Upon hearing that I moved to Mexico to avert a financial disaster, a colleague said “Oh, we all thought you moved there so you could get studio help and work larger.” Well, it turns out she was right, but I didn’t know it at the time.
Although I have studios in Durham, NC and Chapala, Mexico, most of my production work takes place in Mexico. Due to the vast difference in pay scale, I can afford to employ a team of Mexican women to fabricate my feathers.
One team is a grandmother, mother and granddaughter who handle the fusing and print preparation. The other team is a mom and teenage daughter who assist Sandra, my full-time assistant with screen printing and cutting out feathers.
With the exception of cooking and cleaning, there are few employment opportunities here for women so it feels great to be able to help these families while producing the components I need for the large-scale work. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Over time, everyone has taken ownership of their part of the production making it more efficient and refined. I love the energy of our women’s atelier (taller in Spanish). I’d love to hear about your experiences with studio assistants.