Sunday, May 3, 2015

Guatemalan temari, the sequel

    Last year I wrote about working with two Guatemalan women, Berta Mendoza and her daughter Sofia in Panajachel, who I commissioned to embroider some temari for me. A year later, I was back. This time Berta embroidered two more balls for me. She felt—and I agreed—that her attempts this year were even more successful because she was more used to embroidering on a ball. If only I were such a quick learner, but the fact is that Berta has a lot more experience embroidering. Her balls this year featured birds like last year but she also used flowers.

Berta liked that I had put a simple four division on the ball with gold thread. It helped her visualize where on the ball to put her designs.

A second ball was on a lovely maroon background. I removed some of my marking thread when Berta was done because I preferred it when a line didn't go through a bird. (This ball had a simple four with equator and I removed some of the equator.) Look as this wonderful hummingbird. Usually Berta invents her own species of birds.

Again this year I spent a lot of time in Berta's store watching her stitch and sharing lots of laughs. It was very interesting to watch her select colors. It's a lot like my own technique: just holding up new colors next to the ball to choose the next color to use. I usually enjoy not having all my colors chosen before I do a project.

Here's another side of the same ball. with a very lively bird. I want to go to the universe where I can see Berta's birds.
I was so grateful to be able to spend time with my Guatemalan friends and cherish the balls they embroidered for me.


Els said...

What an amazing embroiderer is this Berta !!!! Such beauties :-)

Carolina said...

Thank you (on her behalf). I agree!

Ellen Bloom said...
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Ellen Bloom said...
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Andrea Tang said...

Hi!! This embroidery is so beautiful! I love Guatemala and can't wait to go back. Does Berta have an email or number she can be reached at? I would love to see if she could make some for me and my friends and send her money for it. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for sharing! :)