Post-trip reflections: lots of heart, good food, & exciting planning (with food in hand)
It's been one week since we've been back from Oaxaca and we cannot help but reminisce on our time there. It's the rainy season now and though rain and thunderstorms did not hinder our plans (for the most part), we did get at least one good soak in.
It felt so good to see our humans. Shortly after we landed, we set out to Doña Macedonia's house. As soon as we arrived, we knocked and Don Aaron (Doña Macedonia's husband) opened the door. He immediately motioned us to come in and as soon as we walked in, Doña Macedonia's smile and eager eyes welcomed us further into their home. After she finished inquiring about our trip, Doña Macedonia jumped immediately into the progress that she's made on the rugs for the new collection. "Come," she told me. "I want to show you one of the rugs [that we just finished] and also some threads that I just dyed for the blue ones. I have them here hanging to dry and I want to get your thoughts on the tones." As many of you know, the dying process is one of Doña Macedonia's greatest joys and something that she takes great pride in. All of the rugs that she makes for us are naturally-dyed (by her) using plant species, flowers, and insects (like cochineal). It's a painstaking process involving several days of careful attention (just for one shade) but something that is important to her (and to us) to minimize toxic environmental impact.
After surveying the sea of blue threads swinging over her courtyard, we spent the next few hours talking about rugs and reviewing the details that we had discussed over phone calls and WhatsApp messages in the weeks and months leading up to our arrival. As soon as we wrapped up, she said "I hope you have some time for a quick bite– we made a little something." Before we knew it, we were sitting at Doña Macedonia's table with her family savoring the tastiest handmade tortillas (made with the corn sourced from her own garden!) and mole negro a delicacy and a real treat! Her hospitality (and heart) knows no bounds.
As soon as we said our goodbyes (with blissfully content stomachs), we were back on the road for another 45 minutes headed toward Doña Macrina's place. Doña Macrina is an internationally-recognized potter, specifically of the red clay variety that is native to her community and is part of a tradition that dates back centuries. "This craft tradition dates back to our ancestors and it is perhaps one of our most prized treasures. My mother taught me this craft and here, we're fighting every day to keep the tradition alive."
Doña Macrina leads a team of women– of all ages with the youngest being aged 15– that work together to source clay from the surrounding mountains (that is then carried on their backs) and is shaped into the finest pottery pieces. We're so excited to include Doña Macrina's pieces in our shop very soon (stay tuned and sign up for our email updates in case you you haven't!). Since tlali•pani is committed to socially conscious living, you better believe that Doña Macrina's pieces for us will be lead-free so that you can (safely) eat in them! After what we thought was a successful day, we headed back to Oaxaca city, grabbed some dinner, and rested in preparation for the busy days to come.
Thank you for following along and being a part of our community. We truly appreciate the support and look forward to bringing you more artisan-direct, premium home goods. We're proud to say that as of today, 100% of our artisan partners are women!