At Sundance, we have the great privilege of building relationships with unique artisans and craftspeople. Their pride of work is conveyed in the authenticity, the quality, and the heritage in each artistic creation. We would like to showcase the Sundance artist community by highlighting the artists, their stories and their art.
Turkish Pillows Roy and Dennis Barloga Spencer Peterman Nicole Strasburg Tibetan Rug Weavers Nepalese Artisans Indian Potters Mayan Weavers
One-of-a-Kind Turkish Grain
Sack Pillows
The original sacks were crafted over 50 years ago in the homes of residents of the eastern Turkish village of Anatolia. They were used for storing grain and were insulated with goat's wool to keep the grain cool in summer and warm in the winter. These sacks have now found new life as beautiful, one-of-a-kind pillows.

The patterns on the pillows are as unique as the stories they tell. Many of the designs are symbols that represent the keystones of myths, tales, and dreams of the villagers hundreds of years ago. Designs such as these, date back centuries and were used to communicate before there was a written language. The stories have been passed down over the generations and are still being depicted on art such as this.
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Roy and Dennis Barloga, Feather Studies Print
Father and son team Dennis and Roy Barloga incorporate Himalayan handmade paper into the prints of their breathtaking, original feather photography. They note, "The uniqueness of handmade paper beautifully complements the detailed photographic studies that we individually print, making them one-of-a-kind... We enjoy creating these original works of art together by combining modern printing with photographic techniques."

A tradition in Himalayan countries, papermaking has always been an important activity in rural Nepal. The paper is handmade in the mountains of Nepal from the inner bark of the lokta bush, which is one of the strongest paper fibers, and since new growth regenerates quickly it provides a renewable resource and consistent work for the artisans.
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Spencer Peterman, Driftwood Bowls
Spencer Peterman has been turning bowls for about 15 years after embracing the idea of "upcycling" in nature - taking local trees that would normally be discarded, chipped up, or used for firewood and making them into beautiful, functional works of art. As a true artist, Spencer is able to see the beauty in a material most others would disregard and let the tree continue its journey by starting a new chapter.

Spencer began hand-turning wood and creating bowls out of his native fallen trees from Massachusetts. He preserves the many of the small cracks, crevices, and knots, which are natural to the age and state of the logs. This way, he can carefully craft each bowl to uphold its unique history and ensure its story continues.
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Nicole Strasburg, "October Aspen"
"Fall is my favorite time to be on the road. The earth seems to settle and take a breath from the summer heat. My first trip of many to Southern Utah was in October almost twenty years ago. An oil sketch from my first excursion inspired the print, October Aspen. The image used for the print was at the edge of a copse of aspen and pine, nearing the top of a ridge. I loved the bright leaves of gold held by a backdrop of blue with the clouds rising up from the valley below.

Landscape painting became my focus and has been now for over twenty years. In creating images of the natural landscape, I hope to be helping in that fight to save these wide-open spaces. They offer a connection to the earth and a way back to ourselves."
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Tibetan Rug Weavers, Lake Forest Knotted Rug
Rug weaving is an important tradition in Tibetan culture. As an age-old practice of the villages in the northern mountainous region of Nepal, traditional Tibetan weaving generally reflects the influence of the area's culture and art.

The rugs are crafted from pure sheep's wool and plant fibers and are unique in the hand-knotting system used during weaving. All weaving work is carried out by hand on vertical looms using the traditional Tibetan knotting system. It is a creative task performed by three to four highly skilled weavers, depending on the size of rug.

The creation of the design and pattern is also a delicate process, as each element is carved out by hand using scissors to create an exquisite look.
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Nepalese Artisans, Kathmandu Throw
These expert knitters in Nepal create beautiful, hand-crafted work through their unparalleled skill and care given to their work. They are rooted in a culture appreciative of beauty and art, color and light, inspired by the ancient and classical.

For this season, they have hand-made a warm, soft cabled blanket. The yarn is handspun and hand dyed using processes that do not pollute their fragile ecosystem. They are an expression of love, a gift to give to someone in a time of transition, a new baby, a big move - a heartfelt wish that others will stay warm and feel loved.

Sundance has been working with this cooperative of women for more than 20 years, and its mission is to provide creative jobs to artisans of all types while improving their overall standard of living. These blankets are knit in the homes of the artisans, allowing mothers to stay at home and care for their families. Through this work, they are given opportunities in training and design as well as education, healthcare, and benefits largely unknown in Nepal.
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Indian Potters, Terra Dinnerware Collection
These highly skilled potters from a rural village in India craft each item in this dinnerware collection by hand using techniques perfected over generations. The group of artisans has been steadily growing over the years and now employs 40 people, 23 of them women. This type of employment for women helps to further empower them within the community.

All the artisans have years of training, both to perfect their basic skills and to master the craft. The type of work allows them to earn money and create stability while working in a traditional trade.
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Mayan Weavers, Chiapas Pillows
These hand-woven pillows are carefully crafted by Mayan women in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico.
The pillow covers are inspired by traditional Mayan iconography: a rich universal language that speaks of tradition, heritage and pride. These textiles are meticulously woven, and each piece represents over 40 hours of work. The final result is a product with heart and soul, representative of the people that gave it form, in harmony with their traditions and surroundings.
The community is comprised of over 2,000 women artisans and their families, communities, and the greater economy in the highlands of Chiapas. The goal is to help provide a continuous and fair source of income, prevent displacement and enable artisan communities to preserve their cultural traditions while improving their living conditions.
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