From the Editor: Common Bonds

From the Editor: Common Bonds

Laura Preston

Laura Preston of Vacilando Quilting Co. with her Amsterdam quilt on the Oregon coast. Travel inspires her; she’s been on the road almost full-time since 2013.

John Ellis

As the world continues to grow smaller, thanks to technology, we find ourselves at once better connected and a little overwhelmed. It’s easier to learn more about countries and cultures outside of our own – to share information and converse in real time – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to understand different perspectives. Be cause of the internet, the dilemma that’s been around since the dawn of humankind has intensified: How do we, as complex people, learn to live respectfully with one another on the planet that we share?

A solution, it turns out, is at our fingertips. “What is interesting to me about making objects is what a powerful non-verbal communication tool they can be,” says LA artist Tanya Aguiñiga, who speaks about craft as a vehicle for self- and community care. Since the summer of 2016, she has led AMBOS, a series of collaborative projects across the US-Mexico border, in part to humanize the people who cross it for an international audience. Be cause people bring their own stories to objects, she says, they can help open up dialogue. With AMBOS, she aims to help people better understand and connect with each other through craft.

The artists featured on the pages of our first international issue may speak different languages, practice different religions, and live in different climates, but they all share a passion for the handmade. And because handwork – both the act of making and the objects that result – is a universal activity, it provides each of us a path toward improved cross-cultural understanding.

Although there is a lot that separates us, there’s a lot that connects us, too. Ingenuity and curiosity are human traits. They’re what inspire us to create and to explore, whether on a cross-country road trip, an overseas trek, or at home in an armchair or the studio.