a pio chair was born!
I was accepted to participate in a clay and carpentry workshop in Tlacotalpan, a small and breathtakingly charming town in Veracruz, Mexico. Product designer José de la O, a member of Mexico's design collective Panorámica, organized this wonderful week-long adventure, called The Chair that Rocks. We stayed at Luz de Noche, a hostel and cultural center that's ideal if you're ever planning a visit to this part of the world(and you don't mind sharing a room). Lovely Mario and Yvonne run it, and their kitchen staff is awesome, so you don't have to wander far in search of a delicious meal.
Other than me, everyone in the program was an industrial designer, and it was a fascinating, fun, and intense experience. We began by taking a small boat down the river, where we were instructed to dig up mud from the bottom of it(there was a right and a wrong consistency and we struggled for a bit to figure out the difference and make sure we were getting the good stuff). We then transported it back to stomp on in a process that would turn it into workable clay. The experience helped me appreciate all that goes into what we sometimes think of as such a simple material. I often marvel at how inexpensive pottery is -- now I will even more.
Using the clay, we were given an assignment to rethink the water vessels/cooler, and mine ended up being a pitcher with a floral flourish on the handle(SURPRISE, SURPRISE!), printed using a locally crocheted piece of ribbon.
But I was more excited about the chair I made. We were given an assignment to redesign a chair that's popular in Tlaco, and mine is a softer version of it. I'm uploading a photo for your viewing pleasure. The seat pulls out and stacks behind the main structure for easy transport(this was one of the requirements given to us).
Thanks to José for organizing this monumental workshop and for saying yes to a jewelry designer, rather than only allowing industrial designers to have all the fun. I hope it will be the first of many, and that future participants will have as great an experience as I (and my Chair that Rocks cohorts) did.