Hola Oaxaca – 29 October – 2 November 2018

Nihao, Namaste, Konichiwa, G’day, Oaxaca! Global pathways for craft today

A theme of our Mexico issue will be the unique way people work together for major events like festivals. It’s called tequio across Mexico, or more specifically the Zapotec term guendalisaà reflects an Indigenous value of kinship strengthened through cooperation. We will celebrate this issue with a rich guendalisaà in Oaxaca.

Join us for a program about Mexican craft in the world. Over five days, you will experience the breadth of Oaxaca culture, particularly its extraordinary crafts. As well as visits to workshops and cultural sites, you will be able to join in discussions about strategies for the sustainability of crafts, particularly as Asian countries become more important on the world stage. Can countries like India or China become an audience for foreign crafts in the same way that the USA has with events such as the Santa Fe Folk Market?

Oaxaca is one of the world’s great craft centres. There you will find beautifully made and distinctive ceramics, textiles, wood figures and jewellery. This craft is embedded in a rich context, including the distinctive cuisine with mole sauce, the beverages including mezcal and the vibrant festival culture all year around, especially for the El Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The threat to NAFTA now makes it important that new horizontal connections can open up for Mexico, particularly to Asia. The growth of online platforms like e-commerce and Instagram provide new opportunities for those artisans that have a strong story that can reach foreign audiences. This involves looking at how existing cultural strengths like festivals can be linked to craft products.

Many of these stories are presented in the September issue of Garland magazine. This publication of the World Crafts Council – Australia profiles activity of the broader World Crafts Council network, which is particularly strong in “tiger” economies of India, China and Japan.

Places for the full program are now all taken. The $200 registration cost can be paid here.

There are places available at the forum in CaSa. If you’re interested in learning more about this program, please email oaxaca@garlandmag.com.


Monday 29 October

  • 8:30am – Morning welcome to La Calera
  • 9:30am – 1pm – Visit to Aztompa site
  • Tour with ceramist Adán Paredes and an archaeologist of the National Archaeology Institute to visit the pre-Hispanic ceramic kiln at the site and talk about the importance of ceramics in society and local economy.
  • Lunch at Los Alacranes ceramic studio with artist Adán Paredes
  • 2:30pm – Global pathways for craft today: Forum and workshop at Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CaSa)
  • Overview of the Garland journey and connections across Asia Pacific by Kevin Murray and Valeria Florescano
  • On sustainability, contemporary artisans and the local economy: the experience of La Calera by Jesús Torres (Mexico)
  • The origins of the Parallel Studio and the influence of Australian glass on the Oaxaca workshop by Diego Vides Borrell (Mexico)
  • 3D ceramics and blown glass by Phirak Suon and Brandyn Callahan (USA)
  • Afternoon visit of Oro de Monte Albán (Oaxaca filigree) Remigio (textile/dyes)

Tuesday 30 October

  • 9:30am – market visit
  • 11:30 am – visit  Archivo Histórico del AHEO
  • Lunch at Los Alacranes ceramic studio with artist Adán Paredes
  • 2:30pm – Global pathways for craft today: Forum and workshop at Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CaSa)
  • Chromaticism by Sarah R. Gilbert (USA)
  • To carve memories by Abigail Mendoza (Mexico) and Ma. Del Carman Castillo (Mexico)
  • Roundtable

Wednesday 31 October

  • 10am – visit glass studios
  • 5:00pm –  Visit the Ruíz López workshop with Rufina Ruiz where you will experience a traditional ceramic burn and the making of clay pieces by this renowned artist. Walk in the village of Atzompa for another workshop to see the traditional technique of “pastillaje”. End the night at the  Atzompa cemetery because it’s “La Velada”, the lighting of candles

Thursday 1 November

  • 9am – Parallel hotshop studio: demo of blown glass with the technique of Venetian goblet filigree with Sarah Gilbert, Diego Vides Borrell and Valeria Florescano: the making of a “Tehuana chalice”; experience the direct glass blowing into ceramic models in 3D printing with Phirak Suon.
  • 12:30pm – Visit and tour of the grana cochineal production farm and learn about natural dyeing techniques in textiles.
  • 3pm – Visit to the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca (MEAPO), talk with its director ceramist Carlo Magno Pedro Martinez. Here we will see pieces in the traditional black clay from Oaxaca and examples of clay from all regions
  • 6pm – visit to the Xoxo cemeteries

Friday 2 November – Día de los muertos

  • Suggested visit to the nearby town of Ocotlán de Morelos during its market day to experience this location.
  • 3pm – Roundtable on the way forward for international exchange
  • 6pm – Evening closing of the event with the Global pathways exhibition opening and mezcal tasting