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Molas by Venancio……. Guest Blogger: Penny Peters

July 27, 2014

Panamanian Mola # 3

A friend brought these Reverse Applique Molas to me from Panama when she visited there as a guest on the boat of friends a few years ago.  Venancio, the maker of the molas sold his textiles from a canoe that he paddled out to where the larger tourist boats were anchored. Women of the San Blas Islands are the traditional makers of molas. These textiles are unusual in that Venancio is a man.   Panamanian Mola # 1 by Venancio Measures 16” long and 13” wide.  Four layers of cotton cloth are used to complete the traditional reverse applique technique: maroon, orange, black and yellow green in that order top to bottom.    The design is composed of angular maze-like motifs.  It is not a traditional design, but one that Venancio has perfected.  He signed his name in tiny white buttonhole stitches at the top.

 

Panamanian Mola #1

Panamanian Mola #1 front

Panamanian Mola #1

Panamanian Mola #1

Four layers of cotton cloth are used to complete the traditional reverse applique technique: maroon, orange, black and yellow green in that order top to bottom. 

Panamanian Mola #1

Panamanian Mola #1 – back

Panamanian Mola #1

Panamanian Mola #1 closeup front

Panamanian Mola #1

Panamanian Mola #1 closeup front

Panamanian Mola # 2 by Venancio Measures 17 ¾” wide and 11 ¾” tall. Three layers of cotton cloth are used to complete the traditional reverse applique technique: maroon, yellow-orange, and blue in that order top to bottom.  Small pieces of other colors such as yellow, green and black are inserted either under or on top of the maroon fabric when called for. Its design is made up of traditional bird and fish motifs.  Venancio did not sign this textile because traditional molas are not usually signed by the maker.

Panamanian Mola # 2

Panamanian Mola # 2 front

Panamanian Mola # 2

Panamanian Mola # 2 closeup

Panamanian Mola # 2

Panamanian Mola # 2 closeup

Panamanian Mola # 2

Panamanian Mola # 2 back

Panamanian Mola # 3 by Venancio Measures 13.5” wide and 12.5” tall.  Three layers of cloth are used to complete the traditional reverse applique technique: maroon, orange and blue in that order top to bottom.  The maroon and orange layers are cotton, the blue layer is probably polyester.  The design is composed of a body with a human face above and the design below is comprised of lines and curves.  The face is completed in tiny chain and running stitches. Within the lines and curves of the design Venancio has added curves and lines of tiny chain and running stitches in orange thread. It is not a traditional design, but one he perfected.  Venancio signed his name in tiny white buttonhole stitches at the top.

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

Panamanian Mola # 3

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2014 1:44 am

    What a wonderful collection and sampling of molas. Thank you Penny for sharing!

  2. July 28, 2014 6:05 am

    It was great to see these molas up close again. Thanks for bringing them to the Textile Appreciation Morning this past week. Gail

  3. July 28, 2014 10:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing Penny – these are beautiful.

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