When I saw the "Scraps" show at the George Washington Textile Museum in autumn 2017, I was so inspired by Christina Kim’s innovative ideas. She reused every part of her textiles from garment making, leading her to make amulets of the smallest scraps. I knew this was my muse for Julie Booth's group "Textile Muse Museum Project" the moment I saw them.
A few weeks later I went to a presentation and panel discussion with Christina Kim, eco-conscious designer and founder of Dosa, and Timo Rissanen, assistant professor at the Parsons School of Design, which was moderated by Camille Ann Brewer, curator of Contemporary Textile Art at the museum.
It was eye-opening. Both showed data about the deeply concerning massive waste in the fashion industry. They also shared how each in their own way is changing that through passing along and teaching what they know, challenging norms, and finding innovative zero-waste solutions in fashion. So those amulets I was swooning over were a social movement!
At the end of her lecture, Christina Kim passed out her “stone amulets” to each of us and frankly, I could hardly contain my excitement they were so cool.
On the museum label for the amulets, it mentioned that each one contained a folded Hindu prayer. This added another layer of meaning to her amulets, as I looked at my stone amulet again. Inside was a prayer from someone far away whom I didn’t know, sending me well wishes tucked inside something she made.
My amulets are from fabric scraps too, adorned with beads and hand stitching, filled with soft stuffing, and containing one Job’s tear seed from Laos, which is native to Southeast Asia. There is meaning in my amulets, too: sometimes we come across something unexpectedly hard in life that causes suffering, so we also need remembering that a softer, kinder, beautiful self surrounding it can help us get through it.
As I continue this project, I am inspired to use the vintage Laos textile scraps and natural-dyed threads that I found while there. Further, how can I explore the meaning of Job’s tears in my amulets, or other hidden messages, and pass that along to others.