They are a group of 18 women. They live in a town, but they didn't know each other beforehand. Maybe by sight. However, after having shared a garment cutting and sewing course with designer Fanny Chauqui at the Municipal School of Arts and Crafts (Esmao) in El Carril, they recognize themselves as members of the same team. They even plan to form a cooperative and provide uniforms to local companies and institutions. Laura Cardos (63), Cora Avendaño (49) and Carolina Olarte (44) enrolled in a four-module training session in November (hygiene and safety, moulding, machinery and assembly). They integrated the two commissions with quotas for 20 people each on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 to 9 pm. The prospect of presenting their work at the Expo Carril, which finally took place on December 18 on General Güemes street, the encouraged them to make an effort, forgetting about the hours they were going to commit to their task. Also to amalgamate leaving aside the heterogeneous character (in ages and previous knowledge) of the group to become a professional team. Gathered by the designer Fanny Chauqui (50) at the Hotel Salta, they shared with El Tribuno their life experiences with sewing and their entrepreneurial profiles. Laura Cardos in her youth graduated as a Cut and Dressmaking and Lingerie teacher at Chicoana. Then he completed a year of improvement at the Dr. Joaquín Castellanos School of Crafts in Salta. She worked as a special teacher in Santa Victoria Oeste. He taught for 28 years. With the Federal Education Law No. 24,195 (sanctioned in 1993 and repealed in 2006 through the National Education Law No. 26,206) it had to adapt to the new curriculum of a profound transformation and supposedly more in line with the requirements of the 21st century. For this reason, the contents that he began to teach were more related to the artistic area than to the practical one.
“At the school where I worked, there were overage children, who needed to relate the areas. I taught them to make molds so that they could relate them to Mathematics and Geometry ”, he exemplified about that time. Currently with four children between the ages of 45 and 39, 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, in addition to formal work obligations, she decided to reconnect with her "work and hobbies". “My goal was sewing and design. That's why I signed up for the course as soon as I saw it and I found a method superior to the one I had learned. I was surprised how, in addition to learning from the teacher, I was also able to learn from my classmates, all younger than me. My goal was to upgrade and now it's to keep working until I can do it. I am 63 years old, but I don't feel that age”, defined Laura.
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“Life is now”, in full action at the Municipal School of Arts and Crafts (Esmao) in El Carril.
Cora Avendaño was born in Guachipas and learned to sew “by ear”. She watched her grandmother make gaucho uniforms on a dark pedal-operated machine. While she brewed her mate, as a child she would linger, absorbed, watching her grandmother increase the speed of her seams among the intricate arabesques of the apparatus. However, he did not pass on his knowledge to his granddaughter. “She taught me to run a house, because people used to say that if you got married you should please your mother-in-law and your husband. She passed away when I was 14 years old," Cora said. Then, with the virulence of that age, one day he complained to his mother that she had not washed a garment well and that she had not made a repair that she had asked for. Her mother decided to put her daughter to sew her tastes by hand. And with that gesture he would lead her to find herself for life with a vocation that would be both pleasure and bread on the table. “At the age of 19 I joined my husband and we went to live at his grandmother's house. Doña Lola lent me her sewing machine and I started by finishing the cloth diapers,” Cora recalled.
“First I recycled a sweater from my mother, for example, and I made clothes for a son of mine who had been born and had no money to buy it for him,” he commented. Later, her mother-in-law would give her an electric family machine with which Cora began to sew outside. Widowed ten years ago, she raised her seven children doing sewing repairs. Also designing garments from scratch. From his skill arose the attention of the orders and the clothes that his children were going to wear. In fact, the impact caused by the graduate dresses that she made for her five daughters attracted clients. Cora has her small workshop, but from the course she said that she had been caught up in the “moldería”, those lines that make the right garments possible. Although she has other manual skills such as embroidery and weaving, and other trades - she is a massage therapist and home caregiver - the training with Chauqui led her to decide exclusively on sewing. "I sit on the machine and de-stress," he synthesized. Carolina Olarte a few years ago was unemployed from a tobacco company and opened a food outlet in La Viña. He studied cutting and sewing for a year at a technical school in El Carril, went back to classifying tobacco and was enthusiastic about Fanny's proposal. “In technique I had learned, but I was missing something. I was cutting a mold, but I wanted to learn other methods, because not all of them are the same. I like to design more, but I had to consolidate myself to cut the garments”, she related.
Her 23-year-old middle daughter is the recipient of those pieces that were considered “a trial and error”, but with practice they ended up being worthy. Now that she gave herself a space to learn, she and she were encouraged to attend orders. And he pondered his companions. “This group is very united and there was a lot of camaraderie between us. One cut, the other sewed, the other glued the sleeves. We were a team. I think that you can work well and think about the future in doing something together, in forming a cooperative or a workshop”, she pointed out.
At her side, Chauqui smiled because she was known to be one of her most resilient students. She recounted that out of 40 students, 18 had remained, the team she called "Life is now." "The most beautiful thing about them is that they worked equally and if I put 'Life is now' it is because I tell them that they cannot put their energy into tomorrow, but into the now," he defined. However, Fanny with this has not limited them, but has given wind to the wings of her students, because she is the most aware of her ability to work. In fifteen days they had finished skirts, dresses, shirts and pants. A prodigy that undoubtedly deserves the state incentive.