The World in Cushions Blog



Buddhism, Lions and the Shuka

It was in the hills of the rift valley working for a Buddhist festival that I first fell in love with the Maasai blanklets or Shuka as they are called locally. I had come to Kenya as part of a motley crew of artists, designers, makers and musicians. We were to bring to life this corner of the world for the Shinnyo-en Buddhists annual fire and water festival a faction of Japanese Buddhists. I knew little of Buddhism before the trip and felt inspired by the marriage of colours and sounds of these two separate cultures. The gentle chanting with the deep purples and oranges of the Japanese’s fused with the bright reds and deep drumming of the local Samburu...

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Surviving Druk Air and Discovering Gross National Happiness

I am standing in a long que at Heathrow airport, arrived early thinking I’ll check in then go and find a nice coffee before spraying myself with a selection of scents in duty free that I will regret for the rest of the journey, in short a relaxing travel experience. However the computers have stopped working and it’s chaos. Hours go by and I am still in a que. There are problems with visas, I wave a piece of paper I have been given that I was assured would explain everything to a nonplussed and deeply harassed lady in a crisp airline suit. This is the start of my journey to Bhutan, not an easy place to get to so...

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The Markets of Bali

Bali is a small volcanic island in a series of islands that make up Indonesia. It is known for stunning beaches and lush tropical landscape… it’s known as paradise. I was first drawn to Bali many years ago enticed by the promise of perfect waves and friendly locals – of which I happily found both! It was also in Bali and the other islands of Indonesia that I discovered the rich variety of textiles. The intricate techniques that go into producing Batik and Ikat fabrics and the skills that are passed down through generations. No trip to these islands is complete without a conversation with a stranger that leads to a trip on the back of a bike to a...

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Waves and Weavers - Sourcing Harris Tweed

The Outer Hebrides lye to the west coast of Scotland, my journey there took me higgledy piggeldy across the country visiting relatives and friends. By the time I had driven the length of the country, taken two ferries, and broken down once (Thank you very kind AA man) my car was knee deep in empty sandwich and crisp packets. – It was worth every mile travelled, every adventure had, as with each corner turned a new more breath-taking view was revealed. A friend of mine lives on the isle of Lewis and this was my destination, my starting point from where I would find remote waves and weavers of Harris tweed. Small half hidden sign posts would lead me down...

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