Back from TORM

And much shopping was done, a lot of it extremely boring little fiddly things like dress rings and Tudor coins. The tudor coins I use for artefact handling regularly go missing, and I’m not sure if they get nicked or they just get dropped on the floor, I think it’s about 50/50.

I did buy this though

It has kitties on it! Frankly, the last thing I actually need is another length of silk brocade (You don’t want to know about my stash room) but this was so pretty I couldn’t resist. There’s only three and a bit metres, so I’m not quite sure what to use it for. It may possibly become an underkirtle for my new houppenlande, although if it does it may have to be the same shape as the gaudy one I made a few months back and have a plain taffeta bodice, as it really is quite a small piece.

I was bad again though

Four metres of butter yellow wool melton – here being inspected by Branny. The yellow will become a c15th kirtle, one that I will certainly not be wearing on muddy days. I did try very hard to resist the yellow (yellow and purple being my favourite colours), but it tempted me all day Friday, so I decided that if I returned on Sunday and it was still there, then it was meant to be.

The pale grey silk damask in the background is for the back and lining of a waistcoat I’m making my stepdad for Christmas.

The wierd looking white thing is a felt foundation rachel made to order for the Petrus Christie hat I’m dying to make, but which will have to wait for new year as I have Christmas presents to make first. I’m actually a bit frustrated at the moment, as I came home from Nottingham really eager to get started on one of the next projects I want to do, but I realised that if I started something and then had to set it aside to get on with presents I would be even more frustrated, so for once I’m being disciplined and doing my homework first.

When we go down to the market near Coventry Gareth comes with me so he can visit his dad on the Sunday, and I go to the market Friday and Sunday. we stay in Oxford, though, so we can go for a nice day out together Saturday. This time we split up for and hour or so, Gareth went to the Botanic garden to steal cuttings, and I went to the Ashmolean to see the exhibition of mieji textiles from Japan.

It was a lovely exhibition of embroideries from the period when Japan was just stepping out of isolation, showcasing pieces made both for the domestic and export markets.

There’s always something quite counterintuitive about Japanese embroidery for me – something inside me twitches at the sheer length of some of the stitches used, which are quite contrary to what’s seen as good practice in western tradtion. Yet you can’t deny that the technique explores the full potential of the texture and lustre of silk in a way that much western silk embroidery does not.

The huge peacock screen that headlines the exhibition (originally an exhibition piece, aptly enough) is worth the entry price on it’s own as its simply stunning. I loved that this arrogant and superbly executed bird had a simple little dandelion blooming by his feet. I also adored the oshi-e padded silk applique screen depicting craftsmen at work, which combined my love of applique with my love of depictions of textiles workers.

There was also a wonderful golden dragon hanging which reminded me in technique of the medeival badge of the order of the dragon.

The pieces done in the Japanese style really were quite stunning, and in that context the almost photo-realistic style worked, but it did get a bit wierd with the stuff done for export under the influence of western imagery.

The one that I found most disturbing was a landscape of trees and river done in soft autumnal tones. You see, my mother used to sell those dreadful chinese oil paintings done on a prodution line with no real thought to anything but decorative use, and that embroidery looked exactly like the bestseller she sold to a thousand gullible chavs. The resemblance was eerie.

Several of the western style ones were beautifully exectuted but equally jarring. One of two lions was oddly reminiscent of those seventies throwback plush blankets you still get in seaside resorts, another of a seascape was less odd, but the subtlety of the silk shading made my brain hurt (I can’t do subtle)

I loved the native style pieces, but somehow the western stuff just wasn’t doing it for me at all. Great exhibition though if you get the chacne to visit.

~ by opusanglicanum on November 13, 2012.

21 Responses to “Back from TORM”

  1. Must try to get to Oxford over Christmas / New Year break – the exhibition sounds interesting….

  2. I’ve been looking for yellow melton to make a coat out of for several months now… can’t find the right shade. Yours looks just about right. 🙂
    Your shopping rationalizations and “meant to bes” are eerily familiar. ‘I don’t need it, but it’s soooo beautiful’ is the rationale responsible for the majority of my fabric purchases.

    • , ,
      hertsfabrics at hotmail dot come – wordpress wont let me put it in properly
      , tell anwar tanya sent you, I thik he still had some left at the end of the day. It was only £10 per metre. mind you, that might only work if you’re in the uk?

      bet your stash is almost as bad as mine then!

      • Thanks, but I live in the Pacific NW and the shipping would no doubt be exorbitant, but thanks all the same. I’ll admire your melton from afar. And yes, my stash is definitely out of control. I will check out Hertsfabric just for fun, though.

      • I dont think he actually has a website, you just sort of ring him up and he sends samples

  3. I don’t know if you were better or worse than me… I only came home with mead. ^_^

    • worse, definately worse. I also bought wine, and beer for gareth

      I think its the first time I haven’t bought a book though – I seem to have them all, which is rahter depressing

      it was nice to see you though

      • See, I resisted buying fabric as I already have masses which I haven’t used … some of which I’ve misplaced. (I know – this is hardly an impediment for most people, but I was good!).

        I seem to have come to the point where everything I want now needs a *lot* of saving up for and more space than I currently have – tent, furniture, crockery, firebox, etc., etc.

        (P.S. Nice to meet you too. I hope I get to see you at an event so we can chat and I can admire your set up.)

      • I’ve been goign long enough to have all the really big stuff i need.

        shame on you for loosing cloth – i have mine organisd and mothproofed in its own room

        after the weather fiasco this year I’m really looking forward to gettign to some events next year – all the ones I wanted to go to were rained off, and so were the ones I couldn’t get too. mind you I never even take a tent to berkely, i just sort of bum around in artesans court and gossip, then float about a bit in a pretty frock on the sunday if the bad pretty frocks have pissed me off enough to want to show them how its done on sunday(you do get some frocky horrors at berkely)

  4. It’s good to hear the exhibition has such a good write-up from you – I was wondering whether to try to go….

    Going to do some homework about it now..

  5. I can see why you couldn’t resist the brocade. Gorgeous.

  6. The brocade is lovely!

  7. Do you know a good on-line brocade shop? I adore brocade!

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