The highlands of Guatemala have a rich geological history; through years of volcanic eruptions, various types of rock, sand, and ash have combined to create channels of clay in the exposed river systems of the highland valleys. This clay is perfect for making high quality ceramics. In the 1990s, his search for just such a source of great clay brought potter Ken Edwards to Guatemala. Like many who discover the wonders of Guatemala, Edwards stayed for a long time. Today, the ceramics studio he established in San Antonio Palopo provides the unique pottery pieces featured at Unique Batik, and income to generations of potters in the mountain village. Continue reading
It’s hard to know the exact timeline of weaving because textiles are so susceptible to being destroyed by the elements, but historians estimate that the Mayan people began using the back strap loom many centuries ago. We know this because rulers, priests, and deities of the Maya Universe are draped in elaborate woven garments depicted on painted vases, in murals, and on the monumental stone reliefs discovered in Maya archaeological ruins.
According to legend, the Mother Moon, goddess Ix Chel, taught the first woman how to weave at the beginning of time. Since then, Maya mothers have taught their daughters the art of the loom each generation uninterruptedly for three thousand years. In ancient times, weavers made offerings to Ix Chel before beginning each new textile. Continue reading