Focus on Design

Anna Piro, Lynne Tobin and Celia Jackmauh

Anna Piro is an 8th grader in NH.
Celia Jackmauh is a teacher and graphic designer in VT.
Lynne Tobin is an artist in RI.

When they were in India together, Anna, Celia, and Lynne worked with a small group of widows to create Angel ornaments for the 2015 Holiday Season.

The Angels are hand sewn by young widows as part of a training program at the Shanthimalai Handicraft Development Society. Sales provide young widows with a living wage, free medical care, schooling for their children, and a supportive community.

Profits help support elderly widows in the Om Shanthi Homes.

Pink angel with blonge hair

Anna:

"We asked questions about the angels, details like where does the star crown go? What length for the dress? It was fun to work on the angels and help design them. They knew a little bit of English. We used a lot of hand gestures trying to communicate. Somehow we could understand each other, I don't really know how. It was the first time I've ever done anything like this. I'd love to do it again. It was really, really fun!"

Blue angel with blonde hair

Celia:

"The widows work together in a group of about 10 women in a fairly small space. It's a real workshop, with their children playing around them. At first they're very, very shy, almost hidden. It took time for them to open up, to begin to smile and come out of their shells. Their joy comes out in the work itself."
"They have a very refined aesthetic. fun, playful, harmonious. There's an authorship, an intuitive combining of fabrics and colors. You can really trust their input. It's clear that the Angels are a very important expression of themselves."

Red angel with black hair

Lynne:

"In the widows' sewing group there's a feel of bonding, of women coming together. This is a crucial aspect of what is taking place through their work, spiritually and emotionally. It's healing."
"I didn't realize what a heart connection I have to this project. It wasn't something I decided to get involved in. IT involved me! This project brings so much joy to everyone. It doesn't matter what your role is, whether you're a widow who is making the Angels or you're working with the widows as part of the design process, whether you're a donor or even simply a shopper who sees an Angel and picks it up. you're part of the project!"

Indian woman making angels Indian woman making angels Indian woman making angels Indian woman making angels

Angels are available at Craft Fairs throughout New England, and at One World Goods in Rochester, NY.

View the Craft Fair schedule.

Make a one-time donation to the Om Shanthi project: