Thursday, March 17, 2011

the cloth for the people

So this is the practical side
I'm proposing to make a cloth of woven "wishes" or prayers written on scraps and pieces of cloth
I will gather these scraps on little looms I am going to set up at storytelling events beginning on Sunday 20th March which is world storytelling day which this year has the theme of WATER. Our event here in Greece will be dedicated to the people of Japan.
The little looms will be set up at a quiet spot with a basket of scraps and an indelible pen. Anyone who wants to can write a wish on a scrap and weave it into the loom. it will be a quiet moment of breathing in and out..a small dedicated doing. A prayer if you wish.

I will gather the little cloths and stitch them together into a larger one, respectfully paying homage to the japanese tradition of "boro" the study of which has nurtured my soul these past few months

I am open to ideas about what to do with the resulting cloth..even only symbolically I am thinking of ways to offer it to the people of japan

I have made this proposal known to other storytellers at the world storytelling day mailing list, and have received a few mails indicating interest in taking part in this project. I thank you.

for anyone interested in making a scrap woven cloth and/or sending a scrap to be patched onto the larger cloth I would be happy to receive them at
marathon 19007

to make a simple frame loom you only need a frame which could be anything strong enough..a shoebox, a tray, a basket, (see pictures)
you can tie strips of cloth to make the warp or use string
the wish scraps are woven "under over" these warps

I propose we use indigo or blue cloth, also white is ok because I can dye them in my indigo vat
it is the colour of the sea, and the varied tones will make a beautiful cloth

please, If you are going to send wishes, it would be better for the stitching if they are from natural fibers(cotton, linen) and not too stiff

I wish to say that this idea has evolved from the "ferment"of ideas shared in the classes by jude hill and the lively exchanges in online conversations with clothmates.

for an idea of what boro is, an introduction, see here and click boro on the sidebar

I will post again about this later

any ideas and comments are welcome


liniecat said...

What a lovely idea incorporating empathy and compassion with judes woven ideas too.
Do you want wishes stitched on the cloth or simply written on? If its written on white and you dye it, wont the words be 'lost'? Though there in spirit naturally..
How long a length if we send you strips of fabric to incorporate and do you have a deadline when you want it to arrive by?
Could the finished work be exhibited and invite donations to be sent to you, thgen given on to the Red Cross or some vetted organisation in Japan?
Maybe you could send an article to the various textile magazines and ask if theyd ask for donations if they print about its growth and the thinking behind your idea?
have you got room for me to come over and help you stitch it together too lololol ( okay so its worth a try!)

Manya Maratou said...

liniecat there's always room here, and that's an invitation
written on, stitched on is fine, no rules, it is the wishing,
length..the rules ..long can be folded over. well, I probably couldn't cope with huge, it would be too dominating, no?(or it could become the basecloth)
I think donations should be made straight to reputable institutions that each of us trusts.
the only way I can cope with this as a fundraiser is if some immensely rich person would like to purchase it by donating a huge amount to a very trustworthy org..
the article is not a bad idea, but lets see how it rolls- I'm taking it to university tomorrow to a classroom of nursery school teachers to see their response
I think a realistic deadline would be to be sent within the next two you think it is too long?
um..the white is to make it easier for non fabric storytellers to get it together before the events on Sunday
and white is good on an ocean cloth
and it can be dyed in a way that some letters show
and the actual wish gets hidden partly by the weaving anyway
exhibition is a good idea, but also part 2 I think..
and now I've remembered thos trees with rags tied to the for wishing
have to find that picture..

Judy--- said...

thank you, dear manya----i will make something & send it ----to greece--with wishes /prayers for japan ---from florida ,usa--
all one --all connected --
so grateful for the awareness, the consciousness ,of these people of cloth--

jude said...

what a sweet project...

Anonymous said...

i just read your story at cwb and think
your idea is full of heart!
a great way for others to share
thoughts of hope and love.
I hope we get to see some of the
blessings to you Manya

liniecat said...

Right Manya will pack a parcel up and get it to you and see what I can fathom together myself as a block for you to work with too.

liniecat said...

A thought...........if it took off and hit the japanese press or any of their craft magazines/universities?...maybe a japanese firm might donate and 'buy' it? Out of respect and as an offering for plight of their own?
I know this is uniting here for those other places that have been struck by natural disaster of late, as well as japan at this time, but what a fabulous textile to have there in Japan, symbolising how the worlds hearts lurched enough to send money, well wishes and/or prayers for those that died and for those that have survived too.

Mary-Eileen said...

Our weaving is done - it was made by people at 3 world storytelling day events in and around Kitchener Ontario (Canada). People were deeply touched by the idea and appreciated the chance to demonstrate their concern for the people of Japan. I will be sending it to you as soon as I figure out how to get it off our loom!
The Story Barn in Baden

Manya Maratou said...

hey Mary-Eileen that is wonderful! to get it off the loom untie or cut the "Warp" on the back of the loom and tie the ends together- even in a bunch is fine. I'll post one that I have taken off later- the wishes shouldn't fall off, I'll baste them down when the cloth arrives. I think that if you fold it it will travel safely..
what you say about people appreciating the chance to demonstrate their concern is happening here, too. Teachers are asking me if they can do it with their classes..
Well done! thanks!

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