"I find inspiration in everything that surrounds me – the shapes of the volcanoes, the colors of tropical birds and the textures of tree bark. I consider my art a form of expression.""Neither of my parents were artists, but they both had great artistic sensitivity and loved contemporary art. After high school, I studied fine arts in the U.S., then returned to Guatemala where I began working as a sculptor. The art world is quite difficult, and I saw my solution in crafts. I've always been fascinated by textiles – their textures, colors, the different fibers. My country has such potential! So I immersed myself in the world of looms and textile design.
"In 1984, I began designing textiles and, later, using them to create home décor items. My mother helped me set up a workshop and a shop in an old house where we could display the designs in different settings. We also have our looms there where all our fabrics are woven.
"Since then, I've been designing together with a group of weavers, seamstresses and lace-makers. There are 19 of us, and it's a privilege to work with this group of expert textile artisans who also help me design.
"I believe I'm a bit demanding but I'm aware of my obligations to my people. For me, it is fundamental that we have a pleasant atmosphere at work.
"My designs are focused on the use of handlooms, and my passion is experimenting with the different textures that can be achieved by changing the threads and sheds. We purchase natural fibers – usually cotton – but all the rest of the work is done by us. All our designs are crafted entirely by hand, just like in olden times.
"I find inspiration in everything that surrounds me – the shapes of the volcanoes, the colors of tropical birds and the textures of tree bark. I consider my art a process with which I am able to capture that inspiration in textiles. And so my art is a form of expression.
"In my spare time, I enjoy reading and creating new techniques to implement with our looms. It hasn't been easy to sustain the workshop for more than 25 years, but with perseverance and lots of work, we've been able to do so.
"I started this endeavor with the goal of preserving traditional processes of hand weaving and Guatemala's unique textile designs, to create with them a new range of designs for the contemporary home. We are always aware of the importance of quality and innovation.
"I'm proud to have many Guatemalan clients because I believe it is important that my own country be aware of what we have here and that we appreciate it. I have two children and perhaps the younger one will want to become involved in my work someday. I hope so."
5 items by Milena Prem
Cinnamon HillsUnique Hand Woven Deluxe Cotton Hammock (Single)
1 Testimonial for Milena Prem