the essence of intention-意図の本質

scenario:

a small couture mfg sees some of my work and wants to incorporate it into their line.  meeting takes place where we discuss the possibilities.  i share some sources and ideas, send samples etc.  there actually was a decent possibility that i could produce something for them -basically a wide cotton woven tape arashi dyed with natural indigo.  they loved this-something of mine they had seen from a while back:

indigo arashi on cotton tape

indigo arashi on cotton tape

they also loved the silk ribbon but the above was what they started with.  indigo being ever so “popular” at the moment and the cotton being more practical for the purpose.  fast forward to now. they have worked with the cotton tape supplier i directed them to to produce a faux version of this.  of course it is only faux.  the company actually did a decent job of interpreting the idea but since it is a woven it is very regular and well, manufactured looking.  originally we talked about how adding a very artisanal element to the product was highly desired.  so now i receive an email asking if i can take what they have created and add an “artisanal” touch to it.  or if i have any ideas.

i had to sit with it a bit and think about how i would reply.  here are my thoughts on it…

I know it is a desire of many to produce a handmade artisanal effect through a quicker manufacturing process. The result of that often lacks the desired  end.    My work strives to keep the hand in the making.  It is an intentional thought all along the process. I believe that through this intention the final result contains this energy of beauty.  It is there, even if one doesn’t recognize it as such. 

it is like this process of silk and indigo. to raise some silk myself, to grow the indigo. to use a natural fermentation vat. to make the silk shibori ribbon by hand.  it is all intention.  to let the end result speak for itself.

i just thought it was interesting that at this point i was being asked back into the project to somehow inject what seemed to be missing-even to them.  i actually see it as a good sign.  that something different is being sought or desired.

perhaps next time!

20 thoughts on “the essence of intention-意図の本質

  1. velma

    well, your response was honest and respectful. but oh, lord. i have a LOT to say, but will spare you, leave it at this: they went all that way ’round to come back home…and for reason?

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  2. janstevenson

    glennis, sounds like you had just the right amount of expectation in this process. . .knew what the likely outcome would be and didn’t invest emotion into it. still, it takes energy. perhaps when they realize that indigo and ‘handmade’ are classic and enduring they’ll get back to you. here’s hoping.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      they really never left. it’s a work in progress i believe. remember, i spent 30 years manufacturing in a production setting. so i can see it from the other side as well. so i am happy to pass on any help i can give.

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  3. shemann

    Glennis, I hope you do not find this rude but I would love to purchase some of your indigo tape. I truly respect the process and love the other things I have bought from you.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      how sweet. i am using the last of what i have on hand to make new samples for them so perhaps when i get back from Japan i’ll make some more up and get it into the shop. i sold all i made before some time ago.

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  4. asiadyer

    too much to say……Glennis, you kick the proverbial butt!! hahahahaha!
    Perfect, just perfect. They came to the essence, on their own, trying to create something worthwhile. Realized that energy, love energy is expended, thus making said object worthwhile! ha!! Good luck copying THAT with yer machines and production lines!
    Power to the people!!!!

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  5. isabellawhitworth.com

    What an interesting cycle you describe here – which made me think. The human hand, at its best striving for an imagined perfection, never quite achieves what it sets out to. Often in the space between the achieved and the strived-for I find great beauty. But one can’t set out actively to create what is found in that space. It happens in the intention, and the falling short. We celebrate what happens unintentionally. In knowing our materials we also know when to let go of intention and let the materials take over. You can’t reproduce this: it just isn’t a repeat pattern.

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  6. Kim Allen

    I work in galleries on the central Oregon coast. It is hard to make people understand the process of art. You have put it perfectly into words. I wish I could come work with you. If you ever want to do something on the Oregon coast, contact me. Thank you so much for your “artness”. It is so important to be creative.

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  7. margaret mills

    This discussion on the artisanal & manufacturing is so engaging. The NY TImes Magazine in two recent editions featured indigo dyed products (an indigo dye kit and pocket squares). Recently, I contacted a store, where I purchased a 3/4 length well-designed fleece jacket in an unusual granite color that faded to browns, about the possibility of re-dyeing. The LA manufacturer’s rep said “yes.” The jacket came back to me last week in a dark blue-green that I am delighted to wear. Strongly believe there is a niche manufacturing trend, however tiny, addressing a look that is not ordinary.

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  8. Mo Crow

    the mark of the hand… this is what we all look for in these digital days where the clothing & cloths they are made from are getting more flimsy and plastic by the minute, this is a conversation that has been going on since the early days of industrial manufacturing & the rise of William Morris.We all need the beauty of the handmade in our lives & are starting to understand that exploiting people in countries on the other side of the world or in illegal sweat shops in our own is really not the way to do it, we want to see the stitches & the weave & the real colour densely bleeding through the cloth.

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  9. diavilleneuve

    Yes and not blood bleeding through the fiber of mass produced clothing. The strenght of Wasi sabi …not faux vintage leather..or fake torn and faded jeans. Mass production signals the end.

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      this whole thing of wearing out jeans prior to selling them. adding chemicals, water and more labor to the cost. just wear them til they tear and fade and then put authentic patches on them!

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