Cerré mi paso por Chimbarongo con Luis Romero, artesano mimbrero, mueblista y dirigente. Con mucha franqueza, Luis me contó sobre el incierto futuro del mimbre, los desafíos de hoy y las antiguas luchas que aún no se han podido ganar. Luego, con más sonrisa, hablamos sobre sus proyectos de creación, el viaje al festival del mimbre en Polonia y como ha aplicado las ideas que surgieron de la capacitación en la que compartimos el año 2015. Me voy contenta sabiendo que en algo hemos aportado y agradecida de tanta generosidad por abrirme una vez más, sus casas y talleres. Siempre es hermoso volver a esta tierra entre nieblas!

I closed my trip through Chimbarongo with Luis Romero, craftsmen, furniture maker and leader. Frankly, Luis told me about the uncertain future of wicker craft, the current challenges and the old fights that have not yet been won. Then, in a happier mood, we talked about his creation projects, the trip to the wicker festival in Poland and how he applied the ideas that emerged from the training we share back in 2015. I leave with a smile knowing that we have contributed in some ways and grateful for so much generosity since they opened their houses and workspaces one more time. It is always beautiful to return to this land among mists!


Hoy visité a Segundo Rodriguez, artesano tradicional del mimbre y sello de excelencia 2015. Su trabajo se centra en objetos utilitarios de sobremesa tejidos con huira muy fina, resultando delicados y únicos. Me contó sobre sus inicios, del tiempo que trabajó en otros rubros y de como la artesanía lo llamo de vuelta para siempre. También hablamos de la experiencia colaborativa con diseñadores, de la tecnología y lo incierto del futuro. Y cerré la visita compartiendo un té con Doris, su señora, después de acompañarla a rescatar cebollas abandonadas.

Today, I visited Segundo Rodriguez, a traditional wicker craftsman who won a seal of excellence in 2015. His work focuses on utilitarian tableware objects, woven with very fine “huira”, resulting delicate and unique. He told me about his beginnings, the time he worked on other fields and how the craft called him back forever. We also talk about the collaborative experience with designers, technology and the uncertainty of the future. And I closed the visit sharing a tea with Doris, his wife, after accompanying her to rescue abandoned onions.


Hoy, pasé la tarde con Rodolfo Castro (a la izquierda), maestro artesano de Chimbarongo y mi amigo desde 2013. Conversamos durante algunas horas sobre la tradición, la innovación, la pasión por el trabajo y la transferencia de conocimientos. En el taller, Hugo y Juan (centro y derecha) -el equipo de Rodolfo- tejían una pieza de mimbre muy grande mientras lidiaban con intrincados obstáculos de construcción.

Today, I spend the afternoon with Rodolfo Castro (on the left), master craftsman from Chimbarongo and my friend since 2013. We talked for some hours about tradition, innovation, work passion and knowledge transferring. At the workspace, Hugo and Juan (Center and right)- Rodolfo’s team- were weaving a very large wicker piece, dealing with intricate construction obstacles.

Naked Craft, Exhibition Review – a boundless northern landscape

This article was originally published on 17/11/2016 at ECA website

01 Amelie Proulx

Amélie Proulx’s ‘Paysages sismographiques’
Shown as part of Naked Craft’s Tooling Up theme
Image courtesy of Magdalena Cattan

Gathering 22 contemporary makers from Scotland and Canada, Naked Craft explores ideas of tradition, identity and place through a series of fascinating objects configured by diverse, rich and some unexpected uses of materials and techniques.

Curated by ECA’s Juliette MacDonald and Arno Verhoeven, together with Sandra Alfoldy of NSCAD University, Denis Longchamps of the Art Gallery of Burlington and Emma Quin of Craft Canada, and Laura Hamilton for its Scottish run, the exhibition is guided by four themes that embrace the discussion about the significance of craft in a contemporary scenario.

New Positions

Beginning with the statement that craft is always evolving, New Positionscongregates a generation of makers that have been able to embrace innovative concepts and revitalise forgotten techniques with a refreshing point of view. For instance, the Scottish makers Joanne Kaar and Caroline Dear recover traditional techniques of weaving and braiding employing natural materials found in their surroundings such as moss and rush, resulting in garments-objects responding to the present that greatly evokes vernacular roots.

Down and Dirty

This theme brings a reflection about the notion of place, identity and its connection with a territory,  recognisable for instance in the work of ECA graduate, Beth Legg, who represents her sense of place and belonging by integrating into her jewellery pieces natural elements collected in her home environment.


The pieces from this theme are particularly interesting because they succeed in re-signifying a fashionable concept towards the comprehension of self-sufficient spirit and the hand-made as a deep reflective practice. In From Lectures on Art Botany, Sarah Alford creates an expressive series of sculptures drawing floral ornaments with hot glue, transforming a simple DIY material in a glass-looking piece. There is a twist in the purpose of the material and the intention behind its choice.

Tooling Up

This theme assembles traditional processes with new technologies, applying new approaches towards materials and skill.Within this path, the Canadian ceramist Amélie Proulx creates a piece that harmonically combines the fragility of handmade porcelain flowers with a motion electronic circuit that transforms the standard attributes of the material into a shifting sounding landscape.

Two distant northern countries sharing common values

After visiting the exhibition, there is a feeling of “boundless landscape”. First, in the sense of territorial borders, as two distant northern countries share common values in the appreciation of their similar natural landscape, whereas there is cross-questioning regarding the relationship between place and identity.Secondly, the exhibition shows a broad approach to the creative practice of craft as the makers are open to experimenting with materials and processes in order to address the before-mentioned reflections.

Naked Craft talks about the intrinsic and distinctive characteristic of craft that resides in the multisensory approach involved within the practice, which is highly related to human values and emotion. The exhibition tackles that and also advocates for a wider perspective of the discipline in the contemporary world.