Letters from a traveller | #2

Acre + Looms
June 19, 2019

There is so much to tell that in advance I apologize if everything mixes by the way and you get to the end of the letter with a little dizzy. It is just that when I write I try to let what I feel flow, without rereading or correcting, very natural indeed.


The other day I found myself telling how the idea of the "soul" came about, the beloved notebook that accompanies yankatu's pieces and shares its inspiration, the stories of the artisans and keeps the path open for the stories that emerge around them to be told. Yes, even before I knew that Yankatu would be the name of my brand, I knew she would have a soul, a lot of soul. Mine and that of everyone who somehow crossed your path.


It all started in my childhood, many years ago. My mother was a teacher of arts and music and raised me and my sister in a very playful way, where there was so much room for us to be children that respecting the limits was something natural. Our house had three bedrooms and one of them was called "mess room", where virtually everything was allowed (of course with proper considerations!).


The "mess room" was a place to dream and also to perform, there we played to eat with coffee powder, flour and raw beans, made collages, paintings with our finger and wrote and painted the sofas :) Amazing, huh? To think we could do whatever we wanted with the couches! Each had his own, to avoid quarrels, and there we put our naïve eyes discovering the world.


As time goes by, the day came when sleeping in the same room as my sister was a difficult task. Imagine, I am a Virgo, extremely organized and she is a Cancer with emotions that change with the moon. To avoid endless discussions about who did what for whom, my mother decided to separate our rooms, putting an end to the "mess room".


It was with a certain feeling that "I was getting older" that I saw our sofas go down to the garage where they would remain kept for a few more years. They were no longer so close, but they were still there, because every day when I opened the garage door I saw them, read my writings, laughed at my drawings. In a way, it was like I saw the kid I went to every time I looked at him and it did me a lot of good.


Years passed and it was time to have another car. College was far away and bus access in our neighborhood was complicated. So the sofas gave way in the garage to a Variant  II and it was with tears in my eyes that I saw them go away, live somewhere else, where no one would understand those beautiful scribbles that one day I did, where probably their fabric would be replaced and would be lost in the world.


I still remember that moment with a grip on my heart. My desire was to cling to the couch, pulling from it the fabric, which in my dream would easily come off and stay with me, letting its structure and foam leave for a new home. Looking back at this moment I found myself turning the fabric into a little book where the pages would have written, drawings, a little bit of me, that I could show my daughter to build other stories together.


In the case of Yankatu these stories bring closer to you my inspirations, what I saw and felt while working in a particular region, and my perception of the artisans with whom I work. The soul makes the piece much more than a piece of furniture or object, gives it face and heart, fills you with emotions, arouses interest in knowing a little more about what it brings with it.


I think that's life, an eternal weaving of stories!


I set out to weave my story along with that of many other people, share dreams and follow paths not yet trodden, at least not through my way of looking.


That is how I ended up in Muzambinho, to weave stories along with Mayumi and the artisans of amaria, who through the manual loom rescued so much that i could write a book. By the way, that is exactly what happened, the book "love, design and cooperation" was released in 2018 and is well worth reading.


There in Muzambinho I made stories with Zana Maria too, her story became the exhibition Things and Not Things here at yankatu gallery and from here ended up in Senac Moda São Paulo. You say you are not supposed to be happy with life and even more willing to go on?


Well, as you can see, subject matter is not lacking! If you want to ask me something feel free and, if you are here in São Paulo, stop by the studio for coffee with us!!

About the author

Yankatu - Design + Art with Brazilian soul

Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros Penteado

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