We support hundreds of women in their manual trades by integrating them and their communities into a circular economy network. We seek to promote and disseminate traditional Chilean crafts, we do not want to make generic or fashionable objects. We prefer things seriously rather than in series, by hand rather than by machine, different than identical, from here rather than there, workshops rather than factories. We like unique objects, handmade and with designs applied to contemporary life. Textiles with desert alpaca wool, basketry with island plants, objects with rocks from our Andes and wood from southern forests. We promote fair trade, sustainable, earth-friendly, handmade and lovingly made. We are Cordillerana, a Buenafe Foundation project
In our stores - in the real world and online - you can find everything that our artisans make in a joint work process that began in 1999, with training and advice to create and make high-quality pieces and meticulous finishes, always innovating and at the same time preserving and transmitting the essence of our culture.
Three principles that guide us
The first is the idea that craftsmanship is and has always been anonymous , without being impersonal or without history. For the Greeks, what we today call art and/or craftsmanship was part of techné along with other human skills, such as riding a horse, writing verses or mending shoes. For the Romans, on the other hand, the execution of a large mosaic mural in the temple of Neptune and Amphitrite was part of the ars mechanica , just like shoeing a horse, cooking a stew or growing potatoes in the garden. In this open field, the notion of author was - to say the least - irrelevant, and the division between a higher art and craft, an illusion 1.
It was late, in the Italian Renaissance, that the notion of the artist, the cult of his personality and the obsession with authorship and signature emerged. An Art with capital letters is invented, part of the liberal arts , along with geometry and mathematics, all disciplines for free, intellectual men, independent of manual work. From then until the beginning of the 20th century, it is the image of the artist that is on the rise, as an individual endowed with an unusual vision and talent, who produces works full of inspiration in solitude. For its part, the image of the artisan and the man of trades is gradually degrading, as if making and executing something with skill had lost ground.
Today, it is precisely the work of artisans and their anonymity that we seek to rescue. There is not a denial of authorship, but rather a relocation of its importance as part of a process that is shared and social. For the practice of the trades, in the making of a chupalla, the one who sows the wheat is as important as the one who braids the straw and who shapes the hat. The honesty, simplicity and nobility of the crafts come from their collective origin, anchored in tradition, in what the ancients have always done, which is nothing more than a form of collective creation where each part, each generation and cultivator contributes to the final result without being its owner. The handcrafted object always bears the hands of those who made it, a mark that is not a signature, nor a name, but a trace that remembers the brotherhood of all the women and men who make it, from all times and places.
The second idea that we want to illuminate is that craftsmanship is and has always been utilitarian . As Octavio Paz 2 wrote, the beauty of a clay vessel is linked not only to its beautiful shape but also to the liquid it contains and the thirst it quenches. And utilitarian, yes, but that does not mean it is exempt from the pleasure of ornament and its contemplation. Utilitarian, not functionalist, since craftsmanship also takes pleasure in ornament, in the insistence on adornment and aesthetic contemplation. Craftsmanship is thus generous, because it is useful and beautiful at the same time.
If a piece is not utilitarian, it is a museum piece and museums are for dead things. And between that death of display cases and the rapid expiration that the objects manufactured by machines today have printed in advance, we find craftsmanship. It bears in the footprints of those who made it, the pulse of the most human time. Because craftsmanship ages as and with us; It wears out slowly over the years, and one day it too dies, to be replaced by another similar object, but never the same, for the same purpose, but never in the same way.
That is why we prefer living crafts in everyone's daily lives, because a traditional craft that does not find a place in our homes and in our lives is a craft destined to die. That is why, more than in museums and beautiful books, at Cordillerana we believe that the strengthening of craftsmanship lies in the strengthening of its fair, sustainable and sustained trade, thus integrating it into our most domestic routines.
The third principle that indicates the north is moderation . For more than twenty years we have worked almost exclusively with women, from rural areas, and most of them from indigenous peoples. But we have always respected their right to privacy and to be valued for their work, for what their hands as makers do, regardless of their gender or which side of the Itata they were born on. We do not abuse the use of your image as a marketing strategy to satisfy an ancestral, native or rural fetish created from the urban imagination. Those banners that are fashionable today have been principles that we have practiced with prudence and respect since 1999, inspired by cultural appreciation rather than appropriation, opening ourselves as a marketing channel for hundreds of women, integrating them and their communities into a network. of circular economy.
Although we want to continue and expand this decalogue, we are going to close to let you browse our store and be amazed by the objects that result from this dance of hands that seem to join together in a secret choreography of alchemists who transform matter. Pieces and crafts, which are the product of a community, collective, social and inherited practice; all notions contrary to the current times. Well, today's art and its commerce based on a cult of authorship, image and sacredness seems anachronistic to us, and on this continent, furthermore, a bad remnant of European and bourgeois colonialism. For more useful gadgets and fewer sacred works, more workshops and fewer factories.
1 Larry Shiner, The Invention of Art. A cultural history, Paidós, Barcelona/Buenos Aires/ México, 2010.
2 Octavio Paz, “Use and contemplation” in Camacol, Vol. 11, Edition 34, March 1998, pp. 120-125.
We support hundreds of artisan women in their handicrafts, making them and their communities part of a circular economy. We want to encourage and promote Chile's traditional crafts, we don't want to mass produce generic or fashionable items. We prefer producing things seriously than producing serial things. Handmade rather than machine made. Different rather than identical. From here rather than from there. Workshops rather than factories. We like unique, handmade objects with designs adapted to contemporary life. Alpaca wool textiles from the highlands, natural basketry from southern islands, objects carved from stones of the Andes and from wood of our native forests. We promote the fair and sustainable trade, in harmony with our planet, of products made by hand and with care. We are Cordillerana, a project by Fundación debuenafe
In our stores - in the real world and online - you can find all the crafts that our artisans elaborate in a joined effort that started in 1999, with workshops of training and advice, to create and high quality elaborate pieces of fine details, always innovating and at the same time preserving and transmitting the essence of our culture.