Door County Today
JACKSONPORT, (Aug. 29, 2011) –Since the opening of Martinez Studio in 1994, owners and artists Sandra and Wence Martinez have always found ways to bring along Wence’s family on their artistic adventures – if not literally, at least in spirit. To celebrate the traditional and personal weavings of the family circle, Martinez Studio is pleased to announce a “family sale” and accompanying lecture. The lecture will take place on Saturday, September 3rd at 3 pm at the Martinez’s working studio and gallery on Highway 57, one mile south of Jacksonport, with special pricing running throughout the rest of the fall season.
Wence’s photographs and the couple’s tag-team storytelling will introduce you to the people and region of Oaxaca. Wence was trained in traditional weaving processes by his father and grandfather in Teotitlan de Valle, Mexico, and then went on to study design, French Gobelin weaving techniques and technical wool dyeing at the Taller Nacional de Tapiz in Mexico City. Wence has remained committed to the elements of his culture that have been passed down – evident in his use of traditional two-harness “walking” looms, his use of hand-spun wools from his native Oaxaca, and his insistence on personally hand-dying his own wools.
In addition to his own weavings, Wence and Sandra also work with Wence’s father Cosme (who, at 81-years-old, has been weaving since he was eight), his brother Mito, Mito’s wife Yadi, and his nephew Eddy to help weave the contemporary designs that both Wence and Sandra are known for. In addition, the Martinez’s represent the family’s personal Zapotec traditional tapestries. These weavings are made of high-quality materials, and often use vegetal dyes. Many of the patterns in the weavings are inspired by the ruins of Mitla and Monte Alban – for instance, what many see as “Greek Keys” are patterns of cut and inset rock on those Zapotec ruins, which date back thousands of years.
Because of the popularity of the weavings, Wence’s village of Teotitlan has been referred to as “a folk art miracle.” The artisans and weavers in this village (population 7,000) have elevated the village in countless ways. Children routinely attend college, and the town has built roads, new schools, city markets, and clinics. The product the people produce is wonderful – but in the end, it’s the people of this village that make it a success story.
“Being surrounded by handmade, crafted items like these weavings really feeds the soul,” says Sandra Martinez. “Just knowing how many hands touched this work – and how many families are being supported by weaving in Teotitlan because of this art form – is an amazing thing. We wanted to hold a sale like this so that people could see our studio full of these beautiful, traditional works and continue to build a bridge between our two cultures.”
For the lecture, the walls of the Martinez Studio will be filled with the works of art of the family circle – with all of the weavings at 25% off in an effort to support their continued production back in Teotitlan. Special pricing on these weavings will be available throughout the remainder of the fall season for guests unable to make it to the lecture Saturday, September 3rd at 3 pm.