Better late than never right?! I have been meaning to write about my experience with our artisans in Peru. I was in Peru with Color by Amber in June of this year when I returned home there was the end of the school year, summer holidays and now September is almost over! So here is the short and sweet on the Peru experience.
Peru is a country in South America where Color by Amber has a group of artisans who make beautiful interlayers for our jewelry! Their weavings are stunning and the process is really mind blowing. First they take wool from their alpacas and clean it with a vegetable that naturally produces suds and cleans. Then they spin the wool onto a large spindle. While they are spinning the wool they are also minding their children, cooking, cleaning, etc. This is second nature to almost all the women we met in Peru. It seems their hands are always busy with the wool. Next, they dye the wool. The ingredients they use for the dyes are all organic and natural to their environment. One example is a this white formation that is found on cactuses. They explained it to us as an insect, although I am not sure if we understood that exactly through translation. They scrape the white clump off of the cactus, squeeze it until it pops and out comes a bright red liquid. That liquid is put into a bowl and the wool is soaked in that.
Then the wool dries, is re-spun and finally ready to use in their weavings! They use a back strap loom to make all of their beautiful creations.
I wouldn’t really be myself if I didn’t share a funny story from our trip. So we were on our way from a town called Calca (that also conveniently had no hot water) to a town called Pampacorral. In order to get there we drove in a van on a highway on the edge of a mountain. There were no guard rails and the road was big enough for one vehicle although at times there was 2-way traffic. TERRIFYING for someone like me who is a nervous back seat driver anyway! So now you have an idea of how relieved I felt when the group decided to make a stop to take some pictures at a breathtaking lookout spot. We were over 14,000 ft in elevation at that time. So we get out and take some pictures, take some selfies, some group shots and so on. As I am walking around filling my camera full of pictures I stepped into a pile of Alpaca poo and slipped into the splitz on the ground! I had poo smeared up my shoes, up my pants and on my hand. I quickly jumped up hoping that no one saw my fall but of course being as “graceful” as I am, everyone saw! It was hilarious and we all had a good laugh about Jocelyn in the alpaca poo pile.
Meeting the children at the Pampacorral school and their momma’s was a life-changing experience. The children greeted us at the school and were so polite not to react to the fact that I smelled of alpaca poo 🙂 They danced and had elaborate performances to show us when we arrived. They invited us to dance with them as well, which of course I took full advantage of. We met their momma’s who are also artisans. My biggest take-away from my experience at all of the schools we visited on our 10 day journey was that the children show so much gratitude for everything. It was gratitude that I had never seen before. They literally have nothing in comparison to what we have here in North America. Yet we give them a pencil or some chocolate and its like we bought them a car. I loved that about them, they were thankful for our time we spent together and all the little gifts too. If you would like to watch a short video I made about the Peru experience click this link that will take you to my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/P7fOoyofzdY
I love that we now have a beautiful collection of jewelry from the momma’s in Peru. I am proud to sell this to my clients and share my personal stories of the time spent with momma’s. My top picks from the collection are the Mindful earrings, the Pampa Capped Cuff and the Pampa skinny bracelet. Check the Peru collection out! Makes for a great gift to yourself or a friend……beautiful jewelry with a beautiful story.
Have a great day and don’t forget to live a life you are proud of! ~Jocelyn