Devon Guild Summer Show

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”.

Devon Guild Summer Show

Private View

The Summer Show Private View

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.

Japan 1 – Nishijin Textile Centre

Japan

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.

One of the many beautiful looms on display at the Nishijin Textile Centre

One of the many beautiful looms on display at the Nishijin Textile Centre

An exhibit showing the life cycle of the silkworm

An exhibit showing the life cycle of the silkworm

The museum also has models of many types of loom

The museum also has models of many types of loom

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).

This is a commercial machine-embroidered kimono in the style of traditional Nishijin weaving

This is a commercial machine-embroidered kimono in the style of traditional Nishijin weaving

Detail of the modern kimono fabric

Detail of the modern kimono fabric

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.

Demonstration of weaving on a Jacquard (punched-card) loom

Demonstration of weaving on a Jacquard (punched-card) loom

The Centre has many interesting machines and exhibits but they are crammed together to make space for the large souvenir shop

The Centre has many interesting machines and exhibits but they are crammed together to make space for the large souvenir shop

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.

Sadly, the "Kimono Fashion Show" did not feature traditional Nishijin weaving. Many kimono were in commercial printed fabrics

Sadly, the “Kimono Fashion Show” did not feature traditional Nishijin weaving. Many kimono were in commercial printed fabrics

Another model in the kimono show

Another model in the kimono show

A Nishijin weaving loom

A Nishijin weaving loom

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.

Some New jewellery Work

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.

A cuff bracelet

A cuff bracelet

Matching textile necklace

Matching textile necklace

Another, distinctly assymetric necklace

Another, distinctly asymmetric necklace

Brooches are not the fastest sellers but are still my favourite objects

Brooches are not the fastest sellers but are still my favourite objects

And this winter I have been making a lot of earrings!

And this winter I have been making a lot of earrings!

More earrings

More earrings

Yet more earrings!

Yet more earrings!

Just a few samples of my recent earrings

I have made many more – It has been a long (wet) winter!

Manila Shawl in the V&A

This is a post about a fabulous “Spanish” or “Manila” shawl on display in the Chinese section of the V&A Museum in London.

The beautiful Spanish shawl in the V&A

The beautiful Spanish shawl in the V&A

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 shawl features exquisitely embroidered flowers, insects and birds

The shawl features exquisitely embroidered flowers, insects and birds

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.

Bird detail - Possibly a pheonix?

Bird detail

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.

The shading on the flower petals is meticulously executed

The shading on the flower petals is meticulously executed

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”.

Unlike most shawls for the European market, this one features distinctly Chinese motifs

Unlike most shawls for the European market, this one features distinctly Chinese motifs

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.

One of many quirky insects

One of many quirky insects

One of many finely detailed butterflies

One of many finely detailed butterflies

For some wonderful photographs of flamenco dancers and their shawls please see Ottoman Dandy’s post.

New Brooches

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!

Pastel rainbow textile brooch by Wai-Yuk KennedyAutumn textile brooch by Wai-Yuk Kennedy???????????????????????????????