Monday, October 16, 2006

crafty on the road - Lima, Peru

Hola amigas and amigos!

This first installment of TCA does Peru is a long time in the coming - connection speeds at internet cafes have been a little dire, and thus uploading photos a bit of a crapshoot. But I´ve managed to get the first little batch of photos up, so I give you: Crafty Lima.

Two major hubs of quality craft in Lima are in Barranco, the "bohemian quarter" of Lima. Barranco is a little more manageable than the traffic-choked insanity of Lima Centro, with some lovely Republican style buildings (like Colonial architecture, but different, somehow...), some fun stencil art, and good bars and such.

quechan textile flats (dédalo)totally beautiful baby alpalca scarves (dédalo)tote with quechan textile flower (dédalo)

The first shop of note is Dédalo, which is largely a contemporary fine craft shop, but many of their wares incorporate traditional textiles. This can result in fun stuff like like ballet flats and hobo bags in the colourful woven fabric many of us associate with Peru. I was rendered most drooly by the finely woven baby alpalca scarves in lovely rich colours, some which incorporate yummy metallic or nubby threads. If in Lima, this shop is definitely worth a gander, and don´t forget to check out the huge back garden for tea and treats.

Paseo Saenz Peña 295
Barranco, Lima

hobo bag (dédalo)woven fringe bag (dédalo)cutie necklaces (dédalo)

On the one hundred percent traditional tip, Las Pallas has an incredible selection of knits, woven textiles, wall hangings, ceramics, jewellery, fine gourd art (a big deal here), and really anything you can think of from all over Peru. I had a bit of a disheartening chat with Mari, the Welsh proprietress of Las Pallas, about how over the years she has seen a decline in the quality of workmanship and materials used in Peruvian handicrafts. For example artificial dyes are much easier and cheaper to use in colouring fibres, so many indiginous communities have ceased to use natural dyes. And of course one should always be skeptical in markets of claims that a garment is 100% baby alpaca or the like, as it could be acrylic or worse. Over the years Mari has developed direct relationships with craftspeople in multiple remote villages and is very discerning in the selection of her stock, sending things back if they don´t meet her standards. She also stocks works produced through projects like
The Center of Tradicional Textiles of Cusco, who aim to restore and preserve regional and traditional techniques and practices.

Las Pallas
Cajamarca 212
Barranco, Lima

washbasin full of woven textiles (las pallas)knit cat dolls (las pallas)


Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

WOW!! Beautiful things and the colour combinations! So great.

2:25 p.m.  

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