Arpilleras workshop

Recent participants in the arpilleras workshop are, back row from left, Maia Kikerpill, Lyndi Swanson, Sharon Gonce (instructor), Kathi Scarminach, Debbie Murphy; and front row from left, Nicola Ghersen and Carly Gonce.

Patricia Clarke Studio, 410 Palm Ave., will host artist Sharon Gonce on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for “What’s Your Story?” a workshop on Arpilleras—the South American craft of creating personal story cloths. The workshop will help raise funds to support of Patricia Clarke’s award-winning portraiture project “Facing Ourselves.”

Originating in Chile in 1974, the Arpillera movement was formed by women who used scraps of fabric, leather, felt, wood and hand stitching to create narratives of the poverty, violence and repression under General Pinochet’s dictatorship. Arpilleras were secretly distributed and sold to earn money for the women whose families had forcibly disappeared. None of these “desaparecidos” have ever been found.

Since that time, making arpilleras has become popular outside of Chile. In Peru, for example, people in the shantytowns depict their everyday life, share their stories and earn money. The cost of the workshop is $120 and includes lunch and all materials. For more information, or to sign up for the workshop, email

Sharon Gonce’s work is on Instagram: @play_is_my_work, and information on “Facing Ourselves: Carpinteria” is available at, and

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.