The Beat - A pulse on our findings and adventures

Supporting education and the Buddhist Heritage Project

Posted by Emi Weir on

Supporting education and the Buddhist Heritage Project
Buddhism and the crafts go hand-in-hand in Luang Prabang. Just walk down the main street and you will see detailed carvings adorn the temple doors, cut glass murals and gold stencils densely fill columns, walls and ceilings. The Buddhist Heritage Project supports and encourages initiatives of the Buddhist community in the fields of education, preservation of its cultural, religious and historical heritage, and on-site environment management. One of their latest endeavour, is a conversion of disused class rooms in Vat Sop, at end of the main street, to train novices in wood carving. Ma Té Sai will support  by selling the outcome of their learnings in our store, and work with them on custom orders. We can thank Covid19 in part for this collaboration as the two friends, and directors of each organisation have been unusually sedentary in Luang Prabang and collaborating in product development.

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Hmong New Year

Posted by Emi Weir on

Hmong New Year

In Luang Prabang, just before the town goes crazy with Christmas vacationeers, there is the Hmong New Year festival.  This year the Hmong Association bought a large piece of land on the outskirts of town, so now the festival has a permanent home. And this year was my first visit to the festival, or what is known as "raising the mountain".  This is the fun after the 3 days of new year celebration within the house, where there are family meals honouring parents and in-laws, cleansing rituals, souls are released and offerings are made to the God of Wealth, amongst...

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Off to Selangor with a TaiLeu Crew

Posted by Emi Weir on

Off to Selangor with a TaiLeu Crew

When our business partners in Malaysia LokaLocal suggested we may be interested in participating in the Indigenous Arts Festival in Selangor, I must admit, I had to ask where's Selangor?  Now I know it's the state that surrounds the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. In a taxi only 20 minutes from KL Sentral, so we are going to Kuala Lumpur, which makes it easier when coercing my TaiLeu sewers to dance, cook sticky rice and boil natural dyes. Fortunately they jumped at the chance to travel and immediately applied for passports, so here we go! Arriving in Kuala Lumpur we were met...

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Tai Leu Textures : White Flower

Posted by Emi Weir on

Tai Leu Textures : White Flower

This texture is one of our all time favorites from the original Sabai Collection. Using a traditional pattern woven with the same color in the warp and the weft, we have designed a luxurious, well-balanced texture. Long wefts float across the face of the fabric to create a soft, rippling appearance while preserving the traditional pattern, the Tai Leu "Small Flower".      The Small Flower pattern is another common Tai Leu Design that we have altered to fit into the modern home. From a distance or at glance it may read as a texture, but when wrapped up in one of...

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The Tai Leu Chevron

Posted by Emi Weir on

The Tai Leu Chevron

  Last fall a customer came to us requesting a basic chevron pattern. Initially, we were reluctant. How could we create something that would satisfy  their request, but still stay true to the spirit of a Tai Leu  Textile? What could we create to stand out  among the vast sea of machine made zigzags being pumped out all over the world? Fortunately, Brittany, who has a degree in textile design, has an understanding of weaving, motifs and how they are  repeated, she was able to visualise the possibilities.  And the Tai Leu Chevron was born! ​​ ​Pictured below are examples of a very common...

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