Days 20 – 24 Xativa

Today begins the eco-print course. We have a great space to work in at a place called Casa Bernabe high up in the hills above Xativa.

And good materials to start.

I am happy with my first piece in wool.

Checking out supplies.

We make good use of the clotheslines.

Xativa is famed for its castle. I doubt I will go up there to visit, especially given the extremely hot weather. It’s hard to breathe in the shade, but the locals are telling me this is nothing, it’s not summer yet. Argh! Que calor! (One of the Spanish phrases I can’t help but learn since everyone says it all the time.)

We’re sharing our bundles each day to see the results of different plants.

A big bowl of cochineal insects so we can have red dye.

It’s not all work and no play.

Great fun to see the bundles unwrapped. This is the Spanish version of Broom.

A great group of women all interested in eco-printing. Not a sour lemon in the bunch. Two expats: One Brit and one U.S., the rest from all over Spain except one from Uruguay and one from Argentina, who are running the workshop. I’m learning lots about eco-printing but also about Spain and its different regions and peoples. What heart and spirit!

The food brought in each day is made by a local cook. Delicious paella.

We are high up in the mountains in a very hot and dry area.

We have a very big pot to steam the bundles.

The last night we venture down the mountain to the town of Xàtiva where we walk through the historic town center to the restaurant.

I spot the castle at the end of a long, narrow street. Xativa was home to the Borgia family, which produced two infamous Popes and a lot of scandal.

While others in the group settle in at the restaurant, I look for an ATM and pop into the church for a look. This Christ is Black. One of the Spaniards on our group thinks it may be due to the long-term presence of Muslims in the area but is not sure. It is definitely unusual.

We share the dinner including dessert plates full of sweet goodies.

At parting we share lots of hugs and kisses and goodbyes. The Spaniards are very emotional. I am very grateful to have had this experience with such warm and joyful chicas. Now it’s back to Valencia and on to Rome.

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