I took a two day embroidery course with local expert, City and Guild's graduate Bonnie Addie, and next month I will spend two days with the quilters of Gee's Bend! Wow. I was super lucky to get into these classes - I was on the computer the first morning right when registration opened and got the last spots in both classes.
Bonnie has traveled to India with Charllotte Kwon, the inspiring woman behind Maiwa. There, she met with local embroiderers and fabric dyers, sewists and artisans who supply much of Maiwa's products.
What I wanted to share with you today are photos of the space we worked in. The Maiwa workshop also serves as a textile and book library where you can spend time pouring over examples of ethnic stitchery from all over the world, or research stitches or dying methods in any of the collected books. Everything is stored in lovely glass-front cabinets. The library is open for anyone who calls ahead to book at time during business hours. I will be back for sure!
I am very inspired by the hand work of women around the world. Many of whom have overcome incredible tragedy, poverty or persecution. There are entire isolated communities of women, especially in India, who have honed their needle arts through generations and produce not only beautiful, but unique textiles. In particular, those of us in the workshop were given a beautiful embroidered silk pouch & needlebook made by earthquake survivors from the Kutch region of India. These women were taught to embroider as a form of therapy (and also out of a sense of urgency to pass on the skills that were almost lost when so many of the community perished in the 2001 earthquake). Now they have a life skill and trade to support themselves and their children. I want to learn more about the tradition of stitching in this oral culture - where stitch is used as mean of recording events in the lives of family and community.
Our tablecloth at the work table! Beautiful Kantha.
My brain is stuffed full with ideas for stitching, so much that I'm having trouble focusing on anything! I'll be back soon to show some of the cool stitches I learned (I can attach a shisha mirror!) and I want to share a fun and easy technique with you as well.
I'm linking up with my friend Trish's new "Monday Morning's Inspiration" feature over at Two Peas in a Pod.