“I am Gladys Palomino Ayme. I was born in the beautiful province of Ayacucho, Peru. If I had to describe myself in a few words, I would say that I am an entrepreneurial woman who is committed to her work with a great ethical responsibility, and that I am always searching for a solution to whatever obstacle that presents itself.
“I’ve lived through some difficult moments in my life. During the 80s, Ayacucho was one of the provinces most affected by the terrorism known as “Peru’s internal conflict.” This ongoing conflict is considered one of the most brutal in the history of Peru in terms of the sheer number of victims. As a child, I lost good friends in that wave of terror, but the union of my parents and the constant warmth of my home helped me to grow without fear and always with a strong front, as my parents taught me. They imbued me from a young age with self-love and a love for all others. When they had to work hard in the fields, my parents would leave early and I would be in charge of the house and of my siblings.
“One of my greatest dreams is that the works of my community are known by the world, preserving the original textile techniques of Ayacucho. I want to see my community and my village grow, and together we will be the greatest ambassadors of our art, and we will be recognized as the best artisans.
“I learned about embroidery and handicrafts thanks to my parents. I was always attracted to yarns, colors, sketches, and looms. Every time that I went to the village and to the fairs, I saw how the artisans would use different materials. In this way, my imagination began to flow, and I became thrilled with the pencil and paper as I imagined designs, forms, and colors that I dreamed of translating into reality.
“From a young age, my parents taught me to love Peruvian and Andean art, which is a family tradition passed from generation to generation. In this way, art was in my veins; from birth, I have carried it in my blood. What attracts me the most about this art is the ability to discover and explore new colors and the creation of new designs. Constant practice, self-teaching, and dedication were the pillars by which I was able to grow in my art and gain mastery, and this had a direct impact on my life and on my thoughts.
“Beginning to work on my own was nothing simple; it was very hard, since I could not rely on capital in order to pay for the costs of production. Because of this, I began to see the world with new eyes, and I saw that nature was also able to offer me great things. In this way, I began searching for natural alternatives. At first, I would only sell in Ayacucho, until, little by little, I began going to the capitol in order to obtain materials and sell my beautiful embroidery.
“What I like the most about my art is the creativity that flows from the moment I create my designs. The precision of dyeing the colors is the most fun and attractive part. The process of realizing the colors, and the fact that they are dyed naturally reflects the true essence of my works.
“My greatest source of inspiration is Mother Nature. I lived surrounded by beautiful landscapes, clear skies, a climate that I have enjoyed every day of my life, and the freedom of the animals that live in the Andes. This is the essence that inspires me. What also inspires me is my culture and ancestors, like those that created and hand-wove the most beautiful textiles or created techniques that distinguished them. I admire this a lot, and it strikes me as incredible, intelligent, and wise. For this reason, I feel proud to create this art, to create beautiful embroidery and be able to connect with different cultures beyond our borders.”