Tomorrow, March 18, 2020, for the first time in our 34 year history, we will close the doors to two of our bricks and mortar stores on a day that is not a holiday. We don’t know for how long those doors will stay closed. It will be hard for us.
It will be hard, not just because we will be forced to lay off staff … and not just because the bills will continue to arrive (looms have been warped, organic cotton has been planted, needles have been embroidering). No, as difficult as those things are, there are deeper, more painful elements that need to be mentioned. Maiwa has always been about community: artisans, makers, craftspeople, family and friends. Community needs closeness and intimacy to thrive. Tragically, the coronavirus also thrives on closeness and intimacy. We must sacrifice the one to save us from the other.
The Maiwa School of Textiles is deeply rooted in the conception of learning with a master artisan beside a student, guiding technique. Exactly what we love about our classes makes them difficult to deliver online — the hands in the dye pot, the feeling of cloth between your fingers, the sound, the smell, the intimate presence of the art.
Maiwa is going to do its level best to maintain as much community as possible without being in the same physical space. We will still be available online (maiwa.com). We will be channeling all of our creativity and energy into our online presence while our physical stores remain shuttered.
In times of great adversity there is the opportunity for remarkable action. We are hopeful. Yet we have to acknowledge that a formidable uncertainty has clouded the horizon. We must do what we have always done - only more so. Have faith, believe in the value of human actions and individual gestures, hope and work each day to keep the light alive so it can shine through the night.
MAIWA SCHOOL OF TEXTILES
To assist in preventing the spread of the coronavirus we have had to cancel some workshops. Spring 2020 workshops taught by instructors arriving from outside Canada have been cancelled. Workshops scheduled for March and April 2020 have also been cancelled. Students will receive emails directly outlining their options. For full information please check our School of Textiles website.