What a pleasant surprise! When we submitted these temari to the San Francisco School of Needlework Design, we thought they would just be another couple items in the exhibit. Instead, they've been featured by the School on Facebook!
#SnadBurlesqueChallenge submissions are flowing in!
Jackie Frost and Jennifer Hope sent in these traditionally created Japanese temari. The larger red one ‘Dwarven Heart’ has enough thread wrapped within it “to run lengthwise down a football field - four times!”
Thanks guys! Always a surprise to see my own work in another's photograph.
This is my submission, Dwarven Heart. The golden pattern is marked out on the ball using some complex geometry, but there's no numbers involved - it's all relative to the size of the ball, and strips of paper are folded and notched to mark fractions of the circumference. Twelve equally-spaced points are marked out, and pentagons are embroidered around each of them in a specific order. Successive rounds of thread have to weave over and under previous rounds, making this a very slow and exact process. Wrapping a ball perfectly round enough to do this kind of geometry is sometimes the hardest part - we don't use cores, but just a bit of scrap yarn or thread. Honestly, four football-fields of thread is a conservative estimate for this ball! I had such trouble getting it round.
This is Jen's submission, Triclops: A Study in Spindles. Though the techniques are ancient, she uses modern colors and great texture to make these temari look wonderfully contemporary. Each ball is festooned with spindles - the double-pointed ovals. By working just a row or two on each spindle before stitching the next she has interlaced them into the beautiful woven star designs. Though you can't see it in this picture, the space between the spindle designs on each side of the temari is ornamented with 'pine needle stitch' (matsuba kagari) in the same white thread that gives the spindles their definition - and it glows in the dark!
Both of these projects tested our limits. Jen's is tiny - like, really tiny. The pink temari is under an inch, and wrapping and stitching through such a tiny ball is fiddly work. Spindles are a new technique for her as well, but she took to them very well. For mine, I've never stitched a temari with so many centers, which took lots of muttering and more than a few torn-out bits before everything linked as it should. The colors, too, are out of our usual range - one stipulation of this challenge was that we use some thread from a packet mailed out to each participant. Jen saw the metallic black and purple thread peeking from the pack, and knew just what she wanted to do. I tried a few different ideas, but the flat gold metallic thread - really a tiny ribbon - just begged to be used.
We're honored to be featured by such a prestigious School. If you're in San Fran in September or October, pop in on Post St. and check out these and many other submissions in their gallery!