Nested off the side of a small dirt road in the town of Peñaflor, Jessica Perez steadily works from sunrise to sunset in the living room of her home. Jessica is an autodidactic crotchetier, knitter and spinner since age 23. She completed secondary education in Maipu but came back to her home of Peñaflor. Jessica produces jewelry and textiles from silk cotton, natural and artificial wool, mate, herbs, eucalyptus, leather cord, wood and copper. She dedicates 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week to her craft yet her passion never tires. When asked what she would do in her non-existent free time, she replied, “Work. I love what I do.”
She finds inspiration for her works from the whims of her own imagination. The power of her mind in the production process allows her to develop her style and cultivate new ideas. Nature is her primary medium of choice. She finds peace in the organic process of weaving but also connects to nature through the integration of natural substances in her materials. The manifestation of nature in her work is her interpretation of environmental sustainability and her method of preserving natural beauty. Although she has adapted a modern style, she never wants to lose her connection to her ethnicity especially Chilean culture and traditions. She carries on these traditions by selling her work and sharing her story with her clients.
In the future Jessica hopes to finish her home and open her own store. She would like to establish a workshop with other women with similar skill sets as her own to take her business to the next level. The primary problems with her workshop are space and storage. Her relationship with Comparte has only heightened her passion to work and considerably improved demand for her products. Nonetheless, she would like to share her other unrealized talents with the world, especially her collection of knitted clothing.
- shear the wool
- wash the wool
- card the wool (straighten and separate wool fibers)
- spin the wool
- ball the wool
Dyeing wool –
- ball the wool
- uses the same quantities of vegetable dyes but results are never the same
The weaving process takes 2 to 3 days.
The balling and dyeing process take a full day.
By: Claire Eder
Translation: Claire Eder