"I enjoy the creative energy that is generated through teamwork. My designs are a result of the collaboration with other artisans and I seek equal recognition for them."
"I'm Sarah Hamui and I'm a textile designer and basket weaver. My family and I enjoy traveling around Mexico and learning about our rich culture in the cities and towns we visited.
"When I was young, my mother took lessons from a design and cake teacher and made me dresses. I'd go with her to the fabric and craft shops so that we would make crazy clothes for my sister with the scraps. I liked drawing, painting and making clay figures, which made designing something that came naturally to me.
"I studied textile design in the Universidad Iberoamericana and, as part of my studies, I worked with indigenous communities, teaching creative workshops to women artisans as part of a partnership between the university and the foundation Semillas Pro Derecho de la Mujer, A.C.
"While concluding my studies, and with the goal of working together with the artisans, I decided to create my textile workshop, thanks to a collaboration with the Cooperativa Corazon de Maria de Nachig and the Cooperativa Jolom Mayaetik.
"Through the cooperatives and a joint study on their textiles, I learned about the complexity and beauty of their embroidery, brocade and textiles woven on the backstrap loom. I wanted to share this rich artisan legacy and contribute to the women's economy so that they would create new designs.
"Around this same time, I met Maria Ana Velazquez and her family, who weave palm leaves to create plates, vases, planters and more, combining the natural fibers with woven fabric. I share my design expertise and Maria Ana adds her weaving skills. Occasional crafting problems usually result in new ideas and designs to create.
"When we started in 2012, I worked with only Maria Ana and her husband and now we’ve trained five more families. Meanwhile, I continue researching crafting techniques, their processes, symbolism and the tradition behind each piece. Being present during the process of creating, I've learned about the limitations and possibilities of each technique, which has helped me to design for certain techniques or materials.
"I've been lucky to grow up in a family that appreciates art and has visited many museums, markets, towns and cities which have fed my passion to produce beautiful objects for everyday use.
"This year, I founded a scholarship program with Ana Iza Castro and Jolom Mayaetik for craft teachers to recognize their accomplishments in traditional textile techniques and to pass them on to new generations. This way, the most expert craftspeople can teach other artisans.
"I enjoy the creative energy that is generated through teamwork. My designs are a result of the collaboration with other artisans and I seek equal recognition for them. I'm very happy to know that our designs are sold in museums and are part of a traveling exhibition.
"We've been using ribbons in our basket weaving after I learned that palm leaves didn't retain any color after being dyed. I experimented with different untraditional materials and now use ribbon for the outer layer. This new material is an important characteristic in my artwork because, aside from the color, it also gives it the weaving more structure, strength and durability.
"Finding a balance between the traditional and new, adopting different design and trendy elements to each item is still a big challenge for us. My goal is to keep strengthening the women's network. My dream is that these artisans can enjoy a better quality of life thanks to their creations."