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A Somber Day and a Black Pojagi

January 7, 2009

January in New York is upon us, and there is a certain introspective mood conveyed by these overcast skies and somber days: it is winter, after all, and the silver light of a rainy, cold afternoon has its own kind of attractive melancholy.

I suppose writing this introduction is an apology for wanting to post a new, sun-drenched entry, but this is a diary of sorts, so things are what they are.  And they aren’t so bad.

This is what you see when you first enter Sri in Brooklyn.  In the entrance way to the showroom there is an antique, rustic, elm wood Chinese daybed which serves to display many of the objects and textiles in my collection.

Today this little mise-en-scene has the look of a Flemish interior probably from this winter light…but it’s that fabulous, black Korean pojagi that is suspended high above the daybed that is the most interesting part of this photo–to me, at least.

I love pojagi and this one could be the favorite from my whole collection.

This pojagi is of the variety called chogak po; it’s completely hand stitched, it’s made of ramie scraps and it is probably dyed in a charcoal-based ink.  Its original purpose was to serve as a kind of storage wrapping cloth. Even though these home made pojagi are utilitarian by design and implementation, they still held esteem in the Korean household and were passed down through generations.

The randomness of the design is so wonderful, as is its color.  The seams are all closed by minute whip stitches and the hours and days and weeks that it took to make this pojagi is impressive, to say the least.

I urge those visiting New York to stop by a privately operated Korean museum in New York’s Korean neighborhood, the Lee Young Hee Museum of Korean Culture. It’s a little jewel in the middle of a very busy, bumptious section of Manhattan—and plan to lunch at one of the many Korean restaurants which line the street where the museum is located. For far-too-long I’ve been meaning to visit Mandoo Bar for the dumplings that I’ve heard so much about–maybe one day…

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Welcome to Sri Threads!

September 15, 2008

Welcome to Sri Threads
a companion to Sri, a website that sells antique Japanese folk textiles and vintage Indian textiles, primarily.

I’m starting this blog to provide a glimpse into my gallery for those who live too far away to visit Sri in Brooklyn, New York–and to encourage those who are coming to New York City to make an appointment to visit.

Here at Sri Threads I’m hoping to give a broader sense of Sri’s inventory and to talk about some special pieces from my own personal collection of Japanese folk textiles.

I’ll be updating this site regularly, and I’m looking forward to showing things that are interesting to me and, hopefully, to you.

Of course, if you see something of interest to you, do inquire about it as most (but not all) are available and some things seen on this site will not be offered for sale on the Sri website–don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a look around, and thanks for stopping by.

Here’s a long view into Sri, with an antique katazome yogi, or sleeping kimono, on the far wall.

This is a beautiful Korean pojagi suspended in front of a magnificent Japanese ‘mino’ shibori yukata: the shibori technique is called that because it mimics a mino, or Japanese rain cape.

Here’s a closer view on the mino shibori yukata, which most likely dates to the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. Certainly it was made in Japan’s unofficial shibori ‘capital’, Arimatsu.

This is a corner of Sri with two folk images of Ebisu and Daikoku, Japanese gods of fortune.

Another long view into Sri gallery–stop by again!

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