Online Presentation: Sardinian Handwoven Textiles: Exploring a Nearly-Lost Art, September 2021

This presentation will be September 15, 2021 at 6pm San Francisco time. The event is free, but you must register to attend.

Join me online for this free event to explore the indescribable beauty of Sardinian handwoven textiles, see the loving and painstaking artistry of their creation, meet the tessitrici artigianali — the unique women weavers who maintain the tradition of a nearly-lost art — and glimpse just a bit of Sardinia’s majesty.

I’ll discuss the importance of the handmade, the relevance these women, their weavings, and their traditions have in our modern world, and the anima (spirit) of Sardinian handwoven textiles. I’ll share portions of my film as well as photos, stories of the weavers and my adventures on the island, and show some of my personal textile collection.

There’s no charge for the event, but you must register ahead of time. Click here to go to Eventbrite and register. You’ll receive confirmation and reminder emails with the Zoom link to the event.

I look forward to seeing you!

~ Kelly Manjula Koza

Filmmaker’s Screening: I Want to Weave the Weft of Time, August 2021

Join me for a free online screening of my documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time August 18, 2021 (Wednesday) from 6 to 7.30pm (18.00 to 19.30) San Francisco time.

I’ll add filmmaker’s commentary to provide a glimpse of how the film came about, the synchronicity of its making, working with the weavers, the soundtrack’s creation, and more. I’ll also share stories and additional video clips, including outtakes and works in progress, and answer questions.

There’s no charge for the event, but you must register ahead of time. Click here to go to Eventbrite and register. You’ll receive confirmation and reminder emails with the Zoom link to the event.

I look forward to seeing you!

~ Kelly Manjula Koza

Spring 2021 Presentation Series: Sardinian Arts Online

Join me live online for an intimate series of presentations about Sardinian handwoven textiles, the women who maintain nearly-lost weaving traditions, and more!

In this free series, I’ll be sharing my stories, videos, and photos of the women weavers and their distinctive textiles; showing weavings from my own collection; discussing the history and revival of Sardinian handweaving; providing a historical and cultural overview of Sardinia; giving you a photographic tour of the island; answering your questions; and more!

This series starts Saturday January 23, 2021. See the full schedule below.

If you have missed earlier sessions, you can still come to later sessions!

Please register to attend the free sessions.

I look forward to seeing you online!

~ Kelly Manjula Koza, Sardinian Arts’ Founder

PS — Before the events, I very much suggest that you watch I Want to Weave the Weft of Time, my free 30 minute documentary on handweaving in Sardina. You can also find the video directly by going to WeaveWeftofTime.com.

Schedule

Saturdays at 11am Pacific / Noon Mountain / 1pm Central / 2pm Eastern. Each session will last 60-90 minutes.

  • January 23 — Introduction, Background, and Film Highlights with Commentary
  • January 30 — Weaving in Samugheo
  • February 6 — Weaving in Nule
  • February 13 — Weaving in Aggius
  • February 20 — Converging Threads: The Importance of the Handmade, How Weaving Came to Sardinia, the Resurrection, and More
    Please note the dates below have been corrected!
  • February 27 — Sardinian History, Culture, and Arts Beyond Weaving
  • March 6 — Sardinian Tour: Photos and Stories Around the Island
  • March 13 — Questions, Answers, Open House

Speaking and Teaching Engagements

Would your weaving guild, craft studio, art class, or group like to learn more about beautiful Sardinian textiles, the amazing women who weave them, and Sardinia itself?

Would you like to have a private screening and question/answer session with the maker of the documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time? See additional and/or unpublished video footage and photos of the weavers in the film, and other weavers at work? See and feel the textiles in person (in-person events only)?

I would love to arrange an online presentation for your group at the time of your convenience, or an in-person event in 2022. I’m well-versed in presenting to audiences large and small, both online and in person, and can discuss the weavers, their art, and Sardinia in a way that considers and captivates your group.

Contact me to discuss options and timing.

Online presentations are free for elementary, high school, and home schooling groups during the pandemic.

For online presentations to other groups, I generally request an honorarium based on the type and size of your group. For in-person presentations, I request that your group cover travel expenses.

Thanks to Flavia Loreto for her photo!

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Trunk Shows and Exhibitions

Would you like to see handwoven Sardinian textiles in your city? Perhaps you’d even like to purchase one, after viewing it and feeling it?

I’m arranging trunk shows, where the textiles will be shown in small groups to those interested in seeing and purchasing them, as well as exhibitions, where textiles will be displayed for some time, and, depending upon the venue and the type of exhibit, may available to purchase.

I will attend the events to discuss the textiles, the artists, and present photos and video clips of the weavers and Sardinia. I can also arrange to show my documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time and answer questions at opening nights and related events.

If you’re interested in hosting such an event, or having one in your area, please contact me.

Schedule

Given the pandemic, I have been offering online presentations at regular intervals. If interest permits, I will arrange in-person or online trunk shows mid-to late 2021. Contact me if you are interested.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Six Ways You Can Support Sardinians While Experiencing Their Beautiful Culture

Sardinia is an ancient island with a tremendous history. Her artistic heritage, spiritual traditions, natural beauty, and the wisdom and strength of her people are beyond description. 

Sardinia’s status as a usually-overlooked, often dismissively-mentioned island has in some ways benefited it, helping preserve her culture, traditions, and even people: many Sardinians live happily and actively into their hundreds.

While rich in so many ways, Sardinia is relatively money-poor. As an autonomous province of Italy, Sardinia has a status similar to that of Puerto Rico’s in the United States, both legislatively and in the minds of the mainland residents. The island’s economic development has long been sustained by various funding initiatives, including those from the Aga Khan and the European Union. Currently, most of Sardinia’s income is generated by the visitors who flock to the island each May to October for the tourist season.

Given the current crisis, the tourist season is likely not to exist in 2020. And while Sardinia’s strict virus containment measures have minimized the number of cases across the island, the same measures are decimating businesses, even those which generally close or reduce services during the off-season. 

Like the rest of Italy, the Sardinians are doing all they can to contain the virus—their lockdown is extremely rigorous—to pray and prepare for a tourist season as best they can, and to promote their businesses online. Grassroots business initiatives, as well as those supported by chambers of commerce and tourism offices, abound. And those of us stranieri who love and cherish the island and her people do what we can to help.

So, during this time of global crisis, what can you do from the United States to support Sardinians — including, but certainly not limited to, the wonderful weavers mentioned on these pages?

Here are six ideas.

Buy Sardinian cheese locally

Pecorino Romano, as packaged and sold at Costco. Shown on a handwoven textile from Eugenia Pinna, from Nule, Sardegna.
The label of Trigu, which offers direct shipments of artisan Sardinian cheese, and Pecorino Romano as sold at Costco, shown on a handwoven textile by Eugenia Pinna, of Nule, Sardegna.

Traditional Sardinian cheese is made from sheep milk, and is considered a treasure of the island. In fact, a few years ago, Sardinia started offering bonds secured by huge rounds of traditional cheese.

All the various types of sheep cheese have their own flavor and history (perhaps we’ll go into this in other articles at later dates). I’ve tried many types of Sardinian cheese, and enjoy them all!

In short, buy and enjoy some Sardinian cheese —and you can do so right where you are.

Trigu Italia exports artisan cheese and food products and offers an online catalog of various cheeses and delicacies. The brand’s various cheeses are also available in select gourmet shops in the Seattle and San Francisco areas.

Trigu’s founder, Jon Brownstein, is American-born yet has lived in Sardinia most of his life and is “dedicated to supporting the artisan and building a mutually beneficial global community around Sardinian culture.” Of course his endeavors mirror mine with Sardinian Arts, and I encourage you to visit his website and purchase a sampler to have delivered to your home!

In addition to Trigu’s offerings, you can find Sardinian Pecorino Romano at by Costco. In most Costcos, I have found the cheese in the gourmet/imported cheese section, which is usually next to the walk-in produce refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Buy Sardinian olive oil and related products locally

San Giuliano’s logo, consistent across diverse containers of the company’s products.
The textile is handwoven by Gabriella Lutzu, of Aggius, in the Gallura area of Sardinia.

The olives of Sardinia are exquisite—as are the oils, spreads, and items made by the Sardinian company San Giuliano. I have loved their olive oil and products (especially what I call “black gold”, the black olive spread) even before driving past the San Giuliano orchards and stopping by their headquarters near Alghero, on the island’s northwest coast. 

You can find San Giuliano oils, spreads, and even vinegar at a number of San Francisco area grocery stores and chains, thanks to importer Italfoods. I’ve bought San Giuliano items at Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, and some of the gourmet grocery stores. Treat your tastebuds — and help this Sardinian business — by purchasing some San Giuliano oil and other goodies!

Buy weavings directly from the handweavers featured on Sardinian Arts

View the Meet the Artists section on this site to learn about the handweavers and contact the women directly to buy an item they have already made. The contact information is given for each artist.

While Sardinian Arts does not offer an online catalog for reasons mentioned elsewhere, you can view each weaver’s page and see some of their work in the Meet the Artists area. Links are also given so you can go directly to each weaver’s website or Facebook page to get a feel for the type of weaving they do, and so you can contact the weavers directly.

I have put some hints for contacting the weavers below, and yes, in some cases, I will act as the go-between with you and the weaver.

Important!

Ask the weavers for items they have already woven. This enables the women to be paid for artwork they have already lovingly completed . All weavers have a stock of beautiful handmade textiles—signature pieces—in their studios.

Do not ask for custom orders. Custom orders with bespoke designs, colors, fibers, etc. always take a great deal of time to coordinate, and now, with supply chains paused due to the lockdowns across Italy and the world, custom orders may be even more difficult to complete. Additionally, any custom orders from before the lockdown are on looms waiting to be completed, and new custom orders will be waitlisted for some time.

Hints for contacting weavers:

  • Email the weavers directly to ask if they have an already-made item— a rug, pillowcase, wall hanging, table runner, bag, etc. matching a general description you give. For example, you might ask:
    • “Do you have any small rugs that are blue and white I can use next to my bed?”
    • “Do you have any table runners with bird patterns?”
    • “Do you have any 5 foot x 7 foot rugs in grey and white?”
  • If you don’t speak or write Italian, you can write your email in English.
    • Use simple sentences Google Translate can easily decipher. 
    • Clarify the price in either Euros or USD
  • Remember that the weavers use the metric system, and will convert your measurements to centimeters and meters.
    • Consider all measurements to be approximate, not to-the-millimeter exact.
  • Colors may vary from what you see in photos the weavers send. This is due to the nature of photos, computer screens, phone screens, cameras, and lighting as well as the nature of hand-dyed and handwoven textiles.
  • Realize there may be time delays receiving answers, photos, and the items themselves. 
  • DO pay the weavers now, even though it may be “some time” before your item can be shipped from Italy. Trust me, it’s worth the wait, and the weaver will appreciate your understanding!
  • Request shipment from DHL, which is traditionally the best shipping service in Europe, and well-known on the island. 
  • Use Transferwise to wire funds to the weaver’s bank, or use Transferwise or PayPal to pay for your item. Some weavers do take credit cards. 

And yes, you can contact me if you need more help. 

Buy weavings from my personal collection

I have a number of very unique weavings from my personal collection that I will sell to the right buyers. 

While I have paid the weavers quite well for their weavings, for each of the few items I sell from my collection, I will give a portion of the sales price directly to the weavers, as I know the additional incoming funds will help them at this critical time. I will use the balance to help sustain my work promoting the weavers and Sardinia.

The items I’m offering from my collection are one-of-a kind museum-quality showpieces: a large linen tablecloth; a wall hanging featured in the exhibit of Sardinian textiles I organized in San Francisco in 2017 (this weaving was also prominently featured in the exhibit publicity and collateral); and one other piece yet to be decided.

Please contact me for more information on the specific pieces available. Please do not contact me if you are interested in getting a collectable treasure “for nothing”.

Plan a vacation to Sardinia

More than sea, more than mountains, more than lush vegetation and beautiful skies. . .

Sardinia is a wonderful place to visit. The best, in my opinion. After the lockdown is over, why not go? You can start dreaming now, and even planning where to go and stay, even if you can’t yet confirm dates and flights.

I’m more than happy to talk with you and offer suggestions and recommendations. Of course, you can also go online and find many resources to help you plan this dream vacation.

Consider a weaving tour or general tour of Sardinia

Come on a tour of Sardinia and meet weavers in their studios — and have some time in nature and at the beach!

If you would be interested in participating in a tour of weaving studios, weaving and cultural museums, and/or some of the other treasures of the island, please contact me

Given the current situation, I can’t yet confirm any dates; I am thinking September or October 2020 will be the earliest I could lead a group if travel restrictions are lifted. 

Thanks for considering and taking action on these! ~ KMK

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

The Gem of Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni

Gallura, the area of Sardinia of which I dreamt as a kid, is the place on this planet that feels like home to me. For me, Gallura embodies and expresses the beauty, the nature, the spirit, the heart of Sardinia in a way that’s beyond what words or even pictures can express. 

Within Gallura, the gem of Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni shines. 

Agriturismo is the Italian word for a working farm that has guest cottages/apartments, and usually a restaurant and shop offering their hand-made food. While abundant across Sardinia, not all agriturismi are equal. Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni is, in my experience, the diamond. Da non perdere, not to miss. 

Scroll down to see more, including contact information and a short video!

In the most beautiful of locations minutes from the sea, with the most wonderful hospitality, a restaurant, with their own and local wine and food beyond compare, comfortable rooms, and a truly embracing family-staff: I can’t even begin to describe. 

For a truly refined and magical experience of Gallurese country hospitality, food, beauty, and life — come!

Giovanna, Michela, Rosa, Angelo, Leo, and staff welcome you. 

Contact

Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni 

Località Portobello, Aglientu OL 07020 Sardegna, Italia

info@nuraghetuttusoni.it

www.nuraghetuttusoni.it

This clip shows a bit of the agriturismo in 2019.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Il Tramonto Sunset at Alghero, Sardinia

Il tramonto ad Alghero, Sardegna, con una bellissima vista di Capo Caccia. Non è accompagnata da una colonna sonora. Il video è stato registrato 2018 09 20 dal muro della vecchia città, senza treppiede o manicotti per il microfono, e le sonore ambiente erano quelle della città, rumorose; perciò, sono stati eliminati.

Sunset at Alghero, Sardinia, with a beautiful view of Capo Caccia. It’s a silent video. The video was recorded from the old city walls on 2018 09 18, without tripod or wind muff, and the ambient sounds were loud city noises, so they’ve been removed.

E’ lungo e forse noioso. . . o no!

This is cross-posted on Tramite.org.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Tours of Artist Studios in Sardinia

As requested, I will be leading tours of artist studios in Sardinia. Of course, given the travel restrictions and complications of 2020 and 2021, the tours have been postponed until borders are open and travelers feel comfortable heading out on new adventures.

Tours will be semi-custom or custom, and include visits to the studios of the tessitrici artigianali featured here, Sardinia’s weaving museum, and time at beautiful beaches, meals at superb restaurants, and visiting other locations within Sardinia.

Having spent a good deal of time in Sardinia and with the weavers,  I can show you the island, introduce you to the women, explain the weaving techniques, and translate language and culture in a way that helps you best appreciate and most deeply connect with the weavers, Sardinia, and her culture.

If you’d like to join me in an upcoming tour, please contact me.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

The 2017 Exhibit: Common Questions Answered

When people learn of Sardinian Textiles: An Exhibit of Handwoven Art, held at the Italian Cultural Institute – San Francisco in winter 2017, I’m usually asked a number of questions about organizing and producing the event. The most common questions are:

Will you have another show?

and

How long did it take to organize the show?

For the sake of answering these questions publicly and recording a bit of history about the event, I’m answering the questions here.

Will you have another show?

Yes, will have another. My plan is to have an exhibit featuring the art of select handweavers with whom I work directly. The exhibit will be held at a private gallery space where textiles will be available for sale. (Due to customs, legal, and other reasons, we were not able to sell textiles at the 2017 event).

How long did it take you to organize the show?

This is the most common of the many questions I’m asked regarding the challenges I encountered putting together the 2017 exhibit of Sardinian handwoven textiles.

Organizing the show took three years.

I conceived the idea of the show at the beginning of 2014, and in October 2014, I first attempted to meet with Baingio Cuccu, the Director of The Sardinian Regional Textile Museum (MURATS) in Samugheo about my proposal. Although Baingio was not able to meet with me at that time, I emailed him in November, and in December of 2014, I met with Paolo Barlera, then Director of the Italian Cultural Institute – San Francisco (IIC-SF) to propose the show. Paolo was enthusiastic, and I began to solidify the groundwork for the exhibit. I presented the memorandums of understanding (MOUs) outlining key aspects and responsibilities of the exhibit to MURATS and the IIC-SF in March of 2015.

Of course, over the next few years, there were many visits to Sardinia, visits to weavers, and meetings with interested parties, as well as volumes of emails, phone calls, press releases, and paperwork, ending only when all textiles were returned to the weavers in Sardinia after the show. (In addition, I organized a related event, Intrecciati, hosting visiting artist Silvio Betterelli. This event spanned Milano, San Francisco, and other locations, and was a complex project in itself to organize.)

Ultimately, several months before the exhibit, Paolo at the IIC-SF was able to obtain official sanction for the event from the Consulate General of Italy and the Region of Sardinia, which was a deeply appreciated level of recognition for the exhibit. The show opened on January 19, 2017 and ran through February 24, 2017. 

While the pathway to the exhibit’s opening night certainly presented many challenges, and the timing and elements of the show were ultimately a bit different from what I had initially envisioned, I and many others consider the show was a success. Many people were to thank for their participation; see this page, where I expressed my gratitude to everyone!

While I am not posting every milestone date or key detail of the nearly three-year road to realizing the exhibit, I am posting below the dates of the initial meetings and the MOUs, as they are a bit of history.

Timeline of Key Events

  • 2014 10 18  — Kelly visits MURATS in Samugheo, requesting a meeting with Baingio during her time in Samugheo to discuss her proposal for an exhibit of handwoven Sardinian textiles to be held in San Francisco. Baingio is not available. 
  • 2014 11 04 — Kelly emails Baingio at MURATS, expressing her regrets that he was not available to meet during her recent trip to Samugheo, stating she would like to meet with him soon to discuss her proposal. Weaver Isa Frongia talks with Baingio to confirm Kelly’s desire to organize such a show. 
  • 2014 11 26 — Baingio replies to Kelly’s email, conveying his regrets that he was not available to meet in person when she was in Samugheo.
  • 2014 12 14 — Kelly emails Paolo at the IIC-SF, requesting a meeting to propose the exhibit of handwoven Sardinian textiles be held at the Italian Cultural Institute – San Francisco.
  • 2014 12 18 — Kelly meets with with Paolo at the IIC in San Francisco to propose the idea of the exhibit; the two meet several times after this and before Kelly’s March 2015 trip to Sardinia. 
  • 2015 03 13 — Kelly meets with Baingio at MURATS in Samugheo to discuss the idea for the exhibit and present the MOU to Baingio in person.
  • 2015 03 26 — Kelly emails Paolo the MOU for IIC-SF as well as a copy of the MOU presented to MURATS.
  • 2015 04 to 2017 01 — Kelly makes five trips to Sardinia in addition to working in San Francisco to realize the project.
  • 2017 01 19 — The exhibit opens. 

Key Agreements

For history’s sake, copies of the key agreements are attached.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the IIC-SF and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with MURATS; both were in English and Italian.

Thanks again to all who helped make the show a success!

~ Kelly Manjula Koza