Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

The Curious Shawls

The Curious Shawls

An elder weaver's unique style

I love the handwoven fabrics from Isaan, Thailand: beautiful, distinctive and excellent quality. Recently two women from the region visited me carrying with them hundreds of scarves and shawls.

A stark white bedsheet is the perfect backdrop to lay their treasures. I pick up and fastidiously examine each one and make orderly stacks that understandably only I comprehend.

Examining each piece numerous times, the process takes more hours than I prefer to admit. Throughout my selection I continue to eye one particular group. Yes, I like the shawls in this group, but something is mysteriously off-kilter. I am not willing to reject them, so I give them a special place among the stacks.

The stacks shift as I select and eliminate pieces one by one. The quirky shawls whisper volumes to me. Intrigued, the entire pile remains in limbo.

Not wanting to be sidetracked, I continue. Hours pass and the collection is nearly complete. I attempt to tackle the last pile of shawls unable to eliminate or select even one. Fascinated, I realize I conjured up the weaver's complete persona.

I see an old woman hunched over the loom weaving the same style shawl for decades. Her life was far from easy and even if she once had a passion to weave, it was lost somewhere in time. One of the women blurted out "the lazy artisan!" I know this cannot be true and immediately see the beauty in each piece.

She is not lazy, but tired, distracted and laden with personal woes: an artisan who weaves her entire soul into each shawl. I finally make a choice and purchase the ones she created. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. They are, however, intriguingly beautiful. I see the perfection in the imperfection.

Accepting imperfection allows an opening for the appreciation of the handmade.

Wabi-Sabi: The Art of Imperfection

  • Post author
    Debra Levine

Comments on this post (0)

Leave a comment