One doesn’t generally stand in silence enveloped by tranquility when walking a trade show floor; and yet that is exactly how I found myself in Las Vegas when I stopped to see Michele Brody’s ‘Reflections in Tea’ art installation.  She was inspired by the tradition of drinking and sharing tea throughout the world.  When she started her project, she invited participants to share a cup of tea with her served in paper tea filters and then transcribe their conversation onto  stained bags that had been dried and flattened.  This resulted in her paper quilt.

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Brody’s art inspired World Tea to use her art as a way of reaching out to the people of Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.  Delegates were invited to write a message of hope or prayer onto the stained filters to be hung and make a donation to the relief fund.  The display was truly breathtaking and beautiful and serene in every way possible.

Brody is now taking her exhibit to New York where she will cover the walls of the Hudson Guild Gallery with 500 of these messages on stained paper that from a distance will form a rolling landscape – and up close will show messages inspired by tea drinking.

As much as tea touches my life every single day, I am still in awe of how it inspires beauty and serenity and community above all else.