#6 Crafts

For the last ten years I have been working, talking, learning, and observing artisans from all over the world, trying to understand their different techniques, tools and materials.

I worked with potters, wood workers, glass masters, and wicker weavers in Chile. Silversmiths, gold leaf makers, embroiderers and painters in India. They taught me about their traditions, their costumes, their cultures.

There’s such a richness in crafts that it’s very painful to be an observer of how they are disappearing; they vanish because they don´t fit with progress, because in general there is no time for them and, specially, because there is not interest in them.

What are disappearing are not only craftmen’s skills and knowledge, but also their values, their way of living, and their pace of life.

These pictures show some of these encounters. The last Project I did on craft was in New York, so instead of travelling to a remote place in the world, I took what I had around. The city has the biggest source of craftsmen from different parts of the world in the same city, the technology to improve some of the processes and the market that gives value to local handmade products. The idea started at the Mexican restaurant where I used to work. My colleagues from Puebla, MX used to weave baskets. So we worked together with a cobbler from Colombia who used to be a seamstress and jeweler, and were now working in a party supplies store. The three of them combined their skills with locally available materials to create something new. This is something that happens very often: skillful people emigrate to the City where there is no place for their craft. This project aims to pinpoint these talents to make their skills visible to the City, so they can keep doing what connects them to their roots, to their hometown.

 



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