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A Stage for Wonder

An Insider’s Look at Issue Two

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If all things revealed were at one time unturned stones, Wonder invites the act of turning

__A Stage for Wonder

There is no greater experience in life than to momentarily transcend the bounds of human limitation. Whether a spiritual catharsis, a restful cloud upon the highest peaks, or the experience of scenery that predates mankind, we have all experienced wonder. We are born with it, this innate ability to let go and give in to the chills, the jaw-dropping silence, the unutterable glimpse into a different dimension where things that the world has not yet known, exist.

However we must move beyond observation, into a practice of speculation. For to sweep the stars brings one moment of awe, but to speculate their origins? To observe the bird in flight is of one beauty, but to fulfill man’s desire to fly? These are the works of some of history’s greatest minds and inventive contributions.

In Issue Two, we wanted not only to remind our readers, but ourselves, how inadequate we are in creating something of worth, something genuine and enduring without this sixth sense of creativity. In our busyness in making things, we forget that investing time in curiosity is what drives true creation. So we took on a subject most often left to the poet and philosopher and portrayed that invaluable ingredient in creative work through the Woven lens, where connection is key and legacy is the aim.

In the issue you’ll find a series of essays that unpack what it means to view creative work as our own Stage for Wonder. It begins with “All the World,” a reflection on the boundlessness of the Universe, poised to reveal its secrets to the brave and the curious. It posits that, “If all things revealed were at one time unturned stones, Wonder invites the act of turning, its presence found at the crossroads of the known and unknown.” It reminds readers, also, that, “The world and the universe are our own stage for wonder, our creative acts the metaphorical plays we write for it,” and to continue dreaming and improving our work by the influence of the ineffable. “Might the dotted starry night sky inspire a painting, or perhaps a speckled, earthy clay? Might the expansiveness of the vast blue be an inspiration for breathable, open architecture – space providing the mind, man’s internal universe, with room for thought?

We go on to detail the role of the Observationist, a persona actively engaging in his or her own port of entry into intentional awe. The Observationist is known for making habit of the small moments and reflection that propels their work into a higher realm of complexity. “It is the discipline of play, a concerted effort to empty oneself of task in order to rediscover the treasure of creation; routinely returning to the foothills of discovery, drawing in the dirt a sphere of curiosity and delight.”

 

For our makers we include eight stories of wonder at work. Erik and Amanda of Ginew based in Portland, Oregon, are designers and co-creators of menswear jackets and leather goods inspired by a lineage of resilience and their Native heritage. Rachel Silkowski of Rasi Wine in Lompoc, California, reminds us of the complexity and connection with the land that make a wine as sweet as it is one of a kind. Alex Devol of Wooden & Woven in Rivington, England, shares his road to recovery from the world of fast fashion to a deliberately slow production model that allows for experimentation and artistry with all things wooden. Erica Swanson invites us into her light-filled Tea Bars in Portland, Oregon bringing an international culture to her beloved, inviting community. Meg Drinkwater and Megan Perry mix up the 80’s and clean modernism with slip-cast ceramics and a traditional craftsman mentality in Portland, Oregon. Refueled Magazine and its visionary creator, Chris Brown of Dallas, Texas, remind us to follow what we love and dive deep into the wilderness of process. Ricky Foster and Jazmin Lee of Warfield Supply are changing the name of leatherwork in Nashville, Tennessee, indulging in the influence of the senses to create a product as much art as it is craft. Finally Laura Shope of A Very Fine South in Atlanta, Georgia, reminds us that wonder is what we make of it, and that those right in front of us can supply the best inspiration the world over.

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One of the central pieces of the issue is entitled, “Rhythm of Discovery,” and alludes to one of the greatest conductors of the creative force: motion. Through a series of physical practices and famous artist, writer, and scientist “practitioners,” we derive inspiration from their postures, their habits. We demonstrate that, “If the mind and body are connected, best move the body to enliven the mind. From early morning walks to late night card games, we partner with the greats as they jogged discovery from the rhythms of everyday life.”

Beyond the makers and thinkers, there’s poetry and landscape, even a timeline that plots the invention of the compass in 206 BCE to the Wright Brothers first piloted flight in 1903. The issue offers not only a walk not only through the past, but through the White Sands of New Mexico, the Painted Hills of Central Oregon, and the inexplicable Field of Wonders in California’s Joshua Tree. We hope that the imagery and insight we’ve included in Issue Two inspires a new wave of wonder in your work, as it already has in our own.

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