While cashmere is not a traditional indigenous material, this bag shows off Amis artist Piyaw’s keen eye for color in her first attempt to hand paint cashmere. She has currently only one cashmere bag in this size, and is not sure she will make more, so this may well be the only bag of its kind in the world. The 20.5” strap features Piyaw’s beadwork and handmade pottery beads. Clay was a material traditionally used by the Amis tribe to make a special ceremonial pottery called atomo, as well as everyday use items. Leftover pieces of clay were hand formed to create ornaments and accessories.
Piyaw is a member of the Amis tribe, living in Taibalang Village in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan. She began to create pottery in 1994 as a hobby. Then, in 2002, she studied how to make pottery beads. Traditionally, Amis made ornaments using natural, local materials, and even from leftover clay from making everyday ceramic objects. But, there was no purposeful research and development. Today, Piyaw works to combine her pottery beads with smaller, colored beads to create unique accessories and wall hangings.