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Where Idanela Martins’ textiles come to life

By Brisa Montoya

Behind the unassuming door of a house in the picturesque Andean town of Merida, Venezuela lies a world of colors, textiles and creation.


Idanela Martin’s home is a temple to textiles and the elements; antique sewing machines sit below windows, thread spooling down over their cast iron bodies. Books with weathered spines lie on tables and shelves, a trove of information that goes to influence Idanela’s work. Textiles from around the world adorn tables and walls, alongside pieces of Idanela’s own production: a lifetime of dedication to creation and experimentation, manifest in a plethora of diverse and wonderful forms. Tissue weaves of mixed textiles dangle natural cotton baubles below; paintings made of yarn sit beside matts of plant flax gathered from the garden.


All this creative energy – an energy that fills the house with a warm, electrifying atmosphere with Idanela at the center of it all – takes shape in her studio. A small room, spilling old wooden looms and other equipment into the surrounding space, this is the heart of Idanela’s production. Strands of fiber, woolen threads, and plant flax inhabit the ordered chaos of her atelier, alongside scissors, needles, and more sewing machines. Moriche leaves, gathered from the local environs, can be found everywhere. The Andean chill typical of the town does not pass beyond the door of the house – it is cozy, intimate, and welcoming.


Idanela herself is reminiscent of the magnificent weaver women of indigenous American mythology; wardens of creation, they spin the universe into existence and are authors of life and death. She envelops visitors with tales and tea, weaving them into the welcoming textiles of her existence. This space is not simply the birthplace of beautiful textiles; it is not simply a house filled with art and history: it is Idanela’s home.

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