"One day I looked around and I could see we were surrounded by art, but people didn't value it enough and poverty was settling into our community."
"My name is Mario Chávez Gutiérrez and according to legend, the Lord of the Universe descended in the village where I was born. His mission was to make art flourish in the region, and let the loom recreate the beauty of the universe. That's why I called my workshop Teotl – tlan, because in the Náhuatl language it means "House of God."
"I come from a family of weavers – it is a legacy I inherited from my great-grandfather. Nowadays, my designs in wool are innovative, somewhat different to those of my great-grandfather. One day I looked around and I could see we were surrounded by art, but people didn't value it enough and poverty was settling into our community. I realized we had everything at our disposal, we just didn't know how to make good use of it. So I decided to try new and different things. I changed patterns and played with colors. My aim was to preserve and promote the beauty of the Zapotec art.
"The process starts with the wool – we shear the sheep twice a year. Then it's washed and carded by the women. We thread and dye it with natural colorants such as cochineal, walnut tree bark and local flowers. We thread the wool on the pedal looms and commence weaving, a process which can take anywhere between one day to a whole month, depending on the design. To finish, we roll up the loose threads and tie them into knots. Finally, we check the rug to make sure it is of good quality and has no imperfections.
"I want to give a present made with my hands to the world, as a gift from Teotl-Tlan."
The Zapotec sun lures with its mystical presence, it's star-like diamond shape a symbol of nature's dual essence. Mario Chávez replicates this legendary symbol of Zapotec belief and art in a hand-loomed wool rug featuring natural dyes.
Glyphs of Zapotec origin tell of the region's rich artistry in a design by Mario Chavez. Working with wool he weaves the rug on a traditional loom in warm earth tones obtained from walnut. He finishes the fringe by hand.
Oaxaca's golden sun caresses joyous colors that celebrate a fiesta. Wide black borders evoke the night sky. Eliciting intricate motifs from virgin wool, Alberto Ruiz and his wife craft this beautiful Zapotec rug on the handloom. They name the design....read more
Stars cover this hand-loomed rug with festive color. Working in virgin wool, Alfredo Ruiz creates the motifs with deep rich colors that come from natural dyes. This exquisite accent rug is bordered in navy blue for a superb example of Zapotec art. Titled....read more
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