Ever since Marcella Contreras was a child, she was always drawn to the profound world of textiles, charmed by the forms and figures found within ancient weavings. It wasn’t until her children grew older that she had some free time to dedicate to exploring and discovering centuries-old hand woven fabrics throughout her native country of Peru.
Marcella founded Weavers & Designers in 2004, a home textile and rug wholesale company that works primarily with master artisans throughout Ayacucho, Peru. Marcella employs master weavers, including a few who were forced to migrate from Ayacucho to Lima, due to the high level of terrorism which occurred in the 1990's. In retrospect, Marcella speaks of one spirited master weaver by the name of Gerardo.
Marcella states, “Gerardo was forced to escape from the subversive groups in his hometown of Ayacucho. He had no choice but to leave his career at the height of the Shining Path movement. This was a painful time, considering it was a period of oppression, deaths, and harsh treatment of civilians. The Shining Path movement used Ayacucho as its base for its campaign against the Peruvian government. Things fortunately took a positive turn for Gerardo when he moved to Lima. He joined a private organization, which offered courses in weaving and spinning. By attending these classes, he learned new techniques and acquired skills to make luxurious rugs. Soon after, Gerardo met his wife Marilus, who is a gifted artist from Huancayo. They now have two beautiful children and run a workshop where they help other artisans. Last year, Gerardo founded a weaving school for the Andean people from Huancavelica to supply them with work. He is a remarkable man."
Weavers and Designers also works with a variety of other master artisans throughout the country as well as a non-profit organization, called Group Vida, which employs and teaches teenage mothers how to embroider, knit, and sew. Marcella is extremely proud to have founded a company, which supports traditional weaving techniques, natural dye processes, and helps create markets as a way to sustain these art forms.
Fron February 1-4, Weavers & Designers will be attending Artisan Resource at NYNOW™ and will have on display numerous items from their new collection of home textiles and rugs.
For more information, please visit http://www.weavers-designers.com