From the time of the early humans, discovery has been celebrated, be it fire, wheels or the concept of relativity. Even more remarkable is the celebration of spiritual, or introspective discovery. Humans have always tried to go ahead in life, progress to reach the highest possible level of scientific and materialistic achievement, and along the lines have forgotten the importance of stopping and taking time to introspect.
In May of 2023 after completing the brutal final semester of my bachelor's in design from NIFT, I paid a visit to the Shuttles & Needles studio for the first time. I had heard of the studio from seniors and seen the projects my batchmates and my seniors had done. So, I was very excited to just visit and see the place. When I first went there, I just felt a sense of calm in the air, which was pretty much the opposite of how college was due to the chaos and stress of competition at work. I ended up meeting the core team at Shuttles & Needles on that day and I had no idea how that one meeting would be one of my life's best decisions.
Post college when I went back to Ludhiana, everything was very different, almost completely silent, and that is when I took out my phone and texted Shuttles & Needles asking for the details of the SAORI weaving workshop and to my delight I got a full overview of a 3-week curated SAORI workshop. After finalising the dates, I was just keeping myself busy until the day I left for Chennai once again. Sadly I lost my grandmother during this time and suddenly all the anxiety and emotions that were built up started resurfacing and hindering my daily life.
I entered Shuttles & Needles once again, but this time everything was different. In May, I was like a kid who sees an amusement park from the outside while on a drive with his family, but this time I was a kid who was let into the park with an “all-you-can-do” pass, or an artist who is let into the stationery store with an unlimited budget. In the studio, I was just an explorer on an adventure.
I fully understood the importance of “simple” and how u can make a lot out of just one technique. There wasn't a day in the studio where I didn't learn something new about weaving and more importantly, not a day went by when I didn't understand a new thing about myself. The course ended with me doing an amazing project with guidance from the people at the studio.
The work I did in the studio helped me gain the confidence to start a label of my own “Aks”, a brainchild of my ideas of creating something unique and bringing out stories for the world to see.
It was through this 3 week's workshop that I not only began my healing journey but also took a lifetime's worth of memories and knowledge and understood the importance of letting go of my thoughts and inhibitions for a little time to create something that is purely me.