With my work and travels between the US, Europe and Vietnam, I swung from a curious consumer to an awestruck sourcing agent and a devoted student of crafts. Starting with a fascination for ethnic textiles, I learned the artisans’ materials, tools and methods as well as their cultural heritage reflected in traditional patterns. With over two thousand craft villages, Vietnam offered an exciting opportunity to learn. Everyday, I got to know another artisan who has worked with local materials using heirloom techniques and acute design instinct gained not from school but by years of handwork.
I believe techniques and patterns provide a firm ground to understand the fundamentals of every traditional craft as well as predict whether a new design is practical to be made in an old craft. On top of that, a study of the cultural context of a craft adds a valuable dimension to an object. Techniques & Patterns documents a never-ending journey to seek knowledge of craftsmanship, an ever-evolving conversation of how to make it relevant in today’s market, and a medium to satisfy my obsession with all things beautiful and meaningful.
Illustration by Marie-Cecile Curieuse