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Artists´ Retreat in Galicia – Meeting young weavers – and other news from Anna Champeney Estudio Textil

News from the weaving and basketry studios in Cristosende, northwest Spain…

As you can see, despite being in our small corner of rural Galicia (I loved the way a visitor from Israel declared when she visited the shop recently “it´s not that you´re in a different world, it´s like a different planet here….”) we don´t get time to get bored and always have new experiences to savour!

Visit by Gina Hedegaard – Danish weaver and textile artist

gina hedegaard pinta en CristosendeFor me, personally, it is always like a breath of fresh air to meet talented weavers from other countries.  It is a welcome opportunity to exchange views, experiences and skills.  So I´d like to introduce you to Gina Hedegaard, a Danish loom weaver (rugs and tapestries) as well as textile design teacher and textile artist.  She is not the first international maker to come to stay at Casa dos Artesans, our holiday cottage, but as you can see, it really is the ideal place to stay for a creative retreat.  In the photo you can see Gina making a charcoal study this afternoon – sitting just outside the textile studio in our private garden.

I´m always surprised there isn´t a larger artistic community where we live but gradually more and more artists and makers are discovering the cottage and the surrounding area for photography and drawing, either as ends in themselves, or as part of the creative process for thinking about new loom woven textiles.

I´m posting up 2 photos of Gina´s work from an exhibition she staged, together with another Danish artist, Vibeke Lindhardt.  The way the exhibition came about was so beautiful and magical that I thought I would relate it here.  One night Gina had a dream that she staged an exhibition of her work, together with another artist, at www.munkeruphus.dk.  The very next day she contacted the gallery to ask them about the possibility of organising an exhibition, and she also phoned Vibeke Lindhardt to announce “you and I are having a new exhibition”.  Two years later, and following a 6 month period of working together at Gammeldok, the state-sponsored and run craft workshops (available to makers and artists working on interesting projects), the exhibition, entitled Sten, Saks, Papir (Stone, scissors, paper) opened.  What a wonderful story to inspire artists and makers to get together to make dreams happen!

rug by gina hedegaard trabajos por gina hedegaard

2 television documentaries in one day about the craft workshops – Galician television and the Travel Channel (in Spanish)

televisión Canal Viajar en Galicia Canal Viajar en Galicia con Anna Champeney Diseñadora Textil

Yes, on the 12 of May we had 2 television crews descende on Crisotsende to record documentaries about our craft work and the reasons why we left Barcelona and the UK to settle in this corner of northwest Spain.  In fact Lluis and I are not the only “nuevos pobladores” or “settlers” in this part of rural Spain and the Galician channel has also interviewed other newcomers to the area who have been responsible for setting up new initiatives, such as A Sazón, a local jam making company run by Lydia, originally from Germany.  If you have access to Spanish televisión you can see the documentaries on the following days –

  • Televisión de Galicia  – 28 May 2011 at 3.30pm.
  • Canal Viajar – Sunday 19 June  (time not specified yet!)

Local basketry courses given by Lluis

cesto de fiar de la Ribeira Sacra Over the past 10 years Lluis has been collecting designs for the local “spinners´ basket” which was once common in our area but which is now almost extinct.  He taught different variations of the basket, shown here, at CENTRAD (Lugo craft centre) last weekend and will be teaching another rare local basket form, the meguín, in Lugo on the 22-23 May.  Hot off the press is that he will be giving a basketry course this summer in Madrid, in addition to the courses programmed here at the craft workshops in Cristosende (A Teixeira, Galicia) in July and August – more details in the Spanish version only (sorry) of the blog in the Proximos Cursos section.

If you are interested coming as part of a group from England in October, then contact us by email.



New Flea Market in Monforte de Lemos – Come to see us every 2nd Sunday of the month – Here you can see how happy I am to have just met with Harriet, the youngest weaver of Monforte!  You can see her work in her hand.


harriet young weaver in MonforteSo if you live locally – or are visiting the area on holiday – come to visit our stand.  As always we have a selection of our own hand-woven textiles and baskets for sale as well as yarns and kits and are very happy to talk about weaving, looms and making baskets.  In fact, it´s easier to see us in Monforte than in the workshops, as we are always busy there, and are not always able to attend visitors.