Sunday, 15 November 2009

Japanese Embroidery

We went to the Gallery, Nature in Art, today. This is at Twigworth, a little north of Gloucester and is a slightly odd place. I am entitled to say that - we are Friends. It has artworks based on nature which run from Japanese drawings/woodblock prints/paintings to David Shepherd's elephants. Lots of sculpture, ceramics, even bookbinding on occasion. They had an exhibition of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in spring 2009, the first time that show has ever been outside London. And it is not all animals.

Anyway the expedition today was because they have Japanese embroideries done in the UK on show for 2 weeks and this weekend they had two practitioners, Barbara Wright and Jackie Hall, demonstrating. No photography was allowed which means you will have to look at samples such as Michelle Ellender. The item shown there was in the exhibition as a Level 1!! There was an example from everyone of the 10 levels. By the time you got to 6, the brain was reeling. Level 4 was a stunning embroidery of 8 kumihimo braids in grey, white, pink and maroon and one maroon tassels. Imagine embroidering a picture of a kumihimo braid!! Later there was a picture of pansies done in flat and twisted threads of silk of varying thicknesses (Kathy Read). There must have been 30 or so embroideries on show.

The technique seems to be called nihon shishu and is carried out on silk fabric with silk and metallic threads. Various types of fabric are used. Some have metallic threads wefts, one was goose eye twill but most were a tabby in heavy silk. I spotted two which had been dyed with careful blending of colours.  I cannot find much on the web with photos by these named individuals which is a pity.

We have signed up for a lecture by Jackie Hall next week so I will report further then

1 comment:

  1. Came across you blog by chance. I'm not exhibiting in this exhibition but I am a student of Japanese embroidery in the UK and know Jackie.
    It is a wonderful art form and we all love it. For more pictures and details check out and



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.