The Balam Atelier brings together a group of artisans in the state of Chiapas. "We very much enjoy conveying our traditions in our work by using our ancestral Maya techniques and symbols. We look for artisans who know their roots, their past and their culture. All artisans are aware of their work, and each contributes something of great importance to the project," the director explains. <br><br>
"I'm a graphic designer. When I began working with artisans, through the place where I was employed, I became aware of all the different items they could create. I started coaching some of them on a personal level. Now the Atelier works with them on a professional level. My wife and I share the activities, and you could say that we are the head and direction of Balam Atelier." <br><br>
The Maya are expert weavers, and masters of the backstrap loom. Weaving styles in Chiapas are often quite intricate with delightful textures. Motifs are usually geometric and often depict the flora and fauna of the region. <br><br>
"I always look for quality and we constantly perfect the designs and techniques," the director continues. "We use cotton for our textiles, with beautiful hand embroidery that evokes the Mayan culture, its motifs and its understanding of the universe. <br><br>
"Starting this project was a challenge at first. More than anything, working with artisans requires a bond of trust and ethics on both sides to make it a win-win situation in which we learn from each other."
In the Andes, the Land of the Four Corners, mountains are sacred. So is culture. The Nazca lines, the Wari glyphs, the Quipu knots and the complex multi-colored textiles of the Incas are all recorded and live on the work of contemporary Peruvian artisans.