Shopping & Services

Craft News: Stitches and Stories

An interview with writer, artist, and crafter Maya Calica-Collins

Shares

Maya Calica-Collins has a way with words, as she has authored books, and has edited Candy, Seventeen Philippines, and Smile magazines. Most recently, she wears a new hat as an artist with her exhibit “Sew and Tell,” which ran at plush toy and décor store La Pomme. In the exhibit, Maya combines her skill with words, needlework, and farming memories to create delightful “narrative embroidery.”

Her whimsical images are hand-embroidered onto natural-dyed cloth. On one delicate, tea-stained canvas, a tiny girl takes flight on a giant bird with crocheted wings. On another large canvas, seven sisters in appliquéd dresses comfort each other. Accompanying stories about each piece are read separately, while a recording of the artist reading them out loud plays in the background. Here, Maya tells us more about her lovely visual stories.

Real Living: You’ve worked in publishing for a long time. What prompted you to sew?

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Maya Calica-Collins: When I moved to New Zealand to join my husband in 2011, I was working freelance and finally had the free time to dabble in hobbies, such as sewing. Two friends, one of them being Apol Lejano-Massebieau of La Pomme, turned me on to sewing. I began with a sewing machine I borrowed from my sister Rina and then took it from there. 

RL: What inspired you to launch your own exhibit?

MCC: Apol was at my book launch for Good Night, Lala (Adarna House) last July 2013. She was really impressed with the hand-embroidered artworks of the book, and asked me if I wanted to do a group show with her. Of course, I said "yes!" That was basically it. I took her word for it, and we kept in touch via email. I would do some artworks and email them to her. Then we met in Manila in June 2014 so she could see the pieces in person.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

RL: All of your sewn works tell a story; some of them from your own personal experiences. Did the exhibit guests discover some that rung true to their own experiences?

MCC: I called the show "Sew and Tell" because the stories got written out in my head while I sewed the artworks (Apol coined the term "narrative embroidery," which I thought was brilliant). There were a few personal experiences there, i.e. "I, Wallflower," about a girl who doesn't get asked to dance at a party, "Seven Sisters" which was inspired by when we all gathered together at my mom's funeral, and "Something Blue"—about a mature bride. Quite a few connected with "Omiyage (The Gift),” which was about a woman who cared for stray animals who is gifted with a human child one day. The surprise gift sends a conflict of emotions coursing through her veins –she rejoices and mourns. I have felt that too, as a stepmom. Others who did love it were mothers, adoptive moms, or moms to animals. I think it's the universal emotion of wanting to be the best we can be to the little ones that come into our lives.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

RL: Will we be seeing more of your creative works as a “sewing story-teller?” 

MCC: I certainly hope so! I feel I've only just begun, and there are definitely more stories inside me.

Learn more about Maya’s work at www.mayacalica.com. You can inquire about her art locally at www.lapommehome.com

Artwork photos by Toto Labrador. La Pomme photo by Dairy Darilag.

More on Realliving.com.ph

Shares
Recommended Videos

Latest Stories

Will Property Prices Change After the ECQ? An Expert Answers

How will COVID-19 pandemic and global recession affect the real estate industry?

You Can Go on a Virtual 'Visita Iglesia' This Holy Week

Visit these seven historical churches without leaving your home.

The Most Effective Way to Disinfect Your Kitchen Sink, According to an Expert

FYI, it's one of the dirtiest spots in your home.

Cebu-based Architects Share Sanitation Tent Design That Can Be Set Up in 2 Hours

As of writing, there are 15 Sunnytation Tents set up in Cebu.

How to Make a Disinfecting Foot Bath, According to a Cleaning Expert

It's highly important to disinfect your shoes!

Airbnb Hosts Are Hurting From Cancellations Due to COVID-19

Many are unhappy with the company's policy on cancellation and refunds.

Grocery Store Shopping Tips During the COVID-19 Quarantine

When you protect yourself, you protect others, too.

How to Properly Sanitize Your Lipsticks, Powders to Avoid Germ Buildup

Aside from makeup brushes, your actual makeup needs regular cleaning, too!

7 Museums You Can Tour Online for Free

Travel without leaving your home.

Earth Hour is Happening Tonight, Here’s What You Can Do

If you can, switch off your lights!

Do Not Try to Make “Rubbing Alcohol” from Rum, Bleach, and Hand Sanitizer

The resulting chemical compound is toxic.
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!