Felipe Elias Juarez
Career: Master Weaver, 35 years
Hometown: San Miguel de Allende
Every Saturday morning you will find Felipe Elías Juárez artfully laying out his handmade 100% wool rugs, blankets and ponchos at Mercado Sano’s beloved farmer’s market.
Born and raised in San Miguel, Felipe has been a master weaver for the past 35 years. His custom creations can be found in some of the most exclusive hotels and finest homes in Mexico City and throughout SMA.
Felipe became interested in weaving at the age of 15 finding a friend and mentor in master weaver Senor Casimiro Amaro. As a young apprentice he was taught to weave simple blankets and vests exclusively by hand using a neutral pallet of white, gray and black.
Over time his artistry caught the attention of local gallery owners, Canadian figure skater and painter Toller Cranston, and renowned watercolorist and art teacher Barbara Goldstein. These two relationships provided him with the opportunity to reach a larger audience and gave him the confidence to experiment with different design and color techniques.
Soon customers began requesting bigger rugs and eventually he built a loom permitting him to make seamless custom rugs up to 2 meters wide. This expansion also allowed him to continue to provide for his mother, wife and eight children and at times he is able to employ up to 3 additional workers.
Crafting each individual rug takes between one week to three months depending on its complexity. “I have created rugs based on some very elaborate designs. Some from a sketch or a painting and each rug is abstract in which no two are alike.”
The virgin wool is sourced from a nearby sheep farm in Acámbaro and he uses a special method of hand dying encompassing a color pallet inspired by the vistas found on his frequent walks in the campo.
For many years he has shared his talent by teaching children in the surrounding communities his craft. The children purchase their own materials and sell their creations so that they can learn to support themselves.
In his spare time he enjoys watching soccer and spending time with his 19 grandchildren.
You can reach Señor Juárez @ 415 101 2075 or by email at: [email protected]
Margaux Bolin is a recent Chicago transplant. She is inspired daily by the SMA community and enjoys sharing the stories of local artisans and vendors who may not engage in social media. Most days you can find her on the tennis court or with her head buried in an interior design book.