Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 2:00AM | by Kim Eslinger |
It's fun having Wilber back weaving live at the Market. Seconds after I saw him I spotted this masterpiece. The tapestry is titled the ‘Pachamama (earth mother) Spinners’. It's an homage to the women of the Andes who spin the yarn - all on a drop spindle - that is used in the pieces available thru ArtAndes. While machine spun yarn has replaced most of the handspun, ArtAndes and Master Weaver Wilber Quispe have been able to work with the same group of women since the mid-Nineties, buying every inch of wool yarn they can hand spin.
Why go through the involved, tedious and more expensive process? Per Melanie Ebertz of ArtAndes, "Handspun yarn is perhaps five times finer than machine spun wool. The finer the yarn, the more yarn per square inch, the finer and tighter the weaving. The importance that the women’s hands contribute to the craft is what is being honored here. The woman at the top of the tapestry is offering the drop spindle to the Mountain Gods."
When the Spanish invaded Peru in the 1500’s, they referred to the pillaged textiles they loaded on the ships bound for Spain, “As weavings so fine it’s as though they were woven of threads of gold.” Melanie added, "We feel that our textile quality is very much the same today!" I concur - we treasure our own ArtAndes tapestry, and I smile every time I look at it.
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