Author: allisonladd

Textiles from Huancavelica

All of the artisans that we collaborate with touch a spot in our heart.  It’s a collaboration, that’s why we do it.  

I met Senor Enriquez Taipe in 2014.  He lives in Yauli, Huancavelica. Huancavelica is the poorest province in Peru. Agriculture and their handmade goods are how they survive. There is no internet in Yauli and very poor cel reception.  In 2016 I made the trip to Yauli, to see if somehow we could find a solution to our communication challenges and work together.  The journey entailed 2 flights (from Cusco), then an 8 hour ride by car from Ayacucho.  I finally understood the challenges and realized that patience and lots of it, would be required.

Sr. Taipe at his loom, with his family (we will write about these amazing women in another post).  At right, in Cusco, finally…with products to take to the US for Christmas 2017.  He travelled 28 hours by bus to bring his order to me in Cusco.


The alpaca wool for Sr. Taipe’s products come from his own alpaca.  All the colours are natural.  He works with his son.  Both Sr. Taipe and his son are renowned scissors dancers, a traditional dance from the province of Huancavelica.

 Sr. Taipe’s work being modeled by Vanessa Quispe and Sheila Cajigas in Cusco.


Ready for Fall 2017

From our artisan partners in Vive El Peru……….

Our totally handmade, 100% alpaca, full length coat for fall.

We hope you like it. It is available in brown, now, on our website. We’ll have it in charcoal as well, after October 3.

New sweaters for Fall 2017

New sweaters for fall from our artisan partners in Vive El Peru, Cusco. 100% alpaca, 100% handmade.

El Pequeno Colibri and the Association of Women knitters of Vive El Peru have been working together for 4 years. It has been a learning experience on both sides, but, I think we have really turned a corner. Very proud of our progress and proud to present our new styles for Fall 2017.

Our model, Vanessa Quispe Vidal is the daughter of a long time friend, Guillermo Quispe. Vanessa lives in Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas. She has a 5 year old son and just graduated from University in Cusco.

Stay tuned…….we have more on the way!

handmade silver pre-Columbian stick pins

revista-feria-artesanal-12-728We have written about Hilda Cachi, her collaboration with her sister Sonia (the sisters together, above) and her work in Cusco with her father, Gregorio (photo on right). She is known for her beautifully detailed and formal colonial designs.

When Hilda isn’t busy with her Colonial designs, she indulges in her secret passion, pre columbian design. She created a series of stick pins for us, based on pre-Columbian designs, hand made from 950 silver and adorned with dangles of spondylus, peruvian stones and pearls.



We have more of these one of a kind stick pins on the way, in time for the holiday season. Stay tuned!

Sonia Cachi

more about…..Sonia and Hilda Cachi and our stone and silver critters

We have introduced Sonia and Hilda Cachi in an earlier post. They are our favourite silversmiths with whom we were seemingly fated to work. As we wrote in an earlier blog, a shaman sealed the deal for us and how lucky for El Pequeno Colibri.

Hilda working in her taller.

Hilda and Sonia learned silversmithing from their father, Gregorio, in his taller in Cusco. Hilda still works with her father in the Cachi studio. Both Hilda and Gregorio have won designations from UNESCO. They work using traditional tools, techniques, and designs. All of our beautiful tupos (basically silver pins to use with shawls)were handmade in the Cachi studio in Cusco.

Sonia now lives in Lima and has continued the family tradition.  She works with her husband, also from Cusco.  They create truly elegant and beautifully crafted jewelry, using the traditional techniques that she learned in her father’s taller.

Sonia Cachi
Sonia displaying her work.
Look at the detail on this little ram!

For a couple of years, I had been accumulating small, antique, stone animal sculptures. These sculptures were used in ceremonies to bless the animals and to give thanks before the annual alpaca shearing. A ceremony always takes place before shearing the alpacas after which the animals are gently sheared. I fell in love with these little sculptures and thought they would make really fantastic and unique pendants.

An example of Hilda’s work.

I approached both Sonia and Hilda to see if they were up for the task. They were. Their styles are very different. Sonia’s style is elegant and perfect. Hilda saw it as an opportunity to be creative, every design is unique, and surprisingly quite rustic. Hilda’s work with her father is very colonial, yet she indulged her love for pre-colonial design with these critters.

Sonia’s treatment of the ceremonial critters is colonial and beautifully crafted. Both work in 950 Peruvian silver using traditional techniques. I think they are equally beautiful. Sonia makes gorgeous chains, made entirely by hand, the clasp is the head of a Pavo Real or Peacock.

We’ll be featuring more about the Cachi family and their art on our blog in the weeks to come. 


Happy Holiday Sale!

El Pequeno Colibri will be accepting our last order for Christmas shipment on Friday, December 18th, so come and explore a world of unique and authentic gifts for your loved ones.

Although I live in Peru, all of our orders will ship from the US, so there is no worry, they will arrive in plenty of time. Please note that because our inventory is truly handmade, many products sell out fast!

If you have any specific mailing or wrapping instructions, please let us know as you place your order. Everything will be wrapped to ensure safe delivery without breakage and beautiful presentation.


Featuring Ceramics Artisan: Alberto Segura

This season, we celebrate one of EPC’s favorite artisans, Alberto Segura whose award-winning ceramics are sold through only a handful of galleries and shops. Mr. Segura lives and works in Nasca (or Nazca), Peru in the desert about eight hours southeast of Lima.

Using the same techniques as the ancient Nasca ceramists (200 BC thru 700 AD) Segura carries on Nasca’s culture–famous for its pottery, textiles, and architecture (including aquaducts that are still used today).

The Process

Sr. Segura collects the ingredients for his clay in the desert. After mixing the clay by hand, he dries it in antique clay pots (formally used to store Pisco), and then forms each piece (by hand) using very small coils. Using tools that he has made, at leather-hard stage, he paints a “slip” on the clay and let’s it dry. Once dried,he then paints over the slip using minerals that have been ground in an antique mortar and pestle. Finally, the pot is burnished with a stone, then fired in wood burning kiln.

Sr. Segura shares his studio with a variety of birds, including an owl. When I worked in his studio he would rise at 5 every morning to collect water for the day (Nasca only has water for a couple hours a day, he fills all available containers for use in the studio and for family use). Outside the city limits, water is delivered once a week by truck, each household has a barrel that gets refilled).

Alberto is an authority on the Nasca Culture and we are endlessly proud to share his work with you!

Our Fall Favorites Checklist

Our Fall Favorites Checklist includes all the pieces we can’t live without. This Fall, decorate your wardrobe and home with distinctive beauty and comfort.

peruvian sweaters

Ribbed Alpaca Sweater Coats (above) are a wonderfully warm way to wrap yourself in Autumn. We think you’ll find that these sweaters will quickly become one of your favorite essentials!

peruvian heart silver earrings

Milagro style silver earrings made by the Cachi sisters. Even the hoops on these delicate and eye-catching  earrings are hand-made.

south american silver brooch

We found this Traditional Silver Tupo in Cusco, Peru. It’s made by an award-winning artisan, whose family has been making traditional colonial jewelry for generations. Incredible detail and charm.

cotton alpaca throw blankets shawls peru

Rich alpaca and cotton blankets are perfect for throwing over the back of a comfy chair. Grab your hot tea, a good book, and enjoy!

real horn cuffs peru jewelry

Hand-made horn cuffs naturally embrace Autumn’s more subdued palette. Each one is hand-carved and polished to reveal the detailed landscape of color found in authentic horn.

south american art, natural art from peru

Bring sophisticated character to your home by decorating with international accents. Painted on wood with natural tints, these tablets depicting family and daily activities, are painted on wood using natural pigments and given as a gift for new homes/new members of the family.

Let us know what you think! Join us on Facebook and let us know what you love about the changing of the seasons.