My name is Marta Morrison and I am from the region of Liberator General Bernardo O’Higgins, Comune of Nancagua, Chile.
I work with different organic fibers and metals; chiefly by using an ancestral braiding technique that blends straw and other fibers to create a variety of crafts.
I also work with a cotton loom and design different works in conjunction with other artisans of the region. With the help of two fiber braiders, two seamstresses and three silversmiths I produce the variety of my works.
The pieces we create range from necklaces and bracelets to earrings, purses and rings. We have over ten years’ experience working.
I have always been fascinated by nature, colors, lights, shadows and fibers. I find these things magical and when I first came across the braided ribbon of a traditional straw hat, I began to visualize what I could create with the material.
The texture and smoothness of the material prompted me to create jewelry, which in turn caused me to seek out the best artisans so that I could accomplish this dream. I decided to match colors that favor women with different tones and innovative designs, along with creating jewelry that showcases our personality and is a blend of our culture and history.
Creating something new and placing it in the market was a colossal undertaking; quality craftsmanship and innovative designs have been key aspects of successfully selling these goods. The pieces themselves are not only objects, but a small part of the collective soul of the infinite creative universe that we make.
|ME AT DESIGN PROCESS|
Every day is different due to the fact that I have no established routine; I am always answering calls from clients who solicit different works or busy laboring in my workshop.
When I am at home I design and craft necklaces or work on making other handcrafted goods. In essence, every day is a reflection of the ever-changing needs of my clients and myself. Occasionally I travel to Santa Cruz and meet with my other collaborators to review designs and agree on new products. I also have to travel to Santiago weekly to attend meetings and purchase goods.
My business is operated in conjunction with my daughter. I have a store in Santa Cruz and one in Santiago. I typically sell my products through my own stores but also participate in expositions, and sell abroad through various stores that carry my products. To achieve this, it is crucial to promote my crafts through the press, television, and other marketing techniques.
I do not have any external financing, nor do I work with creditors. Instead, I am constantly reinvesting my profits back into the business after everyone has been paid their fair share; something that is reflected by the fact that we have remained as a cohesive unit and no one has left my employment.
|ROW MATERIAL READY TO START WEAVING|
It is probably my INCHE necklace, winner of the 2004 UNESCO award for Artisan products in Latin America & the Caribbean.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION
My works rescue a technique that has been passed on by generation after generation of Chilean artisans who braid organic fibers. Additionally, many of the crafts incorporate traditional Mapuche symbols.
Their closeness to the earth are elements which form a magical concept where colors become primordial elements, given that in conjunction with metals they give strength and create a balance in a given piece. Each piece is unique and completely handcrafted.
|FIRST STEPS OF HANDCRAFTING: BRAIDING STRAW|
I would like innovative initiatives to be valued and a general feeling of appreciation and pride over our quality products.
I would also like initiative to be recognized across all Chile and the world; there is a lack of resources for the diffusion of arts and culture. A cultural change needs to take place so that Chileans begin to value innovative and quality products.
LEGACY: What advice would you give to an aspiring artisan?
To persevere and fight for your dreams, to never stop enjoying what you do because passion is the sweetest part of life. Open your eyes, breathe, and submerse yourself into the creative process.
MAKE A CALL TO WHO YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHOW YOUR WORK
Anyone who values innovative work, handcrafted artisan products, the use of natural materials, our history and culture, or who recognizes quality and values the work of others.
Any person who feels the beating heart of each piece and who is bold enough to break paradigms and immerse themselves into a creative adventure. I invite them to meet our products, our dreams, and to help us place these works in the place they deserve; museums, stores, and places where they will be admired.
CONTACT MARTA MORRISON