Lucuma Designs, Peru
Lucuma Designs develops opportunities for Peruvian artisan partners by guiding them with fresh ideas and innovative designs while focusing on sustainability and fair trade.
Lucuma Designs strives to develop contemporary crafts and folk art from Peru to market while empowering creative women and family workshops that help support artisans and their community. Lucuma believes that the best craftsmanship emerges when artists are encouraged to allow their imagination and cultural traditions to shine in every handcrafted piece they create.
Relationships are based on trust and respect, with 300 artisans working in 18 family workshops and cooperatives in Peru relying on Lucuma Designs to bring them work year-round.
Artisan crafts include gourd art carving, a tradition that dates back 4,000 years in Peru. After the gourds are gathered, they are scraped to shed the outer green skin then dried naturally in the hot Peruvian desert sun. After drying, intricate designs are hand carved with precision with simple hand chisels. Using a technique called pyrography, artisans use fire to create rich shades of browns and black creating natural finished art.
Lucuma also works with the Aymara, a community with an ancestral tradition of textile making who live near Lake Titiaca, on the frigid Andean plateau 12,500 feet above sea level. As an agricultural community, life revolves around nature, so during planting and harvesting seasons, knitters keep busy attending their potato, quinoa or barley crops and may not knit as much. With knitting skills traditionally used to make clothing and toys for children, creating finger puppets has become a source of additional income and empowerment for women while watching over their kids, caring for their llamas or alpacas and during the non-growing season.
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