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Workshop Expands Understanding of Color for Artisans

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March 21, 2016. Panajachel, Guatemala.

Earlier this month Keith Recker, founder of HandEye magazine and author of The 20th Century in Color, conducted a workshop with a select group of Multicolores’ rug hooking artists. Reyna Pretzantzin, President of Multicolores, and Mary Anne Wise, founder of the Guatemalan Rug Hooking Project, assisted. Twelve rug hookers convened over three days to learn new ways to think about color: in families, in emotions, and in values from pale to brilliant to dark.

Understanding the women source their hooking materials locally at the pacas or used clothing stores, and knowing the source is not consistent, Keith directed the women to purchase a variety of clothing colors that are most commonly found. Every participant was challenged to choose a dozen favorite colors. Cutting swatches from this assortment we agreed upon- and constructed- 72 swatches that became our ‘color wheel’. Every participant compiled a set of the 72 swatches to keep in her very own color reference library. Colors were arranged in families and the families were organized from pale to brilliant to dark.

Time was spent discussing and assigning names to each color in the swatch set. Lively conversations ensued and interesting associations were made with nature and with food. Emotions were assigned to each color and once again, thought provoking conversations ensued. When defending their choice of an emotion associated with a particular color, many women were surprised to look upon their own clothing and found they were wearing the color emotions they described.

Keith presented interesting slide shows of historical, global rugs and homework was assigned to replicate exa

mples from his lecture. Each participant pencilled several rug designs and using her color swatches we color planned rugs with our new, specific language of color.

At the conclusion of the workshop the women departed for home feeling more confident in choosing colors for their rugs and promising to share their new-foundknowledge with their rug hooking campeneras. Multicolores is committed to offering our members remedial training in order to continually expand their artistry. We are grateful to Keith Recker whose workshop exemplifies the breadth of knowledge the women soak up in a quest to build upon their talents and expand the marketability of their rugs.

Click here to to see other rugs made by Multicolores artisans.

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