02 April 2014

Too Beautiful

For those of you who love to gawk at fiber arts, please don't miss the current opportunity. The Japanese Embroidery Center has an exhibition at SEFAA Center through 8 April.  You can view the exhibition today or Thursday from 10 to 4 or again on Monday and Tuesday from 10 to 4. SEFAA is hosting a Cas Holmes workshop this weekend, meaning SEFAA Center will be in use and not open to the public.
Students from the Japanese Embroidery Center are staffing the exhibit and acting as docents. They can answer your questions about the various techniques. My thanks to one of them, Christine Kellogg, for graciously permitting me to take a detail promotional photograph of one of her pieces. I wanted a picture to give a hint of the beauty that awaits, without showing you all too much, as you need to treat yourselves.

There is quite a bit of silk and metal threads stitching; all very precise. The silk couching securing metal threads is often laid in to form patterns. I was particularly struck by a piece composed entirely of metal threads on a black background. There are some special stitch techniques that mimic braided cords. There are even a couple pieces in which thread is laid in horizontal lines within the fine grain of the fabric to form a pattern. Embroiderers twist the silk, thus making decisions about the texture of each thread. There are also some techniques that involve adding dye or metallic color to the background fabric. As with much Japanese art, the aesthetic merges an interest in natural forms with a love of complex geometry and an appreciation for exquisite craftsmanship (craftswomanship?).

If you are an individual SEFAA member, the monthly members' meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 on Monday will also afford you an opportunity to view the work, but without benefit of docents to answer your questions.

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