Botswana, Ethiopia, Germany and than Peru


My 2014 has started in Uruguay. Sure, it is quiet a while ago, but still not too late to wish you all a happy 2014.

Blue sky Uruguay.

After a short stopover in Hamburg I was traveling to Botswana. The local development agency of Selebi Phikwe, SPEDU, has invited me to conduct a Flying8 loom building and weaving training.
Botswana has no tradition in hand weaving and so none of the mostly female 20 participants have never seen a loom before or had any idea of the concept of weaving. Nevertheless they all were highly motivated.
Even though I introduced the group to the Flying8 loom by showing pictures and movies, the loom building phase was like approaching the answer to a secret. It was a joyful moment when the first looms were standing and weaving.

Flying8 loombuilding, approaching the answer of a secret.
joyful moment when the first looms were standing and weaving.

Flying8, what a joy!

It has been a great honor to the the city and especially the Flying8 training that the Vice-president of Botswana, his honor Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has visited us while we were just finishing the looms

Vice-president of Botswana, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe is visiting our Flying8 training.

The counter marsh system with 8 shafts and 16 lams is a complex matter and to operate many pedals in the correct order while counting the wefts and moving the beater was sure a challenge to everybody. Still the products which were done during the training were convincing and exhibited and sold during the certificate ceremony.

Bags, pillowcases, scarves...
Botswana will shine in Flying8 products.

The first certificated Flying8 weavers of Botswana. Congratulations!

Besides the motivation and strength of the participants their singing and dancing at the beginning and the the ending of each working day was very enjoyable.

Dancing and singing after a Flying8 loom building training day.

In the very end of February I went to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. For one I was appointed with a friend from Germany, who wanted to get in touch with some Ethiopian textil producers, for the other, to pick up Esmael, my weaver friend from Bahir Dar, who is weaving the wonderful towels.

Esmael, Lulit, Solomon, Ethiopian textil producer who will make the future.

Luckily we were introduced to Solomon, a weaver from Addis Abeba, who can copy picture into astonishing weavings by the traditional Ethiopian weaving technique.

Jesus, handwoven by Solomon. It took him 18 days.

Esmael and I were invited by the the Munich chamber of handwork to the Internationale Handwerks Messe, München. They are presenting the extrashow EXEMPLA. This year it was about professional partnership. It was the first time for Esmael to be in Germany and it has been a great time.

Esmael is explaining the Flying8 technology to an interested audience.

The invitation to the IHM has been a big thing for the Flying8 and especially Esmael as the Ethiopian representative. If some of the contacts he got there will keep in touch with him, many good things might happen to him in the future. Alhamdulila.

The next travel took me to Peru. The craft company ALLPA was asking me to improve the looms of the weavers they are working with.
The workshops of this weavers are placed in Paucara, a little town, but yet the metropole of the area, in 3800 above sea level somewhere hidden in the Andes.
The trip from Lima to Paucara by bus and car took us two days. We had to drive over a pass which was 5000m high. Sometime it was not easy to get enough oxygen. The travel through the Andes was anyway breathtaking just by looking at the giant and never-ending mountains and through the clouds on eye level.

Clouds on eye level.

On the way to Paucara.

Paucara's holy hill.

Arriving in Paucara.

The sundaymarket in Paucara seems to be the most important event on the planet.

The live in Paucara is not only hard because the nights are always cold but also because there is no sofa in the entire town.
But right, who wants to carry a sofa so far up high?

ALLPA is cooperating with two weaving workshops. One for carpet weaving and one for light textile weaving.
The carpet looms are strong and heavy for a good reason. The quality of the the carpets, which are woven in a double weave, is super excellent.

The looms for the lighter textiles, like blankets and scarves, were also strong and heavy in use. I converted two of them into Flying8 looms and demonstrated the easier use and the vast options of different designs.

The highest Flying8 loom on earth.
3800m above sea level.

Demonstrating the easier use.

groupphoto before farewell.