Temari Ball No. 126 : Phoenix Feathers
This temari ball is a beautiful example of a Japanese folk craft, embroidered with a traditional kiku design shading from yellow to orange and back to yellow as the design travels around the ball. This unusual method of shading makes the colors seem almost to gleam in unseen light.
Temari is an ancient art, originally Chinese, but introduced to Japan five or six hundred years ago and it has remained a cultural mainstay. Temari were originally a toy for a child to play with, crafted by their mother out of cast-off scraps of silk and old kimonos. The scraps of cloth were wrapped in hundreds of yards of thread and then stitched sturdily together, often so firmly that they would bounce! Over time, the stitching became more decorative and beautiful. The introduction of rubber severely hurt the commonplace temari, but elevated it to an art form. Practiced by aristocracy and nobles, temari balls became a very special gift.
In Japanese tradition, a mother would craft a beautiful temari for her daughter on New Year's, a principal holiday in Japan. The designs are varied and beautiful, and often employ brilliant, jewel-like colors and metallic threads, as a wish for the recipient's life to be just as brilliant. These are made in the traditional manner, with scraps of cloth formed into a ball and wrapped in layers upon layers of thread. A three-inch temari may have enough sewing thread to go all the way across a football field - four times!
This temari is about two and three-quarter inches across (slightly less than nine in diameter) and comes with a twisted thread hanger if you would like to hang it as an ornament. This thread can be snipped if you would like to display the temari more traditionally; on a small pillow, in a jar with other temari or ornaments, or on a stand are all beautiful ways to showcase these treasures.
The base of the design is slate grey thread, with the kiku design stitched on top of that in yellows and oranges with a grey edging to match the base. Each temari is perfectly unique, and the one pictured is the one you will be receiving. Any questions or custom requests, let me know!