In 2015 and 2016, I had the beautiful experience of living in Barichara, Colombia, as I set up a box-making studio in the non-profit Escuela Taller. My students and I built a workshop where we produced handmade boxes for sale in the gallery; the students also produced boxes for outside commissions.
Cover, photo album in clamshell box.
Calligraphy: Anna Pinto.
Rather than depending on decorative papers imported from Europe and Japan, my students captured elements of their town — patterns of floor tiles; stylized leaf forms; bugs! – to design unique, and very personal, decorative papers.
I taught them the technique of stenciling with gouache paints.
Under the portico of the house where I lived, I painted. Every day I’d walk on the ancient paths, see fabulous gardens hidden behind walls; eat fruit I’d never heard of before. Being in Barichara was a blessing, and I am homesick for the place and the extraordinary people who shared paradise with me.