helps CaSa offer more affordable instructions to local artisans and organizations. | |


Does not include airfare or hotel

Slow Fiber Studios™ is a program of the World Shibori Network

More information: Lala de Dios

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich

Sprang bags for sale – CARTERITAS A LA VENTA

 They measure 6″ X 8″ (15 X 20 cm) and are absolutely adorable.
¡Miden 15 X 20cm y son divinas!
We have seen Beatriz Oggero’s beautiful, monumental sprang pieces (warp weaving)
hanging handsomely in museums and galleries.
Now she claims to make the little bags “during spare time”.

 Ya hemos visto las obras monumentales de Beatriz: piezas hechas en la

técnica sprang,
 las cuales cuelgan en museos y galerías de arte.
 Ahora ella dice hacer estas carteritas “en su tiempo libre”. ¡Dichosa!


Beatriz Oggero, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Phone: +591 4440 6940
Please see the article below to appreciate one of Beatriz’s works in sprang technique.
—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, translation

3rd BAZART UC in Santiago, Chile

If you happen to be in the neighborhood this Sunday, December 4, Pontificia Catholic University of Chile presents the Third BazartUC Fair of Contemporary Art, featuring 30 stands with works by national renown and emerging artists. Entrance free of charge.

There will also be an interactive salon about the Art of Andy Warhol, with an engraving workshop, costumes and children activities.


Textile artists Andrea Fischer and Inge Dusi are active participants in this event.

The address if on the lower left hand side of the invitation for your review.

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, translation

Good-luck witches in Santiago, Chile

Award winning brooch by Alba Sepulveda

The Spanish conquista brought its religion to South America, and with the Inquisition a huge witchcraft lore began in Chile—from love-related persecution of famous women such as Francisca de Escobedo, Juana de Soto, Maria de Encío, and Juana de Castañeda all the way to two centuries of the Enchantment War, when Indigenous Mapuches were persecuted due to their costumes and tattoos.

During a trip to South America two years ago, I became aware of little witches hanging in vehicles and bicycles as good-luck charms in Santiago, Chile. This generalized belief has opened up a big market for textile figurines in every material imaginable.

A few weeks ago during an international crafts fair in “the witch’s town of Santa Ana”—west of the capital city of San José, Costa Rica—I met a Chilean finger weaver who works with crin (horse hair), and invited her and her son to spend a day at my place. This encounter was hard to accomplish due to tight schedules and travel distances, but it was very inspiring for me (I still work 100% by hand).

Of all the Chilean weavers working with horse hair, I was lucky to meet one whose work is exquisite, and whose original design has been internationally recognized.

Her name is Alba Sepúlveda. At age 7 she learned this ancient trade from her mother, Ms. Enriqueta Ramos, who wove the roots of the poplar tree. Many years later, the poplars became extinct in the area, forcing weavers to experiment with horse hair.

Alba Sepúlveda, horse hair dyed with aniline and agave ixtle

Nowadays Alba teaches 50 other women to weave, and the crin trade continues to grow: Finger weavers, who must have good sight and be able to spend hours working by a lightbulb. They harvest only the hair of breeds whose hair absorbs dye well, in a process that takes several days.

Alba Sepulveda, "Atom" brooch, Unesco Award

In 2008 Alba received the 2008 UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Handcraft Products award for the brooches shown here.

Alba Sepulveda's award winning "Black&White" brooch

Needless to say I am the proud owner of a little witch made by Alba, which is absolutely beautiful. It measures 4″ in length by 1.5″ in width, and it has tiny details delicately crafted with crin…wonderful! Unfortunately, my knowledge of finger weaving and knotting is very limited, and there’s no way I could remember all the explanations Alba gave me about this long process.

Alba Sepulveda, horse hair witch and necklace

Alba Sepulveda, Flowers

Alba lives in Santiago, Chile. If you’re interested in seeing or buying her works, you may visit her blog and newly designed web

I love the artistry and intricacy of design in all of Alba’s works, which she brought over to my house that day.

Alba Sepulbeda: "Camelia"

Here are but a few samples for everyone’s enjoyment:

Alba Sepulveda: "Flower"

Alba Sepulveda: "Flores"

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich