Hilos de esperenza day at the beach with the macramé project competitors.
About four times each year we have some sort of macramé competition. It’s open for anyone who wishes to compete and the prizes range from a tube of string all the way up to hundreds of dollars in cash and prizes.
The last competition we had was a macramé set of the earrings, necklace, bracelet and optional ring. There was a leveling of the playing field by using porcelain jasper semiprecious gemstones for all the competitors. (Insert photos of the winners designs)
The first, second, and third place winners received cash and string prizes but for everyone included in the competition, there was the prize of a trip to the beach.
The final stage of the training in the macramé project is to create through experience a method for each artist to represent and sell their work. The beach is a local tourist hub that without much difficulty some of the women can access. It’s only about an hour from the communities by bus.
There are many traveling macramé artisans that pass through these beach communities and set up small stands on makeshift tables for holidays and festivals and on weekends or any busy time at the beach. They can be found in some manner at all times but are most prevalent during touristy occasions.
The prices or the going rates for the macramé at the beach is usually about equal to or more then what the macramé would sell for in the United States so tapping into this market for the macramé women could be huge. It’s also a great way to open up their creative minds through this experience to design other avenues for sales. We have just recently included into the program the creation of a living album of macramé that each woman will slowly build up through the course and have actual macramé for each design in an album. They can use this to display to friends or family, at the weekend markets or even to use to obtain wholesale purchase orders.
The idea has always been to work together with the women to inspire their creativity through their experience with us. Also it is to prepare them to then go on creating their own creative experiences around this traditional art and highly effective alternative economic tool…
This can all best be seen through the day at the beach!!!
Cecilia and a senior began cooking at about six in the morning to prepare lunch for the girls and I gassed up the perruno. Soon we had about a dozen people packed in and were rolling to the beach.
These girls do get a lot of attention with the force of their attractive energy as a team to cross the beach to claim their territory.
After settling and chilling out for a bit, the ideas started pouring in. It wasn’t long before successive waves of search parties were setting out to collect shells and stones and all kinds of natural materials to use in macramé.
We spent a good long time swimming and playing in the water. It got a little cloudy and the girls saw their opportunity to go on a macramé hunt.
There were at least a dozen artisans set up on the main boardwalk and these girls really had their fill. They were just eating up different design aspects and feeling illuminated through their exposure to different techniques and styles. They returned with these wide eyes and this undeniable excitement. A few of them wanted to leave right then to run back to their strains at home before they lost hold of this inspiring wind that was carrying them.
There was a nice lunch and they gave me two pieces of chicken which I received as a very pure gesture of gratitude for this adventure.
We played some more on the beach and then on the way out the girls brought me over to a macramé table that captured their excitement. The essence of their creative spark. The macramé was exquisite and dealt predominantly in the style of sacred geometry that these girls have been long attempting with only moderate success.
You can imagine the response of the lovely couple who was representing their work at this table when they were immediately inundated by over a dozen excited macramé enthusiasts. We shared a bit with them about our project, what we have accomplished and what our new goals are. They were very impressed with our crew.
We stepped back from the table and all huddled. The girls all gathered around me like we were in a football game to discuss what needed to be done. Sebastiana was not going to leave without having captured the science of this style. She had about four or five others were absolutely inspired.
We went back to the table to try to arrange some kind of purchase but with all the desired designs being at a level of quality beyond which we could afford. Things came to a bit of a standstill.
The only thing I could think of was to invite this young couple to come back to the communities with us see where and how we all live. To take part in a day of experience with the macramé project and to tour some of the areas of work in the communities. I suggested that a trade of some sort may be in order and they agreed. After they heard that we had over 200 different colors of string and 300 varieties of semiprecious gemstones they said they were in.
We headed home.