San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Silky souvenirs in Guanacaste’s capital

From the print edition

By Jessica Tyner | Special to The Tico Times

Liberia, the provincial capital of Guanacaste, has more to offer than idyllic beaches – although it is possible to take a piece of paradise home with you. Wendy Tayler, owner of Costa Rica Silks, creates beautifully hand-painted designs on silk scarves, shawls and lounge pants. Inspired by the beauty of the country, each piece is one-of-a-kind and features a landscape, a native plant, or a wild animal like the blue morph butterfly or scarlet macaw. 

Tayler, an expat from the United States, moved here 20 years ago and inherited the silk-making supplies from a fellow foreigner. A natural-born artist, she fell in love with the process of capturing the world around her in a functional keepsake. She spent two hours in a crowded kitchen learning the ropes in 1999, and the process of watching vibrant colors spread across the silk has kept her mesmerized.

Silky Souvenirs 2

One of the painted scarves.

Gabe Dinsmoor

Special requests are gladly accepted, and Tayler has had some unusual projects in the last two decades. Her most memorable request was a wall hanging depicting 50 years of marriage. The piece now hangs in a couple’s home in Mexico and was a loving anniversary gift from their daughter. Other special creations include baby silks for baptisms and shawls for weddings and the terminally ill. 

Every piece is infused with Tayler’s passion and spirit, making it impossible for her to choose a favorite. A shawl she made for a groom’s mother featured butterflies that represented each of her children. Each shawl that is created for terminally ill patients is tucked away in her heart. The most personal item is the silk she created for her mother, blossoming with the flora they had seen together over Thanksgiving in Costa Rica. It was gifted shortly after Tayler’s father’s death.

Like many artists, she considers the art scene here limited but overflowing with undiscovered talent. Since she is not formally trained, Tayler does not consider herself an artist, though she regularly attends shows and exhibitions frequented by clients from around the world. Efforts have been made to improve the art-scene visibility in Guanacaste and allow talented artists to show their work, but the turnout is usually minimal.

Expats or travelers can stop by the studio or order pieces online. Add an exquisite addition to your wardrobe with a scarf that is the perfect accessory for a swimsuit or hat. Every piece can be dry cleaned or washed by hand. Visit Costa Rica Silks at or call 8333-7555. Tayler can also be contacted at

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