When I walked into the Free Trade Expo at John Carroll University, a few people were scattered among the dozen or so booths displaying wares, but I wasn’t looking for any of those. I was in search of the master weaver who hailed all the way from Tiotitlan, and I found him at the back of the room. I had been told he was young, but standing there next to Victoria’s baby Brown loom, he looked like one of my daughter’s college friends. I walked over to say hello, and introduced myself as a brand-new weaver. He smiled, graciously allowed me to take some photos of his rugs, and told me to come back in an hour.
I became interested in some of the workshops and came back a couple of hours later. The empty warp had been transformed. He smiled up at me when I walked back, that shy young man transformed into a master artisan before the tool of his craft. His hands flew as he made bamboo bobbins zip between the warp threads, effortlessly creating a pattern that existed only in his head. He encouraged me to sit down and try, and patiently guided me as he told me where the color in his tapestry should change. He watched as I painstakingly threw a few picks, intent on doing no harm to the cloth he was creating. I was quick to hand the bobbin back, privileged to have been able to try his technique, and well aware that he was indeed a master. He was so genuine, so gently correcting, and so patient – and so very skilled. What an amazing encounter!
Here are some additional photos of Marcos’ visit.