Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toran Inspired Handwoven Vest

When I looked at the date of my last post, I was surprised how long it's been!  The most exciting  news I have to share is the publication in Handwoven magazine of a vest I designed.   Each issue of Handwoven typically revolves around a central theme, and this issue (Jan/Feb 2011) focuses on weaving inspired by other cultures.  The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe houses an incredible textile collection, and that's where I found my inspiration for this vest.  A toran, a Hindu door decoration, sparked the idea for the shaped tabs and beads at the hemline.  I don't have permission to print the photo of the toran here, but it may be seen by pasting this link into your browser:


                This page from Handwoven is published with permission from Handwoven magazine. 
If you are interested in a copy, it is available here:  http://www.interweavestore.com/Weaving/Handwoven-Magazine/Handwoven-January-February-2011.html

This is the intro I wrote for my article:

The idea for this vest began to take shape when I read about Handwoven's theme issue featuring weaving based on other cultures, and a trip to New Mexico revealed the elements that eventually came together for the final design.  A Taos weaving friend gave me a partial cone of space dyed rayon chenille, and when I saw Bonnie Tarses' "Almost Ikat" technique at Convergence in Albuquerque I knew the yarn and technique were a good match.  I wanted fringe on one edge of the vest but because chenille is unsuitable for fringe I wondered how it could be finished in a unique way.   I found the answer in the textile collection of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe; a door decoration from India that suggested woven tabs with twisted fringe in between.  Later, during a visit to a bead shop near Taos I discovered the Bali style cone beads whose shape mimics the tasseled ends of the door decoration fringe and sparked the idea for adding beads to the vest.   Serendipity in New Mexico?  I think so.  


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