Monday, January 30, 2017

Designing with Tradition

My design process in Guatemala is very collaborative.  After so many years the artisans I work with have a keen understanding of my aesthetic.  They also know that I adore incorporating traditional crafting into the designs I bring to market. It's easy to look at beading books printing in the USA and copy patterns other artists have created.  What is more challenging is always coming up with new and original designs.
Guatemalan women have been weaving and embroidering for themselves and their families for decades. Many of you must be familiar with the stunning huipil blouses they wear. We have an entire collection that borrows from the techniques they use to make them. The women are often inspired by what they see in nature.  This typically means flowers. And yes, we offer beadwork shaped as flowers each and every season. We've designed 100's of earrings that resemble one variety or another. This season, we decided to hone in on birds. It was only after a neighbor of mine started posting lots and lots of photos on facebook of hummingbirds (and in some cases they're feeding off of the bottlebrush tree in my yard) did I think to blog about our new bracelets featuring colorful birds. Shown here are cuffs (SKU: PcortePaj) embroidered on traditional corte fabric.  Each piece is on-of-a-kind.  Funny, we have bracelets embroidered with a rows of flowers.  This last week in Las Vegas, several clients zoomed in on these. They didn't even seem to mind that they wholesale for a bit more money than those without birds.  You can see more examples on our wholesale website. -ND