Saturday, July 26, 2014

When Freecycling for friends turns up treasure

Still helping clear my friend's house, and freecycling once again, and her sister had kept out some items she thought should come to me, since she figured they have artistic value to me.  Was she ever right.

Here are pix: no the red brocade dress won't work for me. I'm small but not that small, and I'm sending that onto a good home.  But the stole (I think that's what it is, anyone who knows better, please say) with sashiko embroidery, stays.  I'm showing you the blue side of it and the red side, it's reversible.  

And the little tapestry with the stencil dyeing, complete with sales slip showing it's the work of a Japanese textile artist. It's katazome, I'm reading from the slip, made by a member of MoegiKai, an artist group specializing in dyeing, and in working in katazome.  The president of the group was named a national treasure.  So this is a seriously good group of artists.  The process of stencil cutting and dyeing is all handwork. No indication on the piece of who the artist is.  That stays, too.

I'll take both of these in to my stitching group and let them see, too, since there's interest in any textile art, particularly in sashiko, which one of our members wants to explore and maybe teach.

These items are very likely created for the tourist trade, since they came from a Japan trip made by my friend, but they're pretty high end. The blue of the stole is variegated in broad stripes, very subtle.

If anyone can tell us more about either of these pieces, the style, whether that piece is in fact a stole -- it's split to within about a foot of the top hem, and sits easily on your shoulders, ends draped down the front, which makes me think this --and so on, please do. 

What I've learned in the last hour!


  1. the obvious suggestion to find out about the creation of pieces like this, would be to type in the name of the organization, the name of the style or styles, and see what comes up in google. Ive also found google and bing images to be invaluable for seeing what's out there that might be similar.
    Liz, this is so exciting, lol...

  2. Yes, the results of my doing that are in the blogpost! I wondered if any of my blogistas have lived in Japan, know the various uses, etc. But yes, this is exciting!

    On my blogreaders list are people who might know a whole lot more than I! which reminds me, there's another person to check in with on this.

  3. Afraid I can't help you with your quest to find out more, but am happy to say that the pieces look beautiful. Hope somebody can shed some light!

  4. sorry can`t help just admire the pieces

  5. The male and female forms might have to do with Zen or be symbols of good luck (Know those Chinese cat "dolls" you sometimes see in Chinese or Asian restaurants?) Also, perhaps there is a Chinese or Japanese character from their writing system. This is all a guess; I'm no expert. Anyway, I adore the exquisite detail, e.g.the insects. Also I'm partial to seeing these items because I had lived in Japan for a year.


Thank you so much for commenting! it means a lot to me to know you're out there and reading and enjoying.