At the beginning of a recent needle-point workshop in the Pacutama community last month, we asked the women why the older members weren’t there.“They have bad eyesight so they figured they wouldn’t come to a workshop on needle point embroidery” to which we replied, “No, tell them to come! We have reading glasses for them!”
-All thanks to the donation of our workshop leader, Diane Herrman, who had the wise idea of bringing down 40 pairs of reading glasses with her before traveling to Guatemala last month. Most of the older women had not worn glasses before so it was a funny moment watching them try out the different pairs to find one that would work.
And so began the workshop… Yabal artisans are weavers- which doesn’t mean they are needle workers- so this was a new technique for many of them. But as any good textile artist, they love learning from fellow fiber artists, so it was a treat to be able to welcome Diane for the day to share her knowledge with our women’s cooperative. Diane is an embroidery artist that spends most months traveling to different states around the US giving workshops on her needle-point and embroidery techniques. It was her first trip to Guatemala and we were lucky to have her visit our artisan communities and share in our mutual love for textiles! During the workshops, she taught three different embroidery stitches which everyone tried out and mastered.
We love to be able to provide these types of experiences and workshops for our weaving cooperative members- as in the rural areas of Guatemala there are few opportunities for continuing education, and even less for women. Check out photos from the workshop below: