the crazy busy days might finally be slowing down a tad... maybe
just returned home from a few wonderful days spent with a my best friend cheryl in vancouver
we decided a few months back to take in a couple of the maiwa textile symposium lectures
every fall maiwa on granville island hosts a textile symposium extending over a period of three months - lectures and classes in all things related to textiles from all over the world
we took in two by japanese textile artists noriko narahira and kyoko ueda
at the end of her lecture noriko spoke of a project she was involved in titled "shake hands"
in japanese, shake is the word for salmon
the area of tohoku in northern japan was hit hard by the tsunami of 2011 and has still not recovered, with many people not yet returning home to live there
it is the hope of noriko and others involved in this project that funds raised will help restore tohoku to a place where the people can come home, to live together again
many of the women of tohoku have worked together to create small salmon made of cotton, lightly stuffed to make them 3-dimensional with a small hanging loop at the snout end
the fish are sold as they are for $5 each - they can be embellished in any manner or technique desired and then returned to noriko
the salmon will be displayed in kyoto in spring of 2015 and then sold to raise money for the restoration and re-vitalization of the tohoku area
at the end of the lecture cheryl and i each purchased a fish to embellish
driving back to her condo, mulling over ideas, wondering what to do when i was far from home and my stash...
earlier that evening i had serendipitously purchased a packet of hand-dyed japanese fabrics along with several strands of very sparkly clear and smoky beads
i had some more mulling to do...
cheryl set to work right away - chain stitch in a heavy ivory thread, wrapping and twining around the salmon, reminiscent of fishing lines and nets, coiling and swirling, making me think of catching up all the people and taking them home again... a single circle of gold chain stitch, because as cheryl said, even in great tragedies, all that is beautiful is not lost, not forever
for mine i decided on snippety bit scales with a bead in the centre of each
oddly enough, as i removed the label from the packet of clear beads, there near the top, hidden by the label, was a single red bead - shining clear and bright and vivid against the bright whiteness of the others
reminding me of the japanese flag
cutting tiny squares of various colours, securing them in place with a single bead, working from side to side to maintain balance, trimming the corners every so often
the image below is what i thought to be right side up, why i have no idea but i think i couldn't let go of the idea of an outward curving backbone... cheryl pointed out the issue of the dorsal fin being on the belly then - argh!
i had been quasi-trying to get the shading of the scales with the pink on the top and the darker bluey-green on the bottom... now it would be all upside down...
but as i turned it right-side up i proclaimed that tsunamis make everything topsy-turvy anyway so i had just interpreted that!
the scales are closer together near the head, and there are many, tapering off and drifting away toward the end - that i did on purpose, to represent the people being pulled or drifting away
we worked until we were drop-dead tired and then got right back at it the next morning, working steadily until they were done, handing them back that evening
for some odd reason i had thrown my sewing case into my bag at the last minute - no project to work on, nothing that could easily have been taken, but i saw it sitting there and thought it should come...
so very glad it did