Zapotec/Oregon Large Woven Pillow #11 PC
Francisco Bautista moved with his family from the state of Oaxaca in Mexico to Sandy, Oregon. He brought the handmade treadle looms and the skills of a 4th generation Zapotec rug weaver. Francisco uses his traditional rug weaving techniques to weave pillow covers such as this one featuring a central “Eye of God” design and surrounded by red figures evoking Quetzalcoatl (a winged serpent deity in ancient Mexico). The red and blue arrows pointing inward on both ends of the pillow are Francisco’s own representation of brotherhood or the union between cultures.
Like his father and grandfather in Mexico, Francisco dyes his yarns mostly with materials from nature. He used indigo for the deep blue pillow cover background. The red comes from the cochineal insect, the beige from pomegranate skin, and the central yellow comes from onion skins. To produce the lavender color in the Eye of God design, Francisco combined baking soda with cochineal.
Francisco’s wife Laura Gutierrez does some weaving and constructs the pillow covers using a black fabric backing with zipper. This pillow measures 19 ¼ in x 15 ½ in when unstuffed and lying flat. When stuffed with its plump polyfill pillow insert, the straight measurement across the center of the pillow is 17 ½ in x 12 ½ in.
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