Creativity in Patagonia

Embroidering is listening how the wind howls.

Sometimes I stop an hour earlier to have that little extra time to embroider. Autumn in Northern Patagonia made evenings very long so a bit more natural light was handy. Sometimes I did not succeed in using this extra time sufficiently, because I’d placed the tent in a very unfortunate spot, the tent poles trying hard not to bend by the hard wind.


At such times, I needed near to an hour to pitch at a new spot, somewhere out of the wind, less scenic but more protected. Those late autumn and early winter days I needed to sit in the tent, as temperatures crawled to zero degrees, while the wind continued blowing.


But colder climates do not prevent me from creating art. I hardly ever stop totally exhausted as I want to enjoy my camps rather than enjoying the numerical facts of kilometers. I may appear worn out, and often I am very tired but embroidering seems to destabilize after a day of hardship.


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Carrying a sack with threads, wool, stones, cacti needle, animal hairs and trinkets found along the road, I have plenty of material to start new pieces of embroidery art.

Textile I find along the route, sometimes new and probably lost, sometimes worn and thrown out.



Some places I stay have material too: a large portion of alpaca wool has tangled together, as hair never combed does. I found it in a semi deserted house at the Altiplano in Bolivia. Sacks, uncountable many, were pressed full with enmeshed alpaca hair. It took me long before I knew what to make of it, and had my mind travel long distances until I made a design in my head.




I could not do much with this piece as I did not wanted to break it, nor cut it. It had to be used in one piece. I started out with another border-design around the piece of wool but did not like it, and I stopped embroidering on this particular creation. Being in Patagonia was hard for me, I was unhappy and my art did not flow.

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Cherry Garden

Since I carried cacti needle, I started another piece of cloth to embroider on. But cacti needle are difficult to embroider with too, and it took me several trials over the course of a year to find a suitable design. Once my mind created a design I started and found out very soon that the design went it’s own way. This is what the end result is: a rather detailed sort of embroidering. I needed patience to finish this, but not as much patience that was needed to get through wintry Patagonia.



This would be a pouch to store all sort of items, best not to stagger around too much with, and preferable with a separate drawstring bag. But I was out of patience to add any addition to it. The smell of this pouch is quite robust and enchanting (no trace of glue, solely roaming animal odor). Worked on in Argentina and Chile.





Used materials: faded jeans, worn out legging (as liner), cacti needle, goat hair, sheep hair, bicycle repair glue, embroidery threads. Measurement: 15 x 19 cm/5.91 x 7.48 inch.



Alpaca Woolly SHIPPED!  

With the finish of the cacti needle design I picked up the alpaca wool and suddenly a new design transformed by itself, when I was away from Patagonia. The border is based on an embroidery technique I found in Afghanistan, where a handkerchief with this technique was presented to me by a tailor. The wool has enmeshed pieces of branches in it, and through it all I dotted a few tiny glass beads.


I want my art to be usable but with this piece I found it hard to find any usefulness at all. I even disliked the whole design until the very last moment. Though I kept working on it, just as I kept cycling further and far away from Patagonia. In the very end, with the last action of ironing the jeans, I was satisfied with it.


Items such as expensive brushes could be rolled into, or lightweight tools, or even a small flexible solar panel. You see, it hás to be useful somehow. The best of all is the purity and softness of this piece, to press it against your face is an experience of heavenly spheres. Worked on in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.


Used materials: blue jeans, worn tank top (as liner), alpaca wool, glass beads, embroidery threads, regular yarn, ready-made sheep wool yarn. Measurement: 40 x 25 cm/15.75 x 9.84 inch

Eucalyptus SHIPPED!

With cycling through boring countries planted with eucalyptus forests I soon had a new design ready. I wanted it to be quick so I wouldn’t spend half a year on one design. An ultra simple pouch with drawstring to close it. Inspired on a most simple design, as how I remembered it, carried by poor elderly people in India. Worked on in Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.


Used materials: faded workman clothing, old T-shirt (as liner) and embroidery threads. I used an eucalyptus leave as pattern. Measurement: 18 x 16 cm/7.09 x 6.30 inch.




You are most welcome to order, and I will send the pouch. The postal services out of Paraguay are low, reliable and not slow at all. So go ahead, as I will stay put for some time at a farm in Chaco. You may decide on the price yourself, and I suggest this is quite an original present for the oncoming days. Which reminds me: I wish you a moderate Christmas and a very satisfying new year.

Here are more pouches I made on the road, and this page has pouches I made back in the Netherlands.


When using this Buy Now button, don’t forget to fill in the form as it is handy to know to whom and where I have to send the item.

Mind you: please add the costs of postal service (about 6 to 10 Euro).

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