Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Back from Vacation

Laundry's done. Travel gear has been stowed away. Cats were cuddled and reassured (they hate it when we go away). Life is almost back to normal...

Not much on the textile front to report. I did bring home a couple of fiber pieces that charmed me. First, a coiled basket made by an artist from one of the tribal groups on the southern border of Panama, near Colombia.

The coil is a bundle of long grass, and the stitchers are raffia, dyed (supposedly) in natural dyes. The raffia strands have a shiny side and a matte side, and depending on how the basket-maker rolls the strand before stitching with it, the stitchers in the pattern areas are either shiny or matte, which adds to the effect of the pattern. About 5 inches tall, very tightly stitched, and solid as a rock; probably holds water :)

Next, a mola, traditionally made by the Cuna Indians from the San Blas islands on the Atlantic side of Panama. The technique is reverse applique. This one has 3 layers: magenta on the front, orange in the middle, and black on the back. All the other colors are chain-stitch embroidery.

Molas typically have designs that are purely geometric, or incorporate stylized birds, fish, and/or flowers. This one is very simple if you consider only the applique work; the colorful embroidery makes it look much more complex.

Coming up this weekend is the ASCH conference in Riverside, CA. If you're in the greater Los Angeles area, please drop by to say hello. The vendor area is open to registrants only on Friday evening, and to the general public all day Saturday and until 2:00pm Sunday.

I'll be exhibiting handwoven scarves and towels; there will be some wood chips for dye, along with instructions for using 'em. DH will have nostepinnes and needle cases, plus his gorgeous rolling pins and a few bowls.

Hope to see you there!


Life Looms Large said...

Welcome back!

Thanks for the fiber highlights from your trip!

Those really are breath-taking rolling pins. I wish I needed one!!


neki desu said...

well great r&r time and beautiful purchases. seems you had a really good time .welcome back

neki desu