New Mexico Colcha Club by Nancy C. Benson
|Title||New Mexico Colcha Club|
|Author||Nancy C. Benson|
|Category||Crafts & Hobbies|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
"Colcha embroidery, growing out out of a Spanish love of needlework, flourished in the hands of colonial women in the isolated province of New Mexico. They wished to add not only warmth but beauty to their otherwise-practical bedding. They worked their brightly dyed homespun yarn in a long couching stitch to create the flowing needlework that came to be called "colcha embroidery". Women stitched fanciful designs not only on cloth treasures to be passed through generations but on everyday objects that were brightened by colcha. Into their embroidery they sewed their place in history as independent women, proud of their Hispanic heritage and ability to bring beauty to articles that helped them survive in the often harsh and dangerous environment. A century later, colcha was on its way to oblivion. Like many traditional crafts, this art form that required so much skill and patience was becoming obsolete as inexpensive and abundant commercial cloth, modern styles, and machine-made products became more desirable and available." "Fast-forward to the 1930s and the Arte Antiguo, a colcha club founded by twelve Hispanic women in the Espanola Valley of Northern New Mexico who gather monthly to socialize and invigorate the fading art form. Spearheaded by the vibrant Teofila Ortiz Lujan, the club heroically sought to rescue colcha and bring it back to its rightful place as a cherished custom." "Featuring exquisite examples from museums and private collections, New Mexico Colcha Club looks at the historical roots of colcha, its role in the lives of New Mexican women, and examines the various styles that evolved through its history. At the core of the book, though, is the ever-lively Teofila, leading the women of the Arte Antiguo in their very personal mission to save for posterity the tradition that had so sustained them culturally Traveling to churches to examine vintage altar cloths, sketching old patterns, and hunting through attics and archives in search of examples of the antique embroidery, the Arte Antiguo endeavored to save colcha from extinction and initiate a revival of the beloved style. Esther Lujan Vigil, daughter of Teofila, is the inheritor of her mother's vision. Through her own embroidery and instruction of others in the craft, she continues Teofila's leadership of colcha's renaissance and carries on the rich cultural, historical and artistic tradition."--BOOK JACKET.