Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Janet Solis

New York, New York, United States

Product Design

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Phone Call Interview

    Communication, Industrial Design


    Name: Rosa Quinapanta


    Nationality: Ecuadorian

    Community: Salasaca

    1.- What kind of Natural Resources has Salasaca? Sheep's wool, Cabuya, Capuli, Eucalipto (eucalyptus)

    2.- How do you work the wool? It could be by hand or with machine.

    3.- What is the process to have the wool ready to weave? They remove the hair of the sheep, them they wash it and they leave it to dry, after that they color themselves with vegetable dyes.

    4.- Can you explain me a little bit more about the Cabuya? We have a cabuya that its call “the black Cabuya” (Cabuya negra), that is hard and gross.

    5.- Can the Cabuya be dye? Yes the Cabuya can be dye.

    6.- It is possible to make fine product with this material? Yes, it is possible.

    7.- Are the products from Cabuya washable? No, the Cabuya is not washable, because the way how the cabuya is ready to work, has to be dry and if it is wet, the form can change.

    8.- What kind of products do they do with the Eucalipto? They use it to make furniture.

    9.- What kind of abilities have the artisans from Salasaca? Weaving, to embroider, work with wood (eucalipto)

    10.- Who help the artisans in Salasaca? Junta parroquial (joins parochial), Cooperativa the artesanos Kiria (Cooperative of artisans Kiria)

    11.- How do the artisans sell the products? Indigenous people, skilful weavers, sell their crafts in the “Sunday fair”.

    12.- What kind of products make the artisans? Salasaca’s artisans sell tapestries, ponchos, sweaters, bags, hats and other articles as souvenirs.

    13.- These designs are originally from Salasaca? The tapestries are original from Salasaca, the others products are copies from others places, specially Otavalo.

    14.- Are the artisans traditional, or open mind in term of products? They are open mind in term of products.

    15.- Do you think they will accept the idea to work to make new artisan designs? Yes, they will accept it. They want to make new business.

    16.-Do you think they will accept to change their designs and combine them with modern ideas?
    Yes, they will accept it.

    17.- Do you think that they would be interested in working in a project as this?
    Yes, I think they would be interested.

    18.- How many communities exist in Salasaca? There are 24 communities.

    This interview was useful for my research about the people that live there, how they think and work. I found that this place has 24 communities and everybody has different abilities in terms of weave and wood. Before made this interview I was thinking about to work with the Cabuya, but I found that is not washable and I decide to work with the sheep's wool because it can be work beautifully and designing in different ways. I found that they are open mind with the traditional products and they would like to make new business.

  • Map-ecuador_132_

    janet, This is very good work. I did a little research about salasaca and found out that it is a place with a very strong craft tradition, but where the economy is rapidly changing. Your idea sounds like a very good way to bring new business opportunities to this place, while also helping to preserve an important cultural artifact. Now, you need to go to the next level in your research; you have learned a lot about the traditional crafts of the salasace; how can you convert your knowledge and ambitions to a real project that is based on your excellent research. You have the knowledge, and you have the skill, now you need inspiration and a sharp pencil (and a good eraser). You have to really focus now, and come up with a great new product that will be useful, practical, beautiful and economical.

  • Thanks for your opinion about my work. I will continuing working hard and came with a innovative design.

Leave a Response

Fields marked * are required

No file selected (must be a .jpg, .png or .gif image file)

Once published, you will have 15 minutes to edit this response.


My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design