Over the summer I put a lot of effort into some new textile necklaces. I recently sold the one I was most pleased with but I thought I would share a couple of images of the piece.
The Summer Show, the annual exhibition of work by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen membership is on at their Bovey Tracey gallery until 4th September 2016.
This year’s show has no specific theme and features a particularly wide range of exciting work. Wai-Yuk is represented by her “Taunton Kimono”.
If you have the chance to be in South Devon over the next month, try to get along to see a very fine selection of the best in contemporary craft.
The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9AF
Open seven days a week – 10.00am to 5.30pm.
This summer we spent a glorious two weeks travelling in Japan. This was a trip my husband and I had been planning for years and we had reached the point where we just had to make it happen. In addition to visiting many of Japan’s historic craft textile areas we also saw many examples of other traditional crafts; also beautiful scenery, exotic gardens, ancient castles and temples, plus lots of fabulous food!
Sadly the best textile museums we visited did not allow photography which limits my ability to share all I saw.
Nishijin Textile Centre
The Nishijin district of Kyoto has been home to fine fabric weavers since the fifteenth century. The Nishijin Textile Centre is dedicated to this great woven textile tradition.
Clearly this was a venture that was set up with a grand vision but there is now a slight air of a place that has seen better days. The Centre has some good educational exhibits, examples and models of many types of loom and a gallery with examples of traditional Kyoto weaving (no photography).
There are also a large number of looms used for teaching and demonstrations but these have a sense of being squashed into a corner by the large sales area stocked with very expensive but not always high quality Nishjin weaving souvenirs.
Rather than people interested in woven textiles the Centre now seems heavily focussed on the endless stream of coach tours that disembark for twenty minutes, take a few photos of the “Kimono Fashion Show”, buy some gifts then depart to make way for the next coach. So far as we could tell, at least 95% of the visitors did not bother visiting the gallery and museum floor at all.
If you manage to visit Kyoto you will never be short of places to see there but if you are interested in textiles The Nishijin Centre is worth a visit despite its slightly over-commercialized atmosphere.
Hi, I have not been posting here for a while but I hope to get back to adding regular updates soon.
Meantime here are a few of my recent textile jewellery pieces.
This is a post about a fabulous “Spanish” or “Manila” shawl on display in the Chinese section of the V&A Museum in London.
One of the things that I love best about revisiting my favourite museums is the possibility of noticing and then focussing on an object that one has previously passed by. I know that I have walked past this shawl many times and I have even stopped to look at it, yet it was only on my last visit that the full beauty and quality of this item fully struck home.
The “Manton de Manila” has a long history in Spain. The shawls were made in South China but the name comes from the port of Manila in the Philippines. The Philippines became a Spanish colony in 1565 and was part of New Spain, administered from Mexico. This meant that Asian goods for the Spanish market were shipped on “Manila Galleons” to the west coast of Mexico, then transported overland to the port of Veracruz for shipment to Spain.
The early shawls were embroidered with native Chinese motifs but the dragons, pagodas, etc., were soon replaced by colourful flowers and other images more suited to the customers taste. The other big addition the Spanish made was the long swaying fringe which provided the movement that made the shawl such a classic piece of flamenco costume.
This shawl is striking for the quality of the embroidery. This piece was made purely as a commercial export product, with no pretensions to being art, yet both the workmanship and the design are full of vitality. This design is also notable for the distinctly Chinese elements in the design, such as the “lion dogs”.
The shawl dates from the second half of the19th century when the “Spanish shawl” became an important fashion accessory throughout Europe and North America. In Britain they were frequently put to another use, commonly being employed as a decorative cover for grand pianos.
For some wonderful photographs of flamenco dancers and their shawls please see Ottoman Dandy’s post.
I thought I would share a few of the pieces I’ve been working on lately. With these brooches I have focussed on creating lines that flow and echo within the shapes.
We’ve been experimenting with different lighting when photographing, but it’s sometimes a struggle to reproduce the original colours in photos. Let me know what you think!