By Julie Jarvis
Posted in REALthings Meditation Blog, on May 19, 2016
Sewing Handwoven Silk
Dolma Tsering is a gift. Using Tibetan tradition and craftsmanship, she translates our designs into practical, beautiful and durable things. Originally, from Ladakh, India, she has a deep meditation practice and a lifetime of working with her hands. A Tibetan Buddhist, Dolma embodies the essential human qualities of goodness, kindness, compassion, and caring to support healing and peace for all.
Hand stuffing cushions
Dolma was born and raised in Ladakh, at the base of the great Himalayas in northern India. A region formally of Tibet, it is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. Here, everything was made by hand: food was grown and harvested by hand; all fabrics were hand-woven; tools and instruments hand-produced. This rich and rare experience is a different way of being in the world, one which is not schooled as much as it is passed down from-heart-to-hand over generations.
As a young woman, Dolma moved to Dharamsala, known worldwide for the presence of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Here she joined a team of Tibetan artisans to hand sew silk Appliqué Thangkas for their spiritual community. Composed of hundreds, if not thousands, of individually embroidered pieces of silk, a completed thangka can be 2 to 3 stories high and is considered a rare sacred treasure.
White Tara Silk Thangka, Hand sewn in Dharamsala, India by the
Tibetan Applique Art Centre
Dolma immigrated to Canada with her children in 2007 and became REALthings’ lead artisan in 2012. Dolma is the heart of REALthings cushions. An artist and a engineer, she works collaboratively with Julie to translate our designs into cushions, always considering the beauty, durability and portability for sitting and carrying.
Cutting bands for inside the Dolma Studio Cushion
Named after our maker, the Dolma Series are crafted similar to cushions found in many TIbetan Buddhist temples. Ours are hand-packed with small tufts of raw cotton using a labour intensive, traditional method that keeps them from ever packing down and to provide consistently firm support.
Hand sewing a Dolma Studio cushion
We often see people hug our cushions during sales meetings, drawn to something hard to capture in words, but what we know as the intelligence in the body that comes from making things with your hands. More than the materials, it is the love, care and special practice and tradition that Dolma and all our other makers put into our cushions.
Reading with her dog Sindu, Dharamsala, India