“Hi! I'm Juan Contreras García. I know the art of being a weaver, since it became a family inheritance that I learned at the age of 12 thanks to my parents and grandparents. For me, continuing with this work is like paying homage to them. At age 14, being the oldest of six siblings, I had to drop out of school to work in this trade and help my mother.
“In making my pieces, what I like the most is its texture, and that it is a quite moldable material that allows me to design and create immediately whatever inspiration comes to my mind--from what I see, what I feel, what I think and what I dream. It is not complicated, but it does require time, since sheep wool, as the main material, involves different steps. From the shearing, the washing process to remove impurities, and spinning it to preparing it to be able to dye it and finally place it on the loom to be able to work it and obtain different designs. My wife is in charge of cleaning each piece, and my parents continue to weave, in addition, with the enthusiasm of sharing our knowledge.
“However, the difficult part has been finding those who appreciate your art and your work. Suddenly, moments of uncertainty invade you, when you know yourself through your art, and not knowing who could be interested in your work. It has required a lot of effort, to be constant, creative and above all disciplined to create beautiful rugs and thus become a great weaver to publicize my work and give my family a home and a dignified life.
“I want to continue working so that my art can be known by more people and preserve the family heritage that we currently continue to cultivate.”