Diego thought of his grandfather, Nicodemus Viviescas, as his dad. He celebrates his 91 years of life in each of the words he speaks about him. He recalls how Nicodemus used to take him to water his favorite fruit trees when he was a young boy, even though he could barely carry a tiny water container. He smiles as he remembers how Nico talked and laughed whenever he told how he had become a weaver at 78 after having lived a full life devoted to farming and building stone fences.
Curious as Don Nico was, one day, having experimented with various types of vines, Diego discovered that the Pedro Alejo vine, the one with purple flowers, was the most flexible fiber with which to craft the strong baskets that today are emblematic of Barichara. This is the most important part of his grandfather’s legacy: the discipline and affection he now has for his trade, a manual labor that never tires of exploring its beauty and possibilities.
Diego feels fortunate to have witnessed his grandfather’s experiments since he was barely 15, in 2008. He speaks knowledgeably about the weaving process. He says that the bejuco de corral is flexible but quite irregular; that the guaquillo or cucharillo is very easy to mold but becomes flimsy when dried; that the espuela de gallo is easily destroyed by weevils; and that the costillón splinters too much.
Thus, he chose the Pedro Alejo vine over every other option available. They learned to weave making the knots that the baskets need to have a firm structure. Today, they are experimenting with new products. Several of these are lamps: wall lamps and large lamps to hang from ceilings. They have also started attending craft fairs. Making use of his knowledge as an industrial engineer, Diego wants to come up with a logistics model focused on the transportation of his wares to continue expanding his business. This family’s drive is unstoppable, and the generational changeover is already a fact. Don Nico will live on.
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