Is it art, craft, commerce, survival? I can’t tell where one begins and the other ends, but these four short movies have me thinking hard.
Pointe shoes. What I love about this is that there are two craftspeople at work on each pair of a ballet dancer’s pointe shoes: the shoemaker in London, and the dancer in New York who remakes each shoe for the perfect fit. It’s an astonishing amount of handwork for a pair of shoes that is worn exactly one day, perhaps one performance.
Embroidery. In this collective of stitchers in India, each woman must make her work so perfect that it will pass the excruciating standards of Sister Lucia, who snips out every single bad stitch. The pride and high standards here are a shared value.
Embellishment. From India as well, a peek into a workshop where the attention to detail is almost unimaginable.
Sweetgrass baskets. A visit with sweetgrass basketmakers of Charleston, South Carolina.
“What goes through your mind when you look at them?” one of the basketmakers is asked.
“Honey, I look at love, heritage, you know?” she replies. “‘Cause when I’m weaving, it seems like I’m in my own world. I don’t have a thing to worry about.”
PS The featured image is a saree worn by a guest at my half-sister MK’s wedding in Bangalore. I followed this lovely woman around, dazzled by her extraordinary saree.