This site will chronicle some of the daily thoughts, philosophies, journeys and things we’ve create during my time with Taller Leñateros in Chiapas, Mexico. Please subscribe to the RSS Feed to receive all the personal photos and entries as they come!

I, Victoria, am a new apprentice to the workshop. In one of the poorest states of Mexico, I work as photographer, a translator, a designer, an innovator… to learn the traditional art of how to make organic papers, plant fiber products, bookbinding techniques, serigraph, and the design mechanisms behind them. This has already brought us to machine shops and surrounding local indigenous communities where our ingredients are sourced. For 33 years, we continue the tradition of employment to all of the 150+ local Mayans this cooperative supports.

Meeting renowned and published literary writers, poets, artists, sculptors, it is a great privilege to be allowed into this Frida Kahlo-like existence in Mexico. I’m not sure what to expect. Since we’ve been communicating in Spanish, Tzotzil and English, (and even my Chinese has been summoned!) we will try to remain true to who we are, and allow you to experience the beauty of living day by day, reinventing…connecting to the greatness in each of us.

Come experience the discovery of Chiapas with me, on my personal Picasa album.

Fig 1. Towel Outside

The gift of talent, I believe, is a huge responsibility. It does not really belong to you. It never did. If used for merely acquiring wealth fame and power, talent turns into the devil that eats into your soul. Like a gambling debt, like an addiction. Not to a supreme creative endeavor but to the artificial surrounds of wealth, power and fame. Talent is Prasadam. It can be taken away if not placed at the altar. Talent is the temple. And when it is lost, as it will be if abused, all that is left is the empty shell of addiction. Talent can never be yours, for it is much more substantial than your ego. And the more creative force there is to talent, the more universal, the more beyond yourself it becomes. It is as if someone loaned you the gift to tap into a universal creativity. Of course there is temptation. The pull of the mortal and material needs never cease. It’s a constant battle to retain the purity, the innocence, the child like playful quality of creative talent.” — Shekar Kapur