women artists celebrated at Pleasanton event
by Diane Weddington
ANYONE interested in the advancement of women's indigenous
crafts won't want to miss a lively and colorful program Wednesday in Pleasanton.
Co-authors Paola Gianturco and Toby Tuttle, who wrote "In Her Hands:
Craftswomen Changing the World," present a documentary and open discussion
on what they learned in working with women on four continents, including
Guatemalan weavers, the Ndebele beaders of South Africa, the flower painters
of Poland and Indonesian batik artists.
This is a splendid, beautifully photographed text with stories of how
women worldwide survive through crafts.
Alice Walker wrote the forward. First published in hardback, it was released
as a $35 trade paperback in 2004 by powerHouse Books and will be on sale
at Wednesday's event.
Gianturco, the photographer, was a board member of the Association for
Women's Rights in Development and with the Crafts Center, an agency working
with women in 79 countries.
Tuttle, an investment banker, worked with Gianturco in the first woman-owned
advertising agency in the United States.
Inspired by the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing,
the pair spent five years on the project. "Often driven by the harsh
realities of poverty, little education and lack of even basic health care,
these female artisans are motivated by the desire to provide for their
children: to dress them properly, feed them well, and most of all, to
educate them," writes Jeannie Wolf of powerHouse Books. "The
need for social contact and a sense of community brings craftswomen together
into groups which in turn gives rise to microenterprises in developing
Among artists highlighted in the book: the Mother's Club of Peru's shantytowns;
the doll-makers of Soganli, Turkey, who are the sole wage earners; the
Zulu basket weavers of Durban, Africa; and the Hill Tribe needleworkers
of Northern Thailand.
The program begins at 6 p.m at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 11950 Dublin Canyon
Tickets are $35 and include the dinner, program and booksigning; book
purchase is separate. For reservations call (510) 547-0391.