Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the category “Textiles and Fiber Arts”

Daily Post Photo Challenge: VIVID









Spring in Oaxaca

In Mexico these yellow trees are called Primavera, or Spring.

B & B "El Secreto"

The name of this B & B is “El Secreto”, but you wouldn’t have trouble finding it! It’s located right across the street from the primavera tree!

Yellow Wool

Teotitlán del Valle is a village well-known for splendid hand-woven rugs.The artists dye their own wool, the majority using natural dyes.I attended a dyeing workshop, and we dyed this yellow wool with pericón, or Mexican tarragon. The blue wool is dyed with indigo.

Check out yellow around the world at

Hiking Oaxaca: Santa Ana del Valle

Hugging the foot of a mountain in the Tlacolula Valley, the charming village of Santa Ana del Valle was the starting point for the weekly hike of “Hoofing It In Oaxaca.” Zapotec is the common language spoken here, and many people earn at least part of their living by weaving gorgeous rugs and other tapestries.

View of Santa Ana

The village of Santa Ana is in the foreground, and Tlacolula, the largest city in this valley, is in the distance.

Santa Ana del Valle Overlook

Santa Ana del Valle Overlook

From an altitude of approximately 5400 feet, we climbed 1619 ft. (493.5 m.)to a high point of about 7032 ft. (2143 m.) Particularly for those of us used to living at sea level, there was a lot of huffing and puffing! Our rewards were spectacular views in every direction and the opportunity to visit an unexcavated archaeological site.

Ancient Ball Court

This ancient ball court is part of the unexcavated archaeological site at the top of the mountain.

Descending is SO much easier than climbing!

Descending is SO much easier than climbing!

Back in the plaza of Santa Ana, we visited their lovely church and bought handwoven tapestries from friendly local artists.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

Intriguing and challenging! Lines to patterns are found in nature, artwork, architecture, and many other parts of life.

Ceiling Art

Artwork in the Children’s Library was all made by local children. Oaxaca, Mexico


Patio next to Textile Museum, Oaxaca, Mexico

Learning to Weave

Learning to Weave, Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico City

Mexico City

Artist painting with thread

Artist painting with thread, Oaxaca, Mexico


Luis the Weaver, Oaxaca, Mexico


Mushrooms, Alaska

Lines and lines of handmade fireworks. When lit, wonderful whirling patterns light the night!

Lines and lines of handmade fireworks. When lit, wonderful whirling patterns light the night!

Guatemala Literacy Project Tour

As our small bus neared the remote villages, the route became more twisted and rocky. Climbing higher and higher, we wondered, “Will this bus be able to navigate the next bend?  Does the driver realize how close we are to the edge? Is he sure this road leads to the village?” Forty Rotarians from across the United States peered skeptically from the windows as the buses lurched up and down the dusty semblance of a road. We had all met in Guatemala City and embarked on a ten-day excursion of learning about the country of Guatemala and the lives and culture of its people. 83 From Todos Santos Read more…

Popular Art Museum

Fanciful alebrijes, exquisitely detailed black pottery, stunning textiles, and other wonderful works of art await the visitor’s viewing pleasure in the Museum of Popular Art Oaxaca.

Click on any photo to view as a slide show.

The artists of San Bartólo Coyotepec, where the museum is located, are famous for their black pottery (barro negro).  After forming the brown clay vases, bowls and characters entirely by hand,  potters using small knives and other specialized tools cut in surface designs and see-throughs. The clay changes to a pearly black color as it is fired. 

Black Pottery Vase

Black Pottery Vase

Click on any photo to view the gallery as a slide show.

Sometimes outlandish, often humorous, but always gracefully carved and vividly painted, alebrijes hold the power to make the viewer gasp with astonishment at the meticulous hand painting or smile at the whimsy of the creator.

Fantasy Creature

Fantasy Creature
Photo by Peter Martin

Click on any photo to view gallery as a slide show.

Fiber artists of southern Mexico are well-known for producing gorgeous textiles that are used for clothing, bags, tablecloths, and bedspreads. Artisans weave with backstrap looms, table looms, and floor looms, and they often decorate their weavings with colorful hand embroidery.

Click on any photo to view as a slide show.

Naptime in the Museum

A friend, Peter Martin, who was visiting the museum at the same time that we were, generously gave me permission to use some of his photos. His name appears in their captions.

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