I met Kaz through John Baumgartner, a filmmaker that I happened to sit next to at Pippin months ago. John and I started to chat it up and he told me that I had to meet this girl named Kaz. That weekend, Kaz emailed me and told me that she was not only working at a very cool company called Schematic, she is also an author of the Art of Wooing and a filmmaker like John. Kaz approached Zaishu and Reform School a year ago about collaborating on a project. She set out to work with the tribes to produce a limited edition of 50 Baby Zaishu chairs. These one-of-a-kind functional art objects, printed with water-based inks, are exclusively for sale through Reform School, with all proceeds benefiting the Mali District School, supporting arts and sustainability education. In order to capture a broad swath of the artwork and patterns in Fiji today, patterns were selected from the oldest tradition of masi, or stencilling, the northern woven mat patterns, and the symbol of modern Fiji – the ubiquitous bula flower patterns. By using silk screens, Kaz was able to include people of all levels in the production. In addition, she used the project as a means to stimulate discussions about traditional and modern arts in Fiji as well as what it means to produce products sustainably.
Here's more about the program that took her to Fiji – TribeWanted – a unique community based tourism program that is simultaneously based in the economically-depressed north of Fiji on an island called Vorovoro as well as online. Working closely with the Mali tribe, the TribeWanted members spend time on the island learning about the traditions of Fiji, and sharing their knowledge on what it means to be green. Here is the Zaishu seat/table:
Her book, The Art of Wooing: An Email Tale of Modern Courtship is described as Griffin and Sabine meets Sex in the City. I am currently reading it and I just love how it's based on her true story of a courtship through emails.
We met and ate lunch at this really quaint cafe in West LA called Dolce Isola. (Kaz's choice.)
I had to take pictures of the menu and postcard.
Really good food – they have sandwiches, salads, and really yummy baked goods. In any case, Kaz and I met and it was like we were old friends. Hugs all around. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us, through the Art of Wooing, for going to Fiji and designing beautiful chairs for the Mali District School, and for being an all around class act. Can't wait to hang out again!