Tag Archives: Lao Textiles

Lever House and Laos, linked by a dream symbol

14 Jun
Carol Cassidy

Carol Cassidy

On April 14, I was struck by the synchronicity of discovering that Carol Cassidy was here in New York, halfway around the world from where her traditional weaving company, Lao Textiles, is based in Vientiane. It was just a couple of weeks after I had first heard of Cassidy while reading online about Laos, which I was doing because I’d been contacted by someone based there, a friend of my late friend Nicole Carstens.

A Weaves of Cambodia weaver

A Weaves of Cambodia weaver
(photos from Weaves of Cambodia)

Immediately after seeing the calendar listing on the 14th for Cassidy’s appearance at the Asia Society, I hurried into Manhattan to meet her. Later that day, I wrote a post about her and the “meaningful coincidence” I had experienced.

Unexploded land mine (Photo from CSHD)

Unexploded land mine (Photo from CSHD)

That post included some information I learned about her after meeting her. The post mentions that Cassidy also runs a textile workshop in Cambodia, Weaves of Cambodia, which employs local residents who have had limbs amputated after being injured by land mines still buried in the countryside from the war in Vietnam and the Cambodian civil war.

A few days later, I emailed Carol Cassidy to tell her the post was up, and she replied on April 17 with this observation:

So much of our traditional weaving is animist imagery. They are complex designs and have layers of meaning. I have come to believe that many of the designs are graphic depictions of dreams, dreams shaped by beliefs and how the weaver interprets the universe. Most Lao see this world and the spirit world directly linked. I often refer to the complex brocade imagery, like the noble Siho or the agile climbing monkey that represent this link as “Woven Dreams.” Lao-Tai weaving is about as close to dream imagery in weaving as you can get. Creating these woven masterpieces, thread by thread has helped me understand the thoughts and beliefs of their creators. Continue reading

Lao Textiles

14 Apr
Lao Textiles / Carol Cassidy weaving (Topic Asia Magazine)

Lao Textiles / Carol Cassidy weaving (Topic Asia Magazine)

Synchronicity is an overused word, and the fact that Carl Jung defined it as “meaningful coincidence” makes it seem even more overused than it is. “Meaningful” is in the eye of the beholder—a synchronicity is the correspondence of some external event with an internal state of the psyche, and therefore extremely individual, and not easily shared.

I think what follows, though, is one of the more convincing ones.

Here I was, at 1:30 this afternoon, doing a quick check of the wonderful ClubFreetime site to see if there are any events I’ll want to go to tomorrow. I had no plans to go into Manhattan today, but I skimmed today’s listings anyway.

Whoa. In the shop of the Asia Society, Park Avenue at 70th Street, 12:30 to 3:30: “Woven Silks of Laos with Designer Carol Cassidy.” Continue reading