March 2, 2015

Timeless Design: The Dream Catcher

The night air is filled with dreams. Good dreams are clear and know the way to the dreamer, descending through the feathers. The slightest movement of the feathers indicates the passage of yet another beautiful dream. Bad dreams, however, are confused and confusing. They cannot find their way through the web and are trapped there until the sun rises and evaporates them like the morning dew.

The dream catcher has been a part of Native American culture for generations. Some Native Americans of North America held the hoop in the highest esteem, because it symbolized strength and unity. Many symbols originated from the hoop, and one of these symbols is the dream catcher.

Dreamcatcher style copyright Visuology

The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, whilst letting positive dreams through. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the centre of the dream catcher, and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web, and expire when the first rays of the sun struck them. Dream catchers made from twigs, sinew and feathers have been produced since ancient times by Ojibwa people – woven by grandfathers and grandmothers for newborn children, and hung above the cradleboard to ensure that the infants of the family have only peaceful, beautiful dreams.

Dream catcher inspired jewellery has been on the hippy inspired festival scene for years, but now this timeless trend is feeding through to handcrafted fashion, textiles, home accessories and interior decoration – as shown in the images above and below.

Dreamcatcher inspired design copyright Visuology

The Come Rain, Come Shine Chandelier (2004, below right) is a signature product of Cooperativa de Trabalho Artesanal e de Costura da Rocinha Ltda (Coopo Roca). This women’s cooperative was founded by Maria Tereas Leal in the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1980s. Leal has fostered projects with world-renowned designers – such as Tord Boontje, who created this chandeilier design for the Los Angeles based design company Artecnica (commissioned as part of their Design with Conscience campaign). The dream catcher style knitted dress (below left) was created by Elizabeth Scott.

Dream catcher design copyright Visuology

Images 1-3 from Visuology Issue 2, where you will find full photo credits and more ‘style beyond trends’.

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