Five years

Wow! So WordPress has informed me that today is my five year anniversary! How the time has gone by! And just when I am starting a new adventure with my Dad. We are going to open a small shop on the farm to sell our chemical free produce and arts and crafts made by me and any friends that want to join in.

I have cleaned out the space, but there is still a lot of work to be done before it will be ready to open. The shop will be called The Sheeps Garden, El Jardin de la Oveja

This weekend my Dad and I participated in a small fair, which was fun and we got to see what produce people liked and their opinions.

   
 
I’m so happy to be celebrating five years, and thanks to everyone who has followed along!

Being in the right place

When I drive to my daughter’s school I pass the La Serena Airport. The road parallels the runway and sometimes we see planes landing or taking off. Also this road is driven by many impatient idiots who think it is actually a racing track, and overtaking will get them to their destination faster and not killed.

So after a near miss by one of these race-car drivers in the morning, I was edgy driving to my daughter’s school to pick them up. As I approached the airport a shadow came over me, (literally, not metaphorically) and an Airbus came in to land. It flew alongside me, bigger and faster than me, and with Coldplay on the radio it was quite something. And if that wasn’t enough, a jogger running towards me, stretched out his arms wide, smiling, in what looked like pure joy. It was just a moment, in the right place.

right space

Life is full of these small moments when the actions of others seem to fall together. Coincidences, angels, luck? I believe in all three.

However, the return of Creatif was desire, not luck! Desire to work as a group, (which isn’t always easy), and the desire to create a space for art…for learning and teaching as well as selling. The group has some of it’s original members, and some new. Some of the members who left the group have formed a new craft fair replacing the Observatorios.

Creatif outside

 

Creatif is looking for an alternative to fairs, experimenting, and discovering how we can work together and use are individual strengths.

felting and weaving

Our first activity was yesterday, where we displayed our work in a private setting. It felt different from the Observatorios, more relaxing. I think this was because it was smaller and in a closed space, so there was more security.

weaving

The space was full of colour!

jewellery

And for our return, it was the right place!

 

Who is Creatif?

Creatif is a Cultural collective of artists, crafters and designers, who believe in the creation of spaces where artists can display and sell their work, as well as educate and connect with other artists.
My first encuentro with Creatif was on a cold winter day, in June 2012, when my family and I visited a small craft fair. I didn’t know who they were and my main memory was how pretty and original the products were. Fast forward six months to the summer of 2013 and we visited the 1st Observatorio. It looked beautiful and I loved that everything was handmade, and we could watch the crafters and artists share their techniques with the public.
I started to follow them on facebook and when they asked for new applications for their 3rd Observatorio, I applied, and was accepted! I was nervous participating in my first fair, but it was full of great people, and I believed in Creatif’s goal; to show the public how local art and crafts are made, and why people should be supporting them.
After the 5th Observatorio the group Creatif invited me to join and work with them. Yeah!
We are a diverse group of women who work with different materials to create beautiful objects. We come from different backgrounds, with different ideas and strengths, which we use to compliment each other.

“CREATIF es una agrupación Cultural  sin fines de lucro, es un espacio de cooperación entre creadoras y emprendedoras de la región de Coquimbo creada en el año 2012 con la idea de compartir, organizar, participar, integrar y convocar. 

Desarrollando desde su creación un conjunto de soluciones relacionadas al emprendimiento, la educación, la difusión y la generación de nuevas redes, por este motivo uno de sus principales objetivos es generar espacios de interacción que faciliten el quehacer creador y que permita generar alianzas, convenios e intercambios, potenciar oportunidades y abrir espacios de difusión de iniciativas y trabajos tanto en Chile como en el extranjero.” – From Creatif’s blog.
Creatif is made up of nine women. Here are links to some of their blogs and examples of their work.
Calzados Mamba
Ceramicas Veronica Ruiz
Spiders Workshop

Before you buy gifts at the mall, look local and handmade!

In time for Christmas, the 6th Observatorio Cultural will offer residents and visitors of La Serena the chance to buy local and handmade gifts, as well as participate in free mini classes. image This Observatorio will also see the launch of Creatif products inspired by the life and work of Gabriela Mistral. These products are made by combining our knowledge and use of different materials to make unique gifts. It is going to be good. And it is going to be fun! We will be in the plaza Santa Domingo, from the 20th to the 23rd of December. image image image image image

Sheep shearing at Hacienda El Tangue

The IV Region, is not known for its sheep, and when people see Chilean wool it usually comes from the South. Patagonia is full of sheep, most of them merino. The wool I use for most of my spinning comes from my sheep, which are basically for meat, similar to Oxford and Suffolk breeds. So I was very surprised when I heard there was a flock of merino sheep about an hour drive from my house, at the Hacienda El Tangue. I didn’t want to visit without contacting them, so I had put off going.

But then I heard of a small craft fair being held at the hacienda; an event organized by El Tangue and Innatura, a vegetarian restaurant located in La Serena. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see some sheep, so this weekend with my family, we drove to El Tangue.

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El Tangue is twenty minutes south of the seaside town Tongoy, and as well as the craft fair there was horse riding, trekking, BBQ, vegetarian food, and (most importantly), sheep shearing!

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Sheep waiting to be sheared

The building where they shear is tall, dark, and impressive, made of wood and a thatch-like material. I talked to the man who classifies the wool, and he said that at the moment there are 8000 sheep and they are sheared between October and November. The wool is classified and pressed into bails ready for sale. Information on the internet, from 2009, says they had over 10,000 sheep, shearing 600 a day with 4.5 to 5.5 kilos per fleece, making 12 bales a day.

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Fleece sorting and pressing, bales at the back

I asked about buying some wool but, all of the wool is sent to the south of Chile for processing and export.

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Sheep after shearing where they are checked and given worming medicine

My family and I watched them shear along with other visitors. Here is my video of the shearing.

The shearing demonstration was scheduled for 10am till noon, we saw them shear at 1.30 and there were still people arriving to watch. It was Saturday, their day off, and they weren’t being paid for the demonstration. So the shearer may not have been working as fast as a work day, and may have been a bit grumpy.

I was fascinated by how he moved the sheep, something I can’t do when I shear. I loved being there. I loved the smell of the lanolin, the sheep and the metal grease, the cool dark air compared to the sunshine outside, the rolls of soft greasy wool. I could have stayed there all day.

But unfortunately, the rest of my family is not so obsessed with wool, so with two sleepy girls we drove home.

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And the weekend continued with more surprises; as I wrote this post on Sunday, it was raining outside. In fact it rained for most of the day, rare for November. The rain is great for the plants, not so great for my laundry, which I had to wash, and had to peg out, rain or no rain. Although my girls said they didn’t mind if they stayed home from school because of wet uniforms…they are so thoughtful.

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