Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bible Piece and Getting the Journey Out of the Closet

Hi Everyone,

Here is a picture of the bible piece that I tried to upload during my last entry. As mentioned in the last entry, I created this for
Linda MacDonald's surface design class by cutting out bible passages dealing with the subjugation of women and sewing the pieces together. The block is a traditional one called "Bridal Path." I created this one block, and then thought I should make more. So, I created 3 more. Four blocks together didn't look as awesome as I thought it would. It looked like just a grayish thing. I was talking about this situation with Candace Crockett last semester, and she said that the single block has an intimacy that makes people want to approach it & read it. So, I've decided to go with just one block and to back the piece with garters, since garters have a certain resonance at weddings. I also decided to use garters to frame it. I'm in the process of getting these garters. One vendor wanted over $30 to ship 30 garters. I can't imagine 30 garters requiring $30 of postage unless they were coming from another continent. So, the garter acquisition process is ongoing. I'd gladly hear of any suggestions where I can get black garters on the cheap.

Here's a close-up. I realize that this isn't such a good picture because one can't read the text.

On to getting the journey out of the closet: Earlier today Doug and I purchased this fabuzoid Angela Adams rug. Angela Adams is an innovative designer whose creations have a mid century modern twist. To the left is a picture from her website of the rug we bought. In the past Doug and I have lived in homes with a lot of character; however, we currently live in a sterile condo built in 1980. We realize that we have to dress up the place. Somehow, our having bought this rug was a spark for me to get all of those exciting textiles out of the closet. Over the years I've acquired textiles, but haven't displayed them because I didn't want them to get damaged or dirty, etc. For some reason, today I thought, "I need to bring these textiles out of the closet & enjoy them because who knows how much time I have left?" These textiles that I pulled out today are a record of my journey & friendships, so why not have these reminders visible? Here are a few pictures:

The first piece that I pulled out was this Ewe strip weaving. When I turned 40 in 2004, I wanted to treat myself to a piece of kente cloth. At the 2004 Conference of Northern California Handweavers, there was a vendor selling kente cloth. I had planned to buy the geometric Asante cloth, the image of which has been appropriated to represent all of African textiles, but this piece of Ewe cloth really struck me, so I bought it. (More about appropriation/exoticization of other culture's textile traditions will come up in a future blog entry.) A detail of the cloth is at the left.

I then came across a printed textile that my friend Sandy Ellison brought back from Japan for me. I had been teaching her some shibori techniques, and she found this printed fabric of a shibori pattern. This piece reminds me of my good friend Sandy & the fun lunch breaks we've had manipulating cloth & sharing creative ideas. I've put this piece on the back of my loom chair so I could be reminded of that creative interchange with Sandy every time I sit down to weave.

I also found this wonderful piece that my friend Lary Abramson gave me a number of years ago. It appears to be of a Mezoamerican deity. Lary has been a wonderful friend who helped me through some tough times in my 30s when I was dating someone I shouldn't've been dating. (Haven't we all been there?) I have to find a special place for this piece.

This ikat piece is from Trevor, an ex of our good friend Clark Wilson. I rarely see Trevor any more, but I was touched when he said he had me in mind when he selected this piece for me during his trip to Indonesia.

I also came across this piece that I received when I was living in Japan in 1995-1996. A friend of one of my students created this piece. They tried to explain the process to me, but at the time I had no knowledge of the creation of textiles. Looking at it today, I imagine the piece probably is katazome (stenciling). John Marshall is an American katazome master. There's great stuff on his site.

The final piece has always been out of the closet, but I dusted it while I was in my celebration mode. I bought this cut raffia piece at a flea market in Santa Fe the weekend I met Doug there. (We both were vacationing there at the same time.) So, I initially bought this piece because I loved it, but it also has come to remind me of that wonderful weekend.

My question for you readers is what do your textiles mean to you? What are their connections with your journey?


Cathy said...

The Bridal Path is astoundingly beautiful tho I can't read the text - no matter, I can remember.

My crocheted curtains are a homage to my greatgrandparents and their DIL (my grandmother) who tatted and crocheted many of the items in the hopechest I inherited.

Stefanie said...

My mother & I recently discovered numerous familial textiles, including my great-grandmother's wedding quilt (hand-embroidered with the names of each woman who worked on the quilt).

We also unearthed a small pile of textiles from various parts of the world (probably 1950's vintage), which were given to my grandparents as gifts. These include a beautiful silk sari woven with hammered gold threads and many other fabulous textiles (embroidered pineapple fiber, iridescent silks...)

As a weaver, I understand the time & care taken to create each of these pieces and it's hard not to weep when I handle them. I haven't yet been able to figure out how to display them properly...

Lara said...

B, I'm so happy to see a photo of the bible piece. I love it. I look forward to more photos! xo, L