There's a lot of history in these textures...

awesome eye scarf pic   hat & striped poncho pic

Hello everyone, Jonnyka here!  Last weekend my hubby Carmen and I went to the amazing Contemporary Museum at Laguna Gloria in Austin to shoot our new ponchos.  It was a beautiful sunny Texas day and my artist husband played staff photographer and myself the model. The reality is that the best photos taken were the gorgeous product shots that revealed simple textures and details. In the midst of our shoot Carmen became super inspired by the way each product looked against the natural surroundings. And seriously, it does not get much better than this museum, a beautiful partly indoor, partly outdoor, sculpture park.  Austinites - if you have not been recently, run-- don't walk --as it is an art-filled oasis!

burgundy poncho and stone   scarves trio

The shoot made me think about the history and beauty involved in the creation of these pieces. What follows is a rough sketch of the creative process behind our Indian blockprinted items and Ecuadorian ponchos: Each design begins as a conversation via text, IG, email and on the phone during one of the many weekly brainstorm sessions with Veronica. After many sporadic and focused discussions, we sketch, draft and re work images in our Austin and Miami home studios. Once we agree upon a final image, a final drawing, or in many cases, actually carving a block - the final image emerges! On a side note, the production of these limited edition prints is something we are moving toward, especially since my husband is an uber-talented master printer!  When we have our final design we send the drawing or print to Sheril who runs the Jaipur printing studio. Aside from a detailed order form, complete with dimensions, color swatches and any additional notations, many funny late night phone calls with him ensure that nothing is "lost in translation."

navy poncho and eye hat   Ai and poncho pic

The production of our ponchos is very different. We work with the cooperative of women weavers by email correspondence or in person when we visit them in Ecuador. With the blockprint team, we can be very specific about colors (we actually use Pantone color matching) but with the weavers, we have to work with whatever colors are available at the time. They grow their own plants - most of them healing, medicinal herbs - so the colors used to dye the yarn are limited. In accordance, our design process with them begins with the question of what colors are available. Afterwards, as a team, we decide on the colors, styles and all of the details in between. The head weaver, a 72 year old indigenous leader, is always filled with precise design direction and wisdom. Our processes definitely differ from a typical creative studio. We have to adjust certain things along the way when it comes to the design and production of our goods. It's very helpful we are two problem-solvers because sometimes we're on a roll with a collection that's been completely finalized in design and we have to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch due to something that cannot be done, inclement weather, or colors not being available.  These are the aspects of our work that honestly at times can be frustrating, but in the end it is all a process and we are always aware that we are not just cranking out machine-made, impersonal products. We are creating meaningful goods using old world (not just old school!) techniques that are made entirely by hand from start to finish. eye scarf & hat  all ponchos and khaki scarf

Leave a comment