Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine is pretty happy, with several new projects completed

Kosode and obi - done!! I had some silk double ikat in my drawer of "small pieces of choice fabric" and decided that cutting two four inch strips off one side would be just right for the obi. Stitched up it made a tidy, just under 2" wide, sash.
The warm tones of golden brown, plum and soft red make an excellent contrast to the cool indigo blues of the kosode, and bring, to my mind at least, both a contrast and connection between autumn and wintertime, which feels appropriate to the transitional time of year. It was considered tasteful to have one's clothing motifs and colors reference the upcoming season, so my kosode has not only the colors of winter, but the auspicious snow ring design block printed on some of the panels.

My first attempt at painting a kai awashe shell. Monkey is one of the Japanese zodiac animals. I've only fifteen clamshells, so am doing a partial set, more as a creative example of a possible variation than an actual historical re-creation... Since the only ones I've seen examples of are fairly modern and much more elaborate, and a complete set consisted of up to 300 matching shells. And instead of using lines of poetry, decided to use the zodiac animals, just because I like them...

I've been having fun! Our plucky heroine had to pick and choose which animals to paint, and chose the ones that were the simplest. If I can get twelve or more matched pairs of clamshells, I can do the whole zodiac, which was my original intention. I didn't manage to connect with anyone who actually eats clams; these shells were a surprise gift from my pal Svava, who found a windchime in a thrift store and remembered my project...

These are the other pairs: horses, tigers, rabbits, and dogs, and finally the entire partial set of kai awashe...
Am pretty happy with both how these came out and with the techniques I worked out to get this result. The edges of the shells are painted with the same awesome acrylic vinyl golden metallic paint that worked so well for decorating the bathroom wall border. The animals were painted with waterproof india ink on some very thin white unruyu paper (made from kozo fiber, so really strong), which was then applied to the surface of the shell using some matte acrylic medium. This gave the appearance of actually painting on the shells without the danger of possibly screwing up badly enough to waste one of the few shells... The white background blends smoothly into the white of the shell interior, and the gold border is mindful of the other gold leaf I have seen on some of the other kai awashe...

One thing I am really grateful for is tame water. The city pool is "tame water",  slightly warm, the water is clear all the way down to the bottom, and the pool is roofed over with a dome, so weather is not an issue. I grew up swimming as a child in LA, so pool water is the norm, and wild outdoor pond water is always a little scary, because not being able to see what is under the water. I am continuing to love going to do water exercise, either in one of the classes, or simply alone during free swim time and doing my physical therapy. I manage to get there almost every day, and hope that the consistent gently increasing effort will help me become stronger, and that the pressure of the water will do nothing but good for my lymphedema

October SMART goals
1 8 stenciled panels kosode for R -
2 carved yukiwa stamp - -
3 3 stamped panels - -
4 Japanese kosode - -
5  a silk obi belt - -
6 15 kai awashe shells - -
7 two cotton obi belts - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -

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