Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Prince of Fenyang/Days 7 & 8

Yesterday, my son and I visited the Baltimore Museum of Art for a preview of their new exhibition of China's Prince of Fenyang embroidery panel. Well, I was the only one who showed up so I had a personal tour and history of the embroidery from Anita Jones, the curator of textiles. I felt like needlework royalty!

I just can't tell you how fabulous this embroidery is. It's 7'x10' and covers most of the wall. All of the embroidery is chinese silk embroidery on a silk ground. The scene depicts a Chinese scholars household, full of good luck omens and lots of children. The household is surrounded by the confucian and Tao gods of good fortune, other figures bearing good will and gifts and many animals symbolizing prosperity, long life, etc.

The goldwork and the superimposed embroidery of all of the figures is phenomenal and each figure has their own unique dress and decoration -- I wanted a close-up picture of each one to take home and study. Unfortunately, they are not printing a booklet or even a brochure for the exhibit so I have no pictures to share. I plan to go back with my notebook and sketch for a few hours (for what that's worth, not much since my sketching is terrible).

Mostly, what impressed me was the degree of symbolism and imagery that is used in the embroidery to convey a message. I recommend if you are in or near the Baltimore area to go and visit this exhibit. It runs through February 2007.

Now, for Day 7 of 100 Details. Now that we have finished the first week, I'm beginning to understand the challenges of this task I have taken on. Usually when planning a seam treatment, you have the seam decided upon and you are searching for the right seam treatment to fit in the spot. In the instance of 100 Details, we have the seam treatment and are trying to modify it for the space.

For example, Sharon may highlight a detail which uses trim or rick rack. If my piece doesn't have any, I have to modify. I'm actually enjoying the translation it's only that I thought the approach of "copying" Sharon's details every day would be a much quicker approach and it might help me work on my UFO's little by little so that in 100 days, voila! Well, it's not quite working out that way...I'm finding I'm spending a lot of time figuring out where to put Sharon's detail and how to modify it to fit my space. I think there has been one, maybe two details, that I could just "lift" and "copy". Anybody else finding this?

The other thing I've found is...on days where Sharon posts 2 details -- I have to choose one or the other -- I don't have it in me to do both. So off I go to underachievers anonymous...

Having said all that, you'll notice that Day 7 I used as a "frame" for a tea quote on my "Tea Therapy" pillow cover. I intend to add Sharon's straight stitches but I need to stitch some of the surrounding areas first.

Day 8 was really fun! I had to add some trim -- most of the spaces I had were short so you'll notice it's a pretty short piece of trim -- only space for one button but I liked it. This piece is turning out kind of whimsical and a little bit kitschy 50's-style...

5 comments:

Debra Spincic said...

I personally love everything you have done so far and if I don't get with the program this week and quickly I will behind for sure. Beautiful work!

Allison said...

I am encountering exactly the same challenges you are adapting Sharon's details to fit the spaces I need filled. Thank you for articulating that so well!

I'm only picking one detail too, when she offers more than one in a day...at that I am falling behind a bit. But it's o.k...

And the Chinese embroidery sounds heavenly....There is an outside chance I'll be in Baltimore in late October, so I will try to see it then.

Marty52 said...

You do such lovely work... that red button treatment is a dream. I'm finding that having Sharon's seam treatments as an inspiration is helping me move along on my blocks... slowly, but still moving! I'm a very deliberate stitcher so I know I'll never be able to keep up but it's so nice to have them all in front of me to choose from and copy and play with!

Conni said...

Susan, thanks for your visit and comment on my blog. I see from your profile that you are a button aficionado, too. When I started my blog last year, I couldn’t believe that no one else had listed button collecting as an interest. Now, I think there are seven of us!

Your embroidery is absolutely stunning! Amazing workmanship!

sharonb said...

This is why I was so surprised people wanted to follow along and is also why crazy quilting can never be a copy or step by step follow along. People often ask me if I worry about people stealing my ideas I always answer no beause copying is so difficult with crazy quilting - no matter what, people are forced to come up with thier own creative solutions and the minute they do its not a copy! Thats the wonderful thing about crazy quilting people are pushed into discovering their own self expression and that makes it fun- just use the details as a jumping off spot to your own thing

Related Posts with Thumbnails