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The Unicorn Tapestries

Art and artisans have transcended regions, cultures and time and one never has to travel far to find either. Our team Shokunin loves exploring different traditional arts and crafts together, and a few days ago on a beautiful spring afternoon, we decided to make the trek to the Cloisters Museum, right here in NYC. Source The Cloisters is dedicated to medieval art and boasts an impressive collection, but the real draw that brought us there were the lush gardens and the Unicorn tapestries. The Unicorn tapestries are permanent exhibits at the Museum and we were most curious about them not just for their construction but also for the unicorns in these tapestries as these fabled creatures have been a topic of scholarly discussions...

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Amirugumi: Our Crocheted Friends!

Team Shokunin recently had the joy of going to ResoBox, a Japanese Cultural arts center in New York City.  Walking around the exhibit was like walking into a wonderland of toys just waiting to come to life! Many cultural centers are dedicated to presenting traditional cultural experiences, reminding expatriates and their descendants of the beauty and pride of their heritage.  Image source However, ResoBox is a little different as it is dedicated to infusing the world with Japanese art and culture, and to see how it changes and influences the world around it. The 3rd Annual Amigurumi Exhibition was held between Dec 9, 2016 - Mar 31, 2017 and it was called “World Amigurumi Exhibition vol. 3: Mixed Materials Made Mini Monsters! The exhibition required that each...

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Curry Queen of Queens, New York

Nupur Arora is as vibrant as the delectable dishes she serves up from her kitchen in Queens, NY where she has lived for a couple of decades. She is gregarious, full of incredibly entertaining and funny stories, and a woman of many talents. She is the kind of person who lights up the room she enters. On our recent visit she cooked up this incredible lamb stew  and served it with fragrant rice that made us swoon. Here is Nupur's recipe served up with a tale, in her own words: __________________________________________________________________ MEMSAHIB’S COLONIAL LAMB STEW A slow-simmered, aromatic stew of bone-in lamb, potatoes and carrots In the days of the British rule or “Raj” in India, the officer’s wives would personally...

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Worry Dolls – little pieces of Mayan magic in our world

The Worry Dolls were born in Highlands of Guatemala in the laps of indigenous people. These dolls are little pieces of art and tradition that originated in the ancient Mayan culture.  The tradition has been passed down from one generation to the next and now can be found all over the world.                                              Worry dolls are a collection of 6 -12 dolls, made by hand, usually no more than 2 inches tall.  They are dressed in traditional Mayan clothes and headdresses made from scraps of hand-woven cloth.  Before going to bed a person is supposed to tell each doll a worry, then tuck them into...

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At New York's Ukranian Museum, learn crafting Pysanky!

On the lower east side of NYC, just a couple of steps from Cooper Square lies a small museum dedicated to preserving Ukranian art & culture. When you first walk in you can see the permanent exhibit of Pysanky, Ukranian decorated Easter Eggs, on display. Image - Pysanky, Ukranian decorated Easter Eggs  Each one an amazing piece of artwork created using batik techniques. If your curiosity takes you to their basement, past the folk art exhibit, in the back left-hand corner, you will find the classroom filled with students of all ages and nationalities learning the magic and beauty of making their own Pysanky. Image - Gerdany And if you are lucky enough you will also find other workshops like Ukrainian Bead Weaving...

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