I gave a talk about Make the Common Precious at a conference in Valparaiso. Cicuirto Identidades Latinas is a moveable feast of talk about design and cultural identity that is traveling through Latin America. That day was also devoted to talk about Easter Island and new programs working with traditional artesans such as Andean crafts. There seemed enormous interest in what is happening with the Australian scene, particularly as it opens up possibilities for craft in the art gallery, which is quite a foreign idea here. In fact, there seems to be no word for a practice that fits between ‘arte’ or ‘diseño’ and ‘artesenato’, which is typically traditional and lacking innovation. Pictured were two very interesting speakers, both called Macareña. Macarena Barros Jiménez is a writes a column on handicrafts for El Mecurio and recently published Kume winotuaimi ruka mew (Blessed Return Home) about Mapuche crafts of the lake Icalma region. With her is Macareña Peña who has established a craft store which specialises in works from the Andean region. You can visit her store online here.

Language is an obvious barrier between the two craft cultures, but there seems much to be gained in tapping messages to each other from both sides of the wall.

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