“They are amazing! I love their flexibility and the openness, but also very affirmative with the process.” ── Novita Tourisia, founder of Cinta Bumi Artisans
“This collaboration was extremely challenging and experimental, as we tried materials and techniques we wouldn’t have used before. We had to rack our brains in the process, always thinking about how to make what the designer wanted.”—Tsai Chen-Ling and Sun Hui-Ting, artisans at Xinpu Persimmon Dye House
DESIGNER and CRAFT COMMUNITY
Cinta Bumi Artisans was founded in 2013 by Novieta Tourisia who switched from working in the tourism field to dedicating herself to the world of artisanal craftsmanship. Cinta Bumi Artisans create beautiful pieces from barkcloth with the craftspeople of Central Sulawesi in Indonesia. Novita also works extensively with natural dyes, natural fabrics, and handmade papers. She describes herself as being especially intrigued and empowered to create wearable poetry based on the interconnections between humans and nature as well as the intra-connection between humans themselves.
As an origin place of Taiwan’s Persimmon Dyeing, Xinpu Persimmon Dye House promotes the beauty of persimmon dyeing with the concept of “temperature of touch” and “friendly environment”. The complicated and time-consuming process of persimmon dyeing needs a lot of labor; however, the dyed fabric is shown as simple but full of tactile feeling and warmth. Persimmon dyeing reflects that precious and beautiful things need time. Xinpu Persimmon Dye House not only pursues the expression and the art of dying but also passes on the concept of slow living and respect for the nature and environment through their hands.
Tsai Chen-ling and Sun Hui-ting, who have been engaged in persimmon dyeing for years, are the crafters participating in this co-creation project. They shared their worries and uncertainties when they first received the design…familiar with cotton and linen fabrics, this was their first time taking on the challenge of combining persimmon dyeing with silk. Persimmon dye contains tannic acid, which hardens silk; the dyeing process requires sun-drying, but silk cannot withstand too much exposure to sunlight.
Gradually innovating through experiments of materials and dyes, they adopted the method of drawing pictures using persimmon juice as the dye on the tote bag in the Sparks of Life collection for the first time; they overlapped smaller circles on larger circles to create layers and gradient shades of colors. Regarding silk that is sensitive to light, they tried to sprinkle salt to create the effect of stars, as well as adding rice bran to make paste dyes, but never got the results they were looking for. Lastly, they discovered that “physical sun protection” of covering silk with wooden boards was blunt but effective. First, they applied dye to the pattern, and then cover the dye up before it dried; this way, the parts that were exposed to sunlight became dark brown, whereas the parts that were not exposed to sunlight remained light orange, the color of persimmon, and the edges of the patterns also resembled the shape of flame due to the tannic acid in the dye.
FIBER CO-CREATED PRODUCTS
〈Sparks of Life〉
The natural brown color tone of persimmon dye, to designer Novieta Tourisia, is the color of natural elements like soil, tree trunk, food, and architecture. Circling on the concept of “land,” Novieta created the Sparks of Life collection of tote bags and Kaftan tops.
The 100%-cotton Sparks of Life tote bag explores the tension and vitality of life; balls of fire in different shades of persimmon dye dance and glitter to symbolize the breaths of all the natural elements, reminding us to constantly savor the frequencies in space and earth, and observe and discover the vitalities beyond our own.
The kaftan top in the Sparks of Life collection is inspired by the stay-at-home life during the pandemic, manifesting a simple, warm, and comfortable spirit. Using curves and tree branches as themes, the fire-like totems dancing at the hemline represent trees, roots, and even coral reefs in the sea that continue to grow in adversity and showcase themselves.
Cinta Bumi Artisans
Hi! I am Cinta Bumi Artisans!