Jorge Antonio Montalvo Vinueza
Jorge is an indigenous man, belonging to the Otavalo People of the Kichwa nationality of Ecuador. He is 61 years old and is the fourth generation of textile artisans in his family. His is recognized as a qualified artisan by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Production.
He started his work at the age of 9. He married very young and has 8 children. His wife, María Dolores Montalvo Diaz, works along side him.
He is dedicated to the production of clothing such as ponchos and sweaters, as well as blankets. Most of the products that Jorge makes are 100% wool, but also works in Alpaca upon request. He has a wide variety of designs, all stored in his mind - approximately 220 different designs! He thanks his father for having left that legacy, and is thankful that these skills have helped him survive and pay for education for his children.
He hopes that his products continue to sell so that this skill can become a viable trade craft again so that this knowledge will continue to be reflected in future generations and that future generations can make a living from it.
He and his wife own a gallery in their home, Inca Maki Gallery, and they are always happy to share the experience of the process from carding the raw wool, spinning, dying using local natural pigments, and finally weaving the wool into a finished product.