The Choki Traditional Art School in Bhutan, short CTAS, is supported by BERNINA with sewing machines. In these articles we already reported about our engagement, mediated by the Fontana Foundation:
The CTAS was founded in 1999. It offers the possibility of a perennial study in traditional arts to materially disadvantaged young people of whom many can’t go to school and thus opens professional perspectives for them.
At the school, the BERNINA sewing machines are mainly used for producing souvenirs and doing some small works. They also support and expand craft skills of the students.
Recently, the experienced quilt Artist Pia Welsch visited the school in Thimphu, the capital of Buthan, to teach the basics of quilting in a four weeks training. “Sketching” and the handling of colours are only a few of the teaching units of her training. Under her expert instruction, the professional use of sewing machines had been practiced as well.
During the four-week course, the students learnt different types of sewing and could add other facets to the spectrum of their skills. The aim of the course was – among other things – to develop new ideas for products on the basis of their tradition, which shall achieve high sales not only in the local market. During the course, beautiful cushions were made of local fabrics, decorated with machine.
The students really loved this class. Most of them are interested in further developing their experience in this field of work.
More information about CTAS can be found in this Video:
By the way, the speaker is Sonam Choki herself, the principal of CTAS and daughter of its founder.
The CTAS wants to finance the school as far as possible by commission works of their advanced students. This quilt class with Pia Welsch is one step on the way to this aim. The students were able to acquire new techniques of crafting skills, which will be helpful for the long-term survival of the school and its educational offer.
Despite all this, the school is still dependent on supporters. A significant part of the costs are being paid by the Fontana Foundation in Zurich. BERNINA International AG is pleased to contribute a small part to the project’s success.