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Keeping the Woven Arts Alive

Hello again dear friends of Loom Tree! This month I’m reaching you from my homeland, Italy. After a thrilling adventure out east I found myself connecting for a little bit with my roots, and what an important thing it is to be sure; even the tallest tree needs its roots in order to stay grounded and continue to grow. This experience has been rendered even more enriching thanks to the Venice Biennale, one of my homeland’s most venerated art festivals. As if fated by destiny I arrived at this Biennale to find it was strongly centered around the textile arts, and this has only reinforced my drive and belief in what we are doing back home at Loom Tree.

In one very interesting statement published by the Biennale a radical concept was brought to my attention: in the course of human history we are always introduced to weapons as the earliest human creations; long and hard objects meant to penetrate that celebrate an extremely male-centric view. However, in a 1986 publication entitled The Carrier Bag Theory and Fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin makes an astute observation: it is absolutely ludicrous to think that humanity’s first inventions were objects of war, but rather they were objects meant to contain, preserve and hold; in other words bags, nets and baskets, all woven things, and all made by female hands.

As I have said to you before dear friends, our work at Loom Tree is a lot more than a commercial enterprise. Every day we strive to be a worthy conduit through which the rich woven heritage of Guatemala endures. Indeed, you will note that I will often refrain from calling them “my” designs in favor of calling them “our” designs. To me this work is a true and tested collaboration of creative minds. The amazing weavers I have the pleasure of working with have all inherited their passion and skill from their ancestors, and this is a line that can be traced back millenia. As much as this adventure has refreshed my ideas, given me new ones, and even opened my eyes to completely new truths, I finish this chapter feeling even closer and more connected with Loom Tree’s purpose than I was before. As I look forward to returning home to my beautiful Antigua Guatemala, and seeing my wonderful team again, I am reminded how important it is to have a sense of purpose in one’s work.

So, dear friends, as I prepare to make my journey home I would like to thank every one of you who has chosen to share in Loom Tree’s journey, and by extension also share in humanity’s oldest art form.


- Carmen


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