Hale-Murray & Avila


Talks by Kristal Hale-Murray + Alejandro de Avila B.
Led by Yoshiko I. Wada
Sunday 13 October 2019 | 10:30 – 14:00
Slow Fiber Studios ANNEX | 1825 8th St. Berkeley, CA
$30 Public |$25 WSN member

Copy of Copy of Copy of Untitled Design
© Smithsonian Institute / Museo Textil de Oaxaca

Medieval Italian Alms Purse examined at the Abegg-Stiftung
Talk by Kristal Hale-Murray

Nestled in the foothills of the Bernese Alps in Riggisberg, Switzerland is the esteemed Abegg-Stiftung (Foundation). Recent graduate from the textile conservation program, Kristal Hale-Murray, will speak about the Foundation’s private textile collections, research and conservation program. Recently having obtained a master’s degree in textile conservation, Kristal will present her dissertation on the analysis and conservation of a 13th-14th Century medieval tapestry-woven alms purse from the Cathedral of Como, Italy, emphasizing the use of dyes originating from plant species foreign to medieval Europe.  She will also provide a glimpse into the current exhibition organized at the Abegg-Stiftung, Luxury on the Nile – Late Antique Attire from Egypt which includes loom-constructed woven clothes and natural dyes.


The Raffle of the Jaguar
Talk by Alejandro de Avila B. 

Francisco Toledo, artist and philanthropist extraordinaire, donated to the Museo Textil de Oaxaca an example of woven feather work that may originate in the Mixtec region of southern Mexico, and which probably dates from the late 17th Century. The study of this exceptional fragment has allowed us to recreate the dyeing, spinning and weaving of duck/goose down into fabric. In this lecture, Alejandro will describe and illustrate the historical textile, along with a full sized huipil (the Mesoamerican women’s tunic) that he has designed and crafted together with the talented  young weaver Noé Pinsón Palafox, inspired by Francisco Toledo’s gift to the museum. The huipil features a pattern of jaguars, intended as a pun on the historical moment Mexico is going through currently.


Visiting Speakers:


Kristal Hale-Murray double majored in Art History and Studio Art, with a weaving emphasis, graduating with honors from San Francisco State University, while concurrently completing certificate coursework at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, UK. She then completed her master’s studies at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the Abegg-Stiftung in Switzerland, specializing in textile conservation.


Alejandro Pic ©Ann Summa

Alejandro de Avila’s family roots lie in Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, and Finland. He was born and grew up in Mexico City, playing with friends in Chapultepec, the magnificent park built in Aztec times, which houses the National Museum of Anthropology. Alejandro’s interest in textiles began when he apprenticed at a weaving workshop in Oaxaca as a teenager. While pursuing higher education in the US, his academic focus was rooted in the traditional ecological knowledge and practices of indigenous people in Oaxaca. Before entering a PhD program in anthropology at UC Berkeley, he proposed the formation of a textile museum and ethnobotanical garden. After earning his degree, he returned to Oaxaca to find the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca and is the director since its opening in 1998. Alejandro also has been serving as a curator and adviser for the Textile Museum of Oaxaca (MTO).

©Ann Summa



Space is limited. To complete registration to guarantee your place, click both buttons below to make a Payment & fill out the Registration Form.







Connecting Plants & People: Ethnobotanical Conversations
Lectures by Alejandro de Avila & Leading Experts
Led by UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Friday 11 October 2019
UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens International House| 2299 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94720

Indigo & Cochineal Demonstrations by Yoshiko I Wada + Alejandro de Avila
Led by UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Saturday 12 October 2019 
UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens | 200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

Register for UCBG events HERE

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The Slow Fiber Studios talk by Kristal and Alejandro coincides with the two-day international Ethnobotanical Symposium at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, an event exploring the connections between plants and people. During the symposium, Yoshiko I Wada, founder of Slow Fiber Studios & Dr. Alejandro de Avilá of the Oaxaca Textile Museum and the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca will lead two workshops discussing through demonstrations about cochineal and indigo practical histories on Saturday afternoon.

Tickets are still available for the Friday program, held at the International House, which will feature a series of lectures of prominent speakers from around the globe. Alejandro will speak about Tortillas, Mescal and Lipstick behind a Monastery.