Miguel & Hermes. the loom team A.K.A the dream team
Miguel began helping out his uncle with activities in the workshop when he was 9 years old. He started by making the bobbins and assisting in small chores, when we met in 2016 Miguel was making traditional blankets working in a local workshop, the first design we started with was our infinity scarves.
For one semester a year he is an instructor in the School of Design at a university in the city.
Through time, Miguel acquired a loom and decided to work independently, here is where our technique exploration and innovation work took off, I visited the workshop once a week developing new designs and trying out new materials.
Erme is in charge of making the bobbins, she uses a vintage spindle that is manually operated, she also makes all the in house finishes, knotting & twisting.
With our combined skills we've created many new products, we work in a process of co-creation, the value of an artisans knowledge is immeasurable. Miguel is always willing to try a new idea. While he operates the loom, exclusively with manpower, I stand beside the loom watching the fabric develop as the shuttle travels from side to side. He tells me about his childhood, his grandchildren & the town news. I tell him about my family, my plans and how much I hope that weaving never disappears.
Recently, during the COVID-19 crisis there has been a trend in this artisan town: youth have been approaching life-long artisans like Miguel to ask for guidance in learning to weave. Younger generations have found little interest in the craft since earnings are low & as with many developing nations, they look towards immigrating, many times undocumented, to more developed nations in search of opportunity. This creates a plethora of social issues. Creating opportunities in local economies contributes towards social mobility, giving families the chance to invest in better health care & education for their children.
Investing in developing handcrafted goods under ethical standards, has a ripple effect that goes deeper than our brand, it sparks hope in that weaving may continue to be carried on as the economy reactivates.
Amplifying this work to young professionals & entrepreneurs serves as an inspiring business model, where more people are looking to team up with artisan enterprises. Setting a standard of fair partnerships is imperative for the growth of all parties involved.