Latin America's Day of the Dead Celebration
Friday, October 31, 2014
Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated in streets, homes, communities, universities, and parades often with large festivals including activities for children and adults. The "Day of the Dead" occurs on November 1 and 2 of each year, thus coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Dia de los Muertos or “The Day of the Dead” originated centuries ago in Mexico where it is still widely celebrated today. The blend of pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and Spanish Catholic beliefs are performed in honor of the dead. It is a festive, joyous time of celebration with loving rituals that are full of joy and remembrance.
People around the world are drawn to the ideas and visuals of Mexico's Day of the Dead and the holiday continually gains in popularity as more people learn about it. During this time, South Americans also embrace their textiles by leaving them out so the dead can use them as blankets to rest after a long journey. It is common belief that the deceased return to their earthly homes to visit and rejoice with their loved ones during this time of the year.They're also used as picnic blankets for another common tradition of having a picnic at their loved ones' grave site.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated as a way of cherishing connections with the unseen world. People around the world are drawn to the ideas and visuals of Mexico's Day of the Dead and the holiday continually gains in popularity as more people learn about it.
In celebration, we just recieved some awesome Guatemalan Mayan 'Day of the Dead' iconic sculptures at Diseno! They are hand-carved and painted, making each one unique, and cherishing the Latin holidays for a lifetime.
Getting Experimental with Design
Thursday, October 23, 2014
New Territories refer to the state of making artistry in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design, and craft. We examine and explore this trend as we travel through several South America cities.
DFC, Casual Dinnerware (2013), Orange Crush Fiberglass Wall Console (2013), Rosario Mirror (2013) Installation view at ICFF New York, 2013. Courtesy of the artist. Mexico. Photo by David Franco.
Collaborations between small manufacturing operations and craftspersons, artists, and designers demonstrate how the resulting work addresses not only the issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement and sustainability.
“I really wanted to focus on young designers, because that’s where I saw new dialogue growing out of tradition and legacy.” -Lowery Stokes Sims
A number of key themes include the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art, the use of repurposed materials in strategies of upcycling, the blending of digital and traditional skills, and the reclamation of personal and public space.
Lucia Cuba, Artículo 6, from the series Artículo 6: Narratives of gender, strength and politics (2012-2014) Cotton canvas, thread, digital printing, hand & machine sewing. Courtesy of the artist. Peru. Photo by Erasmo Wong Seoane.
Come explore the exhibition "New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America," which runs from November 4 through April 6, 2015 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and discover the trends of South America.
Product of the Week: Handmade Organic Cotton Scarves made in Guatemala
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Since we’ve been traveling to South America, the transformation of reality is evident in their social, economic, and cultural changes. We want to help establish a more sustainable world by building trust and working together with indigenous people’s cooperatives that produce high quality handmade textiles. We saw clearly devoted ability, reliability, and fairness attributed to the high quality production in Guatemala, so we are sure with your help these artisans can have a secure income and make a dignified living.
During our last stay at Casa Santo Domingo, Guatemala we visited some of the local textile artists. We were offered an irresistible opportunity to watch them dye cotton and wool and they set up a gas stove and pot to give us a live demonstration of the process. The natural dyes are created for the fabric from Logwood chips that are steeped and drained for about 20 minutes. Then the large pieces of raw fabric are soaked in the natural dye and after just a few minutes, it turns to a very deep purple/black color. The raw fabrics were then left to hang for a number of hours. Once dry, it can be woven into a beautiful scarf, blanket, throw, or other textiles.
It is amazing to see the dying process in person since many Americans are far detached from the processes of production. They would be astonished, seeing the way society used to accomplish the task of fabrication before people were replaced with machinery. The quality of handmade goods remains unsurpassed and these beautiful 100% cotton scarves are surly no exception.