Sunday, August 16, 2015

Merchant and Mills in Maiwa Supply

Maiwa Supply is now carrying the entire Merchant and Mills line. We think Maiwa has a lot in common with Merchant and Mills; we stand behind the concept of buying better, not throwing things away, repairing and reusing, and making things yourself. They have a timeless sense of design paired with a beautiful aesthetic. The scissors, books, pins, and kits all look great in the store.

Watch them talk about their approach here:


Friday, August 7, 2015

The Orissa File at Harmony Arts

On Wednesday Charllotte Kwon, director of the Maiwa Foundation, delivered her lecture "The Orissa File" at the Harmony Arts Festival. It was a packed house at the Ferry Building Gallery. 

Thanks to the organizers for the invitation and the chance to talk about hand weaving traditions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Award Winning Artist at the 2015 Symposium

The Art of Story Painting
With Susan Shie

Susan Shie is an award winning teacher and artist. Her work fuses illustration and journal writing with cultural commentary. The result is a forceful personal mythology. This year we are proud to have secured her return to teach her famous Story Painting on Cloth workshop. Students who have been taught by Susan in the past claim that this workshop gave them new ways to think about self-expression.

In addition Susan will present a lecture on September 30th that will take the audience through an art career spanning over thirty years. From the first days at art school to the life of a mature artists with an impressive roster of exhibitions, Susan Shie stands apart as the creator of a truly original art form.

Register for Susan Shie's four-day workshop.
October 1-4, 2015
Maiwa East (1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver)

Register for Susan Shie's Lecture
"The Art of Story Painting"
September 30. 2015
Net Loft on Granville Is. Vancouver)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Natural Dyes on Salt Spring Island - 2015

We are back in one of our favourite places to dye with natural colours - Jane Stafford's weaving studio on Salt Spring Island. All this week Charllotte Kwon and Sophena Kwon have been delivering natural dye instruction to a class of very lucky artisans.

There is nothing like working outside. At Jane's Studios we work in the shade of the forest. It provides one of the most beautiful studio set-ups we've seen. 

Our 2015 workshop is running on a schedule that closely resembles the one we ran in 2013. Read about that workshop in our three posts: part one, part two and part three.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Sublime Maiwa East

Maiwa East is like a constantly changing exhibition -  without the glass cases. You are welcome to pick up the objects and hold them in your hands; feel the connection to distant cultures and far-away places. We are still very crowded at Maiwa East, so we are featuring some of the smaller treasures. On the other hand, if you are looking for furniture, we've never had as much as we do now.

The top image is a detail of this piece. A team of oxen from the south of India pull a cart. This is a masterful piece of sculpture consisting of several individually made items fitted together. It's exact provenance has been lost, however, such items could have been made as a plaything for the Raj's children in one of India's princely states.. $1900.00

This Buddha is crafted in the Thai style. The Buddha assumes the pose sometimes called "Calling the Earth to Witness the Enlightenment." The pot of herbs in the palm sometimes leads this pose to be called "The Medicine Buddha." The figure shows exquisite detail and a depth of expression. $1640.00

A second Buddha with the half-closed eyes of meditation. This is an elegant figure with clean lines and pure forms. $920.00

Perched atop of a 20" Diwali lamp is this dhokra musician. Dhokra figures are cast using the lost wax technique by village craftspeople in Odisha. $1290.00

Nataraja Shiva - the Lord of the Dance, also known as the Dancing Shiva. This figure is often found in Indian households and is based on a sculpture which was perfected by artists of the Chola period (880-1279 CE). This statue is often synonymous with Hinduism and has come to represent India in the minds of many.

Nataraja is also interpreted as the dance of creation and destruction or the cosmic dance. There is a two-metre high Nataraja sculpture at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva. Trampled under Shiva's foot is Apasmara - the demon of ignorance. $799.00

Maiwa East - 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver, Canada.

Open Thursday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Open Sunday - 11am - 5pm

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BEVERLY GORDON to Teach Two Workshops

Beverly Gordon

Author of TEXTILES THE WHOLE STORY to teach at Maiwa

At Maiwa we have a copy of Beverly's book on our desk. We dip into it almost every day. Beverly reminds us of the powerful significance of fabric in all aspects of our lives.

Sometimes we are at a loss for words with textiles. We intuitively know they are important but we cannot always say why (with the clarity and force we would like). It is at this point that we turn to Beverly's book. She wanted to title her book: The Fibre of our Lives: Why Textiles Matter — we think that is a great title. She is the spokesperson for textiles that we aspire to be.

Below are links to Beverly's two workshops. They represent a rare opportunity to spend a few days with one of the most insightful and thoughtful minds working with textiles today.

Beverly Gordon retired in 2011 from 30 years as a professor in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also affiliated with the Folklore and Material Culture programs. In addition Beverly has worked as a curator and fibre artist. She writes and publishes extensively on textiles.

Adventures with World Textiles 

Register Here

We will not produce textiles in this seminar-like class but will delve into an eclectic study of world textile traditions with the goal of discovering, appreciating, and exposing ourselves to new techniques and ideas. The instructor will provide slide shows and videos on selected textile traditions (examples: Ugandan barkcloth, Cuna Indian molas, Wounaan baskets, Central Asian felt, American Indian quill and beadwork, and African wax and “fancy” prints), and students are encouraged to bring textiles they may have and to share what they know about these and other topics. Together, we can better understand the creativity and commonalities of people’s relationships with textiles, the full range of materials and approaches that textile-making may entail, and issues that threaten or enhance fibre traditions (including world markets). No experience or knowledge base is required—just interest and a sense of curiosity. It is inspiring and energizing to share this exploration with a group of fellow textile enthusiasts, and we will all come out feeling more connected, both to one another and to textile-makers throughout the world. Beverly joins us from the USA.

Cloth and Memory - Exploring Memory Cloths 

Register Here

A “memory cloth” is a piece of handwork that, through the meditative processes of stitching and appliqué, allows us to feel good as well as capture memories or ideas. It may help us preserve and/or release the past, get closer to our own stories (and thus learn about ourselves), keep close to loved ones, and embed new ideas in our consciousness. In this workshop, we will explore the concept of memory cloths by looking at expressions from around the world—e.g., Chilean arpilleras, South African embroideries, Afghan war rugs, American album and memorial quilts, teddy bears made from loved ones’ clothes, and contemporary fibre art. We will use easy, exploratory writing exercises to bring out our ideas, and work on our own cloth in ways that feel comfortable and fun.
No special skills or background are needed—this is a workshop to explore, experiment, and discover. You can stitch, embellish, knit, or otherwise work with fibre and fabric, uncovering images and words that help you express your own voice and experience.  (Embroidery /embellishment instruction will not be provided, but the instructor and the group itself will provide a resource for getting started, feeling confident, solving problems, and stitching something meaningful.) Beverly joins us from the USA.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ALLISON ELLEN to teach at Maiwa

3 Workshops - Taught by UK knitter ALISON ELLEN

After Alison's 2011 lecture at Maiwa even people who had never knit before were inspired to pick up the needles.

Alison Ellen designs and makes hand-knitted clothing. She is one of the most sought-after knitting instructors in the world and her knowledge of creative knit structures is truly astounding. Since the 1980s, she has lectured and run short courses, leading to the publication of three books on exploring knitting technique and design, with a fourth to be published in 2015.

In 2014 Alison Ellen participated in a group exhibition of Art Inspired by Gardens at Bury Court near Farnham. She is presently working toward a 2016 exhibition with textile artists Deirdre Wood and Ann Richards, both weavers with a similar philosophy in creating controlled shaping.


Register online
$225 includes 15 lab fee
September 9, 10,  - Class Limit 14
Maiwa Loft: Above the Net Loft, Granville Is. Vancouver BC

Several hand-knitting stitches produce fabric diagonally or “on the bias,” which has great potential in designing. As well as zigzags and undulating stitches, the course will cover modular or “domino” knitting and “entrelac,” both of which build the knitted fabrics in units without seams. These techniques can be explored at a basic level or taken further to influence the drape of the fabric. Working with these stitch units is a simple way to create effective designs..

After trying different stitches students may work towards their own design project to be completed after the course.

The course is suitable for people with basic as well as more advanced knitting skills. Forget knitting patterns; all that’s needed is to be prepared to experiment . . .  with help!


$125 includes 10 lab fee
September 11 - Class Limit 14
Maiwa Loft: Above the Net Loft, Granville Is. Vancouver BC

We love colour, but where to begin in designing? First, we will work from source material — objects or images that students find visually exciting. After looking at the proportions of different colours and making a wool winding, we will try different methods of knitting with colours to translate into a design that can be developed further.

Starting from very simple stitches using one colour at a time to produce mixed colours, we will look at other methods such as “fairisle” and “intarsia.” The aim is to become more aware of colour and of the possibilities of using, mixing, and building colour more creatively in knitting, whether using basic stitches or more advanced techniques.
Students will have several swatches by the end of the workshop as well as ideas for designs to be continued on their own time.

The course is suitable for people with basic as well as more advanced knitting skills. Forget knitting patterns; all that’s needed is to be prepared to experiment . . .  with help!


$225 includes 15 lab fee
September 12, 13,   - Class Limit 14
Maiwa Loft: Above the Net Loft, Granville Is. Vancouver BC

Almost any shapes can be built on knitting needles by picking up stitches and knitting in different directions with no seams.

Beginning with instruction in different ways of building simple shapes, students will be encouraged to experiment and gain confidence in this free approach to knitting. Circles, squares, and 3-D shapes can be made simply on two needles, and some will involve knitting in the round. 

Ideas will evolve which can be used for creating practical items such as hats, bags, cushions etc., or for free-form sculpture.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ten-Thousand Splendid Things

We are willing to bet you've never seen a gallery quite like this - where the paintings are inside the cabinets, waiting to be discovered when the furniture is opened. Many cabinets are painted on the outside, and special pieces are illustrated both inside and outside.

Like this one. An illustrated writer's desk. Remarkably, this piece was not found lurking in the ruins of a Mughal palace, instead is is an old piece, just recently painted, one of many commissions by Maiwa.

The warehouse known as Maiwa East is packed with treasures like this. In fact, we are so crowded right now that we didn't have enough room to photograph some of the larger cabinets that have arrived. Want to see what we have? Come and visit us and look through our collection of ten-thousand splendid things. 

Maiwa East - More Than You Imagine.

Open Thursday - Saturday 10am - 5pm.
Open Sunday 11am - 5pm.

1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver BC Canada

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Storms Compromise Maiwa Online Registration

UPDATE: Everything is back online. All available workshops, lectures, and events are available here:

It was bright and sunny in Vancouver, the perfect day to sit outside the NetLoft building on Granville Island if you were in the lineup for registration. But just outside Montreal, Quebec, where the Maiwa online servers are located - it was not so pleasant. Electrical storms hit the area, knocked out power, and caused chaos. Many of you experienced the results of that chaos as you tried to process online registrations.

Our equipment was compromised just as our registration opened. We had difficulty reaching support staff back East due to downed power and phone lines.

Today we are putting the pieces back together. We have all the lectures and events available online, and we are working hard to ensure that we will soon be able to repost the remaining workshop spaces as well. We want to thank everyone for their patience during what has proved to be a difficult time for us.

Please call 604 669 3939 for workshop availability.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Symposium Registration Opens on Monday

Workshops are temporarily offline
Please call 604 669 3939 for availability.

Registration for the 2015 Maiwa Textile Symposium opens this Monday.
We have set up a brand new website for registration:

Now is a good time to check out the new site and set up your account. Questions? Read our FAQ below.

Registration FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)

When does registration start?
10 am. Monday June 22, 2015

Is there a rush?
There is a rush for many of our workshops. We bring instructors from around the world and class size is limited. There is no rush for lectures and events.

I'm away/working/busy on registration day. Can I register ahead of time?
No. Please read about all your registration options below and select the one that works best for you. We have a large number of enthusiastic registrants and we have tried our best to be fair to all.

Where should I go to register in person?
Maiwa Supply on Granville Island.

When should I arrive to register in person?
Your call. People have arrived as early as seven or eight, coffee and muffins in hand. We are next to the Granville Island Market so food and coffee are nearby. It is generally nice weather and many sit and knit in the lineup.

Can I register for my friend?
You can register for yourself and up to two friends. Payment is due at time of registration. There is a fee for cancellations so make certain you understand our cancellation policy.

Can I register by phone?

Your phone line is always busy - what should I do?
Redial. Redial. Redial.

Can I register by fax?
NOT ON THE FIRST DAY. After the first day you may fax your registration form and credit card info. You may wish to check course availability by phone first.

Can I register by mail?
Yes. BUT we don't open mail registrations until 11:00 am. on the first morning. Don't forget to send your credit info, or cheques payable to Maiwa Handprints ltd.

Can I register by e-mail?
No. Please use our on-line site instead. E-mail is not a secure way to send credit card information and messages are occasionally blocked by spam filters.

Can I register on-line?

How do I register on-line
See our web page:

I'm trying to register on-line but I get a "No Spaces Available" message.
If you get the "No Spaces Available" notice, then the course may be already sold out on-line. This can happen very quickly on the first morning. At this point you can call and see if there are still spaces left for phone registration. Please ask to go on the waiting list.

How do I know my on-line registration worked?
You will have a confirmation screen giving a summary of your purchase. Please print this out and keep it. You will also receive an e-mail message confirming your order. Double check when entering your email in the form.

My credit card was declined! It's never been declined!
We, sadly, have no control over credit cards or banks. We have no mechanism to accept or change a declined card. 

Something mysterious happened and I can't be certain my on-line registration worked. What should I do?
E-mail us right away at give us as much information as you can. Especially which workshops you were trying to register for. If you suspect you are having e-mail difficulty please call us 604 669 3939 (The phones are usually past the mad rush by 12 noon).

I sent an e-mail but I got a reply from "Spam Arrest". What's up with that?
Spam Arrest is our spam filter. If this is your first time trying to contact us via e-mail you will recieve an e-mail reply from spam arrest asking to verify that you are not a spambot trying to fill our in-box with ads for cheap viagra. You'll have to type in a code that appears on the page. Don't worry it is all legit. If you'd prefer not to, there is still no cause for alarm. We check the spam filter persistently on opening day and authorize messages from registrants whom the spam filter has stopped.

I tried everything but my favourite workshop is full. What can I do?
Our staff know the workshops inside and out. We would be happy to suggest an alternative. We also keep a waiting list and if you get placed on it early there is still a chance that you will get in. People's plans change and spaces do open up.