Chile 2013 & 2016

The antagonism of the driest desert in the world and the majestic ice fields of Chilean Patagonia find their balance in the central valley of this 4,329 km long country.
The pleasant climate and the fertile soil render the central region of Chile into an ideal place for the production of the various natural fibres traditionally used in basketry.
This tradition originated in pre- colonial times, led natives to use supple but hardwearing fibres such as Ñoca, poplar roots and copihue.
At the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, wicker was introduced as an alternative to the native fibre. The new imported techniques turned it quickly into the prevalent material for the making of furniture, baskets and decorative pieces.
Distinguished by its characteristic sobriety and lack of ornamentation, the basketry of the Mapuche people and of Chile’s Central region mirrors the sober and discreet character of its people, strongly connected to the land and to the cycles of nature.

Chimbarongo 2013

In the last few years Chimbarongo has seen the recognition of one of its most diffused and traditional industries, and it is now known as “The Wicker Capital”.
This area of 35,000 inhabitants, situated 150 km to the south of Santiago, divides its economic activity between the cultivation of fruit, viniculture, and the production of wickerwork crafts. This last activity has become widespread amongst the local population due to its heritage and the increasing professionalization of the activity.
This has culminated in the creation of an important annual fair where regional craftsmen exhibit and sell their most advanced and complex wickerwork creations.
This recognition, and growing acceptance of wickerwork products, has encouraged many artisans to integrate their families in their activities, thus creating an adhesive element in the society which in turn has been one of the most important factors in the conservation of this ancient craft so representative of the centre of the country.

Harvest of the wicker and lent to dry at sun
Chimbarongo
Stocking the wicker in the workshop

Chimbarongo Making of

We developed the workshop together with two distinct ethnic groups, the Eperara-Siapidara and the Guambianos, throughout the month of August 2012. We followed a very natural process in which the artisans were teaching us how their traditional craftsmanship is, and we were introducing them the plastic bottle and experimenting the integration of the plastic with their natural fibres.
The artisans always have the freedom to apply their symbolic drawings and patterns and to choose the colours they will weave with. This makes every single piece an unique piece and a new project in which the artisan has the opportunity to express his cosmogony.

Chimbarongo Artisans

We developed the workshop together with two distinct ethnic groups, the Eperara-Siapidara and the Guambianos, throughout the month of August 2012. We followed a very natural process in which the artisans were teaching us how their traditional craftsmanship is, and we were introducing them the plastic bottle and experimenting the integration of the plastic with their natural fibres.
The artisans always have the freedom to apply their symbolic drawings and patterns and to choose the colours they will weave with. This makes every single piece an unique piece and a new project in which the artisan has the opportunity to express his cosmogony.

Rodolfo Castro
Segundo Rodríguez
Juan Valenzuela

Huentelolen 2016

More than 400 km south of Chimbarongo we enter the heart of the Araucania region, home to the native Mapuche people, who undergo a slow process of integration with the rest of the country. Within this area, generally stigmatized by violent conflicts, we have found a group of women eager to move forward and to share their valuable traditions with the rest of the world.
The opportunity to work with women in the community of Ñocha Malen has been fascinating. The array of personal stories and dreams seem now woven into the PET bottles with each new stitch weaved with the Ñocha fibre.
The new collection explores a social community environment, a native fibre and an ancient technique preserved for over 500 years.
Thanks to the love and passion of the artisans, this adventure fills us with awe and pride.

Fields around Huentelolen
Ñocha Malen asociation
Huentelolen
A Mapuche woman in Huentelolen

Mapuche Making of

We developed the workshop together with two distinct ethnic groups, the Eperara-Siapidara and the Guambianos, throughout the month of August 2012. We followed a very natural process in which the artisans were teaching us how their traditional craftsmanship is, and we were introducing them the plastic bottle and experimenting the integration of the plastic with their natural fibres.
The artisans always have the freedom to apply their symbolic drawings and patterns and to choose the colours they will weave with. This makes every single piece an unique piece and a new project in which the artisan has the opportunity to express his cosmogony.

Mapuche Artisans

We developed the workshop together with two distinct ethnic groups, the Eperara-Siapidara and the Guambianos, throughout the month of August 2012. We followed a very natural process in which the artisans were teaching us how their traditional craftsmanship is, and we were introducing them the plastic bottle and experimenting the integration of the plastic with their natural fibres.
The artisans always have the freedom to apply their symbolic drawings and patterns and to choose the colours they will weave with. This makes every single piece an unique piece and a new project in which the artisan has the opportunity to express his cosmogony.

Ana María
Cecilia
Gloria
Juana
Marialnes

Chile Workshops credits

Chimbarongo, Chile
February 2014:
Alvaro Catalán de Ocón
Constanza López
Paula Navarrete
Verónica Posadas
Enrique Romero de la Llana

Huentelolen, Chile
January 2016:
Claudia Hurtado
Paula Navarrete
Verena Toskana-Lanzendorff

Chile local partners:
Si Studio
Ideartesana

Sponsored in Huentelolen by:
Forestal Mininco