Beatrice Valenzuela and I met about 7 years ago in a community weaving class taught at Bansdall Art Center in the Loz Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. A wonderfully diverse group of people took this early Saturday morning class, and Bea is one of the few to go on to purchase her own massive floor loom for her home (I was in it mostly for the chance to hang out with older ladies and gossip, but I did make a piece or two). Beatrice has some beautiful examples of her woven wall-hangings in her the sun-drenched home she and her husband designed themselves, complete with rare breeds of chickens and a very animated song bird in their kitchen.
Beatrice fosters a love of craft that extends beyond her weaving. She has a much sought after boutique in Echo Park (down the street from her beautiful home in the hills), where she sells imported ceramics, handmade leather moccasins, jewelry (some made by her husband Ramsey Conder), leather bags and all natural body products. The store does a stellar job of embodying Beatrice’s effortless, Los Angeles lifestyle.
Beatrice had me over for some salad just days before she was due to give birth to her second child. Personally, I cannot imagine having anyone over in such a state of life-altering anticipation. She was so chill, I was tempted to yank the pillow out from under her dress and call her bluff. But, alas, Dimitri was born this last week. Now that’s a lucky kid; congratulations Bea!