Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Original Quiet Manifesto Part 1


Published in 2000, the original booklet was titled:

a quiet manifesto for the preservation of craft

It was designed and written by Charllotte Kwon and Bronwyn Chambers to be an introduction to the world of craft and craftspeople. The introduction is worth repeating as it clearly explains our approach and intentions.

" Cloth embodies the timeless need for human expression; it touches every part of our lives. It represents our heritage and our future. Cloth connects us with cultures around the world. It speaks a global language.

"Through understanding the process of textile construction we may learn about other communities, about identity – about other parts of our human family.

"For centuries Asia has drawn seekers of an experience un-namable, something misplaced along the industrialized road of bigger, faster – better. There is wisdom in the indigenous cultures of the world. Assimilated into craft, it reveals a web of interconnectedness, and reflects the voice of people living closely with and adapting to an ever-changing landscape.

"When asked by a reporter how one could understand India, Gandhi replied, "Study her villages." – and so we do. Over the past decades Maiwa has committed itself to ethical trade and craft practices. Our business mandate is to trade directly with the individual craftspeople, thereby offering the full value of the work to the creator. We've established many successful partnerships and continue to develop more with emerging artisans. By offering translation, training, and resources both locally and abroad Maiwa forms a bridge between consumer and craftsperson.

"Following the threads of their work, we look to craftspeople everywhere as a vital link to the sensual world. Their hands express an intimate understanding of the place they inhabit – the struggles, the joy and energy of creative expression that weave their way through the practice of craft.

"In many parts of the world cloth is used to sanctify rites of passage. In Indonesia, batik is revered as sacred cloth. It is a vehicle for meditation. The saffron robes of buddhist monks are ritually dyed to maintain their soft yet vibrant colour. The meanings of complex and sophisticated textiles from India are as ancient as its civilizations. The symbolism of cloth reaches deeply into all of Indian life. 

"Folk art tends to evolve in line with contemporary beliefs and traditions. It is transformed gradually by changes in economic and social structure. It offers a vivid perspective on both historic and current events.

"Craftspeople preserve traditions as they pass them on. Maiwa's passion for collection, teaching and honouring textiles is dedicated to these artisans. More than a collection of colours, textures, techniques and textiles, Maiwa is an intention to experience the incredible creative spirit which is alive in all of us.

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