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Costa Rican Natural Fiber Birds & Flowers Mobile - Songbirds and Blossoms
Three strands of colorful birds flit amid tropical flowers in this cheerful mobile. By Blanca Padilla, it celebrates Costa Rica's varied flora and fauna. The artisan harvests the cabuya fiber she herself grows to transform it into sheets of tightly entwined fibers. She dyes the fibers, cuts the shapes by hand and suspends them beneath a pinewood ring.
- Cabuya fiber, 100% cotton fabric, jute, pinewood
- 0.96 oz
- 27 inches L x 6 inches W
THE STORY BEHIND THE PRODUCT
Artisan Organization: Blanca Padilla
Country: Costa Rica
"I was born in 1967 in the south of El Guarco, Costa Rica. I work with cabuya, a fiber extracted from the agave plant.
"The cabuyera trade came to me through my grandfather, whose craft was handed down to him from generation to generation. From the time I was a child, I helped my parents with this craft, which was our family's sustenance for many years.
"My father processed the cabuya fiber and sold it to a business but, unfortunately, this company shut down and we lost our main source of income. We had to look for other ways to earn a living.
"My mother was always quite skilled in handicrafts — she could transform anything into a work of art. Thanks to her we began to create decorative items of cabuya fiber that we could sell. With her, I discovered my creative skills and they are a gift from God. I was so afraid people wouldn't like my first but, little by little, I gained confidence in myself and in what I could do.
"Thanks to my father, I learned to plant, harvest and prepare the cabuya fiber, and I was able to teach my husband, who helps me prepare the material. My father and mother were my two great teachers, and I owe them everything I am today. Thanks to this art that they taught me, I can work and bring home an income without having to neglect my children, who are my greatest source of inspiration.
"Today I continue with this tradition — telling a story, rescuing a legacy, and leaving in each design a bit of the history, struggle and love for what I do.
"My biggest dream is to be able to use this art. I want to teach and offer work to people in my community, so that we can develop our skills and achieve a better income. We hope to make this craft known in many parts of the world.
"For me, it's an honor to show you a little of Costa Rica, a bit of myself, and a family legacy that I want to preserve and teach to my children.""