Collection: Coalmine Designs - Dia Norrington

Dia Norrington’s life has pivoted in one way or another around her love of traditional cultures, especially of the East, for the majority of her adult life.  She eagerly studied the ancient traditions and philosophies of India, China and Japan during her undergraduate days, and then had the opportunity to live in Kyoto, Japan for eight transformative years. 

Upon her return to Canada, she spent two intense years studying Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shiatsu Therapy at the Shiatsu School of Canada in Toronto. She then set up her Shiatsu Practice in Prince Edward County in 2010, and continued practicing until chronic health issues forced her to give it up rather suddenly in the summer of 2017.  It was not long after that that she took up slow stitching; to find purpose, to heal, and to stimulate her ‘always creative’ brain. 

 Over the past several years, her designs have evolved from bags and wall hangings to simplified ‘therapeutic’ items, such as meditation cushions, eye pillows, and neck pillows.  Using natural fabrics that were gifted to her or bartered for from friends, the focus of her design philosophy is on functionality, simplicity, and restraint. And of course, healing.

Dia’s work has been influenced not only by her chronic health issues, and by her immersion in Asian aesthetics, philosophy, and medicinal practices, but also by her immense concern for the future of life on our planet. The concept of ‘Coalmine Designs’ (as in, being ‘a canary in a coalmine’) came to her clearly and suddenly during a meditation, as she was processing her health, her place in the human community, her place in the natural world, and her place in the Universe.

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