Friday, 25 September 2009

Japanese Embroidery Challenge

Over on Stitchin fingers we have a group dedicated to traditional Japanese embroidery, this small but growing group of stitchers contains people at all levels of their studies of Japanese embroidery, some who haven't started yet, and some who are just interested. We compare notes, support each other in our work, and generally just chat about lots of things related to Japanese embroidery. A while ago one of our members brought up the topic of designing our own pieces, after lots of discussion and emails flitting around the world we came up with the idea of creating a Japanese embroidery challenge, we would provide the basic design and then anyone wanting to take part could interpret the design in their own way. In this way we hoped to give participants an insight into the design process, and have fun on the way. All this is a preamble to start blogging my process on the challenge. The challenge came up with very simple designs, three fan papers decorated with traditional motifs. It's been a long process to come up with some ideas of how to interpret these designs for me. I thought I would just work one of the papers, rather than a combination of all three, but I didn't want just to embroider it 'flat' as it were. Fans and fan papers are a used a lot in Japanese design and they are often shown with just the paper or fan and not as part of a larger piece of art, but I wanted to add a bit of a twist to the design to make it mine. I have been concentrating so hard on preparing for teacher class and then working on Kusudama that I haven't really had much RAM to spare for this piece and every time I thought about it I wasn't getting any inspiration. Then I visited Japan Crafts for no particular reason, and saw this lovely fabric depicting Japanese inro and that was it, I got my inspiration. I would stitch an inro decorated with one of the fan papers. I sent for a fat quarter of the fabric to use as a basic template, so now to refine ideas - watch this space.

The V&A site has more information on inro, and if anyone would like to join us over on Stitchin fingers we'd be very happy to welcome you, still plenty of time to join in with the challenge!

Kusudama is still on the go, look out for a post on camellias after the weekend, happy stitching.

1 comment:

Susie said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this one Jane, looks a fantastic project.

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