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Archives for October, 2011

Mottainai: The Fabric of Life at the Portland Japanese Garden 4-27 November

October 29, 2011

I’m really pleased to say that the Portland Japanese Garden has asked my close friend and colleague, Kei Kawasaki of Gallery Kei in Kyoto, and me, to mount an exhibition which will run through November.The show, called “Mottainai: The Fabric of Life, Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan,” opens on 4 November and is on view until 27 November.Both Kei and I are planning to show some of the highlights from our collections and we will be exhibiting some extraordinary and rare pieces.  In order to illustrate the breadth of traditional Japanese textiles Kei will be showing bast fiber textiles: wisteria, linden, hemp, ramie, paper, paper mulberry, etc., and I will be showing cotton boro textiles.  I’ll be exhibiting a range of types, from everyday utilitarian textiles to large, complex garments.The images here are details of some of my pieces which will be in the show.We’ll both be in Portland this coming week setting up the show: I’m really looking forward to it.  Kei has produced a beautifully illustrated catalog for the show for which both she and I have contributed essays.  I’ll let you know when it is available.I will be updating the webshop as per usual this Wednesday at 11 AM New York time.  *As I’ll be in Portland until 5 November, any order placed from 30 October through 5 November will be shipped on Monday, 7 November.*If I’m able to do so, this coming week I’ll blog some images from the set-up at the Garden.  Stay tuned….

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A Wonderful, Very Large Ralli

October 26, 2011

When I choose a ralli, the quilted cotton patchworks of Sindh, I choose them not for their proper front, but for what is meant to be their back.  I’m showing a smashing one here today.To me, this arrangement of color and form is really sophisticated and marvelous, and I prefer the “wrong side” of a ralli to its intricately patchworked and appliqued side, shown here.Here’s another in my collection with a really unbelievably beautiful “wrong” side.Rallis come in all sizes and shapes and, therefore, they are used differently according to their size: large ones such as the one shown here are bedcovers; smaller ones like this, could have been a sitting cushion or perhaps a dowry bag that has been opened.This one measures 78″ x 66″ or 198 cm x 168 cm.  It was most likely made in the mid-twentieth century.  And of course it’s completely hand stitched.

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