Apaola Tapestry 1

Madda Studio

Drawing upon founder Maddalena Forcella’s roots, Madda Studio elegantly melds her Italian design sensibility with traditional Mexican craftsmanship and materials to produce works of beauty and refinement. From sheep to spindle to showroom floor, the creation process brings forth the innate beauty of handspun wool, natural dyes, and innovative uses of traditional weaving and felting techniques. Each work represents a unique combination of natural fibers, dyes, history, culture, and design.

Marie Farneth and Maddalena formally started working together in 2016, laying the groundwork for what has evolved into Madda Studio—a collaborative textile design studio in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their work builds on experience that began in 1995 when Maddalena cofounded a nonprofit association in Chiapas and began leading textile and natural dye workshops for the organization. They decided to create a structure to continue working with the artisans from the region and collaborate with designers and architects to make rugs and other textiles, using a mix of local and imported materials with generational craft techniques.

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Maddalena Forcella

Originally from Rome, Italy with training in art restoration and later in textile design in Mexico City, Maddalena has spent the last twenty-five years working in Mexico with indigenous artisans, researching traditional weaving and dyeing techniques. Immersed in the flavors and crafts of Mexico, she has woven the culture of her adopted home into her own creative visión as co-founder of Madda Studio.

Deeply committed to the artisans of Mexico, Maddalena lived for many years in the small communities around San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Now based in Oaxaca, she continues to collaborate with the artisans of Chiapas and Oaxaca. She has co-founded several cooperatives, and believes in empowering women and supporting the preservation and revitalization of ancient textile techniques.

Maddalena’s elegant designs weave one thread that connects the traditional and the contemporary. Her work expresses a special alchemy of complex, subtle color combinations and incredible textures.

In addition to her product design, Maddalena is an accomplished gallery artist and has had numerous exhibitions around the world. Her work has been exhibited at Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Cer Modern in Ankara, and The Fashion and Textile Museum in London.

She has been invited to exhibit her work at some of the world’s most important fiber art events, including the International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland and the Hangzhou Triennal of Fiber Art in China.

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