Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give yourself the gift of an embrace...

with one of Kay's of OnSlenderThreads wondrous creations. I first stumbled upon Kay's store when I was putting a treasury together on Etsy. I was immediately fascinated with her use of soft fibers mixed with precious stones. I'm a texture-holic and this was an amazing combination. Since then, I've featured Kay in several treasuries. It's my absolute pleasure to get her more exposure on Etsy because her creations are fantastic! I was lucky enough to receive one of her treasures as a gift and words cannot express how lovely it is. I asked Kay if she'd partake in a question and answer session with me to be featured on my blog and she happily obliged. After you read Kay's thoughtful answers, I urge you to explore her Etsy store and her website to see more exquisite photos and to read more about her Mindfulness Mantles!

By blending earth’s fibers & stones
these mindfulness mantles are woven to awaken & comfort you.
Being a lifelong dancer, I flourish on gathering grace
from one’s senses to quicken one’s heart.

Each shawl is crafted in quiet reflection
for its future owner—knitted from heart to heart.
Wrap one around yourself to experience
this illuminating dance of fibers and stones.

Wraps to empower, ground, delight
40 Days Shawls to gentle, balance, refine
Survivor Mantles to cocoon, center, transform
~ Kay Moates

How old were you when you first learned to knit? Who taught you?

Knitting has been a part of me for so long I can’t remember not knitting. Coming from a line of women extremely skilled with all types of needles probably planted the love and inclination in my soul. The specific instruction came from my Mother. Actually for all On Slender Threads’ Mindfulness Mantles I use only the first most basic stitch she taught me because it allows the work to flow seamlessly into quiet.

What exactly is a Mindfulness Mantle?

A Mindfulness Mantle is a handmade shawl created as a tool for supporting, refining, and transforming inner work. My desire is to help people embody change by making connections to themselves and their life. The entire crafting process is grounded with intention and symbols. First, each Mantle has a strong earth connection being knit from fine natural fibers and embellished with earthgems (gemstones birthed deep within our Earth). Second, each Mantle carries an invitation to stillness by being created during my quiet. Third, the Mantle embraces a person in gentleness and gives a touchstone to enfold for soothing. Like an artist’s canvas holds a painting, a Mindfulness Mantle supports and holds the energy of ones’ inward journey.

What first inspired you to blend soft fibers with stones?

That evolved during the process of gleaning elements into a whole and was simply a natural happening. I have always loved being embraced by a shawl—that cocooning enlivens me. And, forever, touchstones have helped me focus and move deeply within. The difference in textures and form magnifies each Mindfulness Mantle’s message. During the rendering process I often ponder in amazement and wonder that this fiber once walked the earth and that each unique earthgem knows transformation from our earth’s core.

How are people using the Mindfulness Mantles?

To my pure delight people—men, children, and women—are using them is various ways that suit their individual needs. Some are during rites of passage, for children’s mindfulness, for being in the moment, for sitting practice, as preparation aids for weddings (bride, bridesmaids, and mothers), during care giving, during therapeutic work, and while navigating an illness.

Have you dabbled in any other art forms?

I’ve been in the performing arts for—oh, my goodness—sixty years! As a life-long dancer I created and directed Imagination in Motion, a creative movement dance company for young children, where we danced with a difference inspired by all forms of art with music improvised by our pianist. As a matter of fact, On Slender Threads arose after my retirement as a new way to say the same things that I had taught for years.

What would you like to tell Etsy readers about yourself or your store?

On Slender Threads' Mantles are made from luscious, fine fibers for seasonal harmony . . . silk, cashmere, angora, bamboo, linen, alpaca, pima cotton, baby suri, merino, mohair, wool . . . (some fibers are organic).

There are seven different Mantle collections giving a variety of sizes, shapes, fibers, and earthgems. Also, I especially like to make custom Mantles weaving in the person’s wishes and needs.

I love the way numbers dance through our lives. One of my favorite numbers is 11—On Slender Threads Mindfulness Mantles are based on 11’s. I use every imaginable way to call forth awareness to deepen life’s connections!

Thank you, Kay for participating in this Q&A with me. I wish you much success!

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