Creating Artisans


THE COLLECTION
 
TIERRACOTA, Zaavia's first collection of household items was born out of a dream to protect the forests of Tepoztlán through an economic model that encourages the community to care for the forests of the region.
 
The pieces in the collection are inspired by Mexican artisan works created from the dried leaf of the ocote (ocoxal) that endow the spaces with warmth and an artistic sense.
 
We highlight the natural beauty of artisanal materials and techniques in order to keep them current.

THE ORIGIN

 

Mexico is a country of natural wealth but unfortunately deficiencies in education continue to be a major obstacle to raising awareness about environmental problems. As a consequence, there are no efficient reforestation, protection and prevention programs to prevent the predation, deforestation and excessive exploitation of our forests.

 In Mexico, between 90 and 250 thousand hectares of forest are lost per year, it is the 4th country with the highest deforestation worldwide.

While we remain in isolation inside our houses due to the Covid-19 contingency, there are forests that are being burned both by accidental agricultural burning, and by arson of people seeking to illegally appropriate land. In addition to the fires, families in the region have made deforestation their main economic income by selling firewood and charcoal. The main enemy continues to be the naivety of man who does not see the far-reaching consequences of logging and forest fires.

We have forgotten what the forests provide to us humans.

Tepoztlán is a town located in the state of Morelos; it is part of the Chichinautizin biological corridor, a wooded area that provides 80% of the water consumed in Mexico City, as well as in the state of Morelos. In addition to being a crucial territory in relation to air quality, it is also an area of ​​great biodiversity and a center of endemisms.

During 2019, we carried out our first reforestation campaign with the help of friends and representatives of Tepoztlán; with just over fifty volunteers, we managed to plant 600 ocote pines in just one day.  

The coronavirus has given us the opportunity to face the reality of our actions: human behavior is to blame for these pandemics. With deforestation, we destroy ecosystems, extinguishing wild animals or pushing them into closer and closer contact with us; an example of this is the intensive breeding of animals that has caused viruses to find new opportunities to mutate and infect us. If we continue this unbridled pace, the consequences will be imminent. It is now when we must focus and direct our efforts towards the future that we desire.

Let's walk this journey together

The restoration of ecosystems will provide us with a healthy earth; Let's build a responsible community, let's design new economies, companies and institutions that respect and honor nature.

We take the initiative to build this project, but we need the fuel to continue moving forward. That fuel can be you.

Your support and actions will have more impact than you ever imagined

THE PROJECT

 

Creating art with ocoxal

From the desire to help protect the forests of Tepoztlán, the idea arose to create a project in collaboration with Zaavia.

Our goal is to create a line of household items with materials extracted from nature, in this case it will mainly be the dried leaves of the ocote (ocoxal) collected in Tepoztlán. We will train families in the area to collaborate in the project, which will create jobs in the most marginalized communities while forming a new awareness to protect their land and forests. A percentage of the sales of the collection will be used to protect the area through a group of rangers. 

Through their work and their use of the materials that their land provides them with, they will give rise to typical handicrafts of the region.

Each piece, like each tree, has its own essence and name.

 My sisters join the project: Liliana, industrial designer and interior designer and Denise, graduated in international trade and marketing-technical marketing; With their experience and knowledge, we hope to create innovative designs and expand the brand internationally. 

 

THE CREATION PROCESS

 Training of new artisan hands of the region.

In collaboration with the Community Assistantship, we will gather the first 25 people to introduce them into the practice; each one will be trained in the selection, collection and joining of sheets to weave the pieces.

The training will be provided by the artisans of Cihuame Ixtlauatl, a small group of women from Puebla who are experts in the technique.

During the training process, we will work on the design of the collection, which will be made up of ten different pieces and within each one there will be baskets, basic plates, vases, trays, among other decorative objects.

Sketches of the pieces will be made with references and measurements, and new types of thread and palm will be introduced. This will make the contrast and particularity of the existing technique evident. We hope to open dialogue with the artisans to redesign according to their possibilities and opinions.

Nature gives us the answer

 

THE ARTISANS

The artisans of Cihuame Ixtlauatl are rural women who maintain an emotional and spiritual bond with the forest, and due to this, they define their own essence from it. They are aware that the forest is the very life of the human being and that their hands transform what the forest offers them in exchange for their care.

 

THE MATERIAL

 

Basketry is one of the oldest textile techniques, it precedes fire and therefore ceramic. It is known that in Mesoamerica it was part of daily life when artisans began to work with the materials that nature offered them.

The ocoxal is formed by leaves or needles that fall from the pines. These are collected by the artisans once they are on the ground and turn brown; they often also cut the green leaf with the intention of bringing contrast to the product.

Let's embrace our DNA and our ancient traditions