Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Big Stitch

Saturday 1 December 2012, 11am–4pm

The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in partnership with the Embroiderers’ Guild

Join us for a celebration of all things embroidered with events and activities taking place around the Museum suitable for all ages. Study the history of embroidery in the special exhibition and in the Ashmolean’s permanent galleries which house one of the finest collections of textiles in the country. Add your own contribution to the world’s longest embroidery and help us set a new world record; see both cutting-edge and traditional embroidery demonstrations; take a guided tour or learn more in a lecture; and enjoy stitching activities for all ages. Bring your own project, or start something new just in time for Christmas. Experts will be on hand to help you improve your stitching or to get you started if you’re a complete needle-novice.

Japanese Embroidery UK will be demonstrating Japanese embroidery in the Threads of Silk and Gold exhibition and in gallery 35.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Threads of Silk and Gold

Ashmolean Autumn Exhibition
Threads of Silk and Gold: Ornamental Textiles from Meiji Japan
9 November 2012–27 January 2013

 Embroidered four-fold screen Peacock and peahen.  Probably by Nishimura Sōzaemon, Chisō Silk with embroidery in silk and metallic thread, wooden frame with lacquered decoration 1900 to c. 1910
© Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum, Kyoto

This autumn, the Ashmolean Museum presents the first exhibition devoted to the art of Meiji textiles ever to be held outside Japan. Many of us are aware of the beauty of the traditional Japanese kimono; Threads of Silk and Gold: Ornamental Textiles from Meiji Japan will introduce the less well known but equally spectacular ornamental textiles that were made for the Western market during Japan’s Meiji era (1868–1912). This was the famous period of ‘Japonisme’, which saw the European Impressionist painters exploring themes and styles taken from Japanese art, and Victorian rooms filled with Japanese decorative arts and crafts.

Embroidered hanging scroll Hawk on a snowy pine branch Silk with embroidery in silk thread, paper and silk brocade mount, wooden roller Mid-1890s
© Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum, Kyoto

The Meiji era was an extraordinarily rich artistic period. As well as prints, ceramics, lacquerware and metalwork, Japanese artists produced exquisite embroideries, sophisticated resist-dyed silk and velvet panels, grand tapestries, and appliqué work that entranced Western audiences with their innovative designs and brilliant craftsmanship. These textiles ranged in size from large-scale wall hangings and folding screens to small panels in western-style picture frames.

Ornamental textiles made in Kyoto became some of Japan’s best-known export items: no fashionable Victorian home was without its Japanese hangings; they were displayed to great acclaim at international exhibitions; and they were often presented as diplomatic gifts from the Japanese imperial household and government. The makers of Meiji textiles, seeking to modernize traditional modes of visual representation, aspired to create ‘paintings in silk thread’. Sometimes they replicated specific western pictures. More often, they collaborated with contemporary Japanese painters to create dazzling new images that more than ever before realised the aesthetic potential of silk thread as an artistic medium.

 Embroidered panel Young woman reading a book illuminated by orange light. Silk with embroidery in silk thread, original
wood frame With label ‘S. Nishimura’ c. 1890–1900
© Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum, Kyoto

Threads of Silk and Gold comprises some 40 examples of the highest-quality Meiji textiles from the newly acquired collection of the Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum in Kyoto. Pieced together from around the world, this outstanding collection is one of the finest and most comprehensive of its type in existence. Also on display will be some superb pieces from the Ashmolean’s own collections.
Dr Christopher Brown CBE, Director of the Ashmolean, said, “We are honoured to be the very first museum to exhibit this extraordinary collection to the public. The Ashmolean has a strong tradition of holding pioneering exhibitions of Japanese art from the Meiji era and we are delighted to extend this focus on Meiji art to ornamental textiles. Threads of Silk and Gold will mark another major milestone in the revival of interest in this still little-explored field of Japanese art.“

Venue: Ashmolean Special Exhibition Galleries 57, 59 & 60
Tickets: £6/£4 concessions
Catalogue: The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue featuring essays by Dr Clare Pollard, Curator of Japanese Collections, Ashmolean Museum, and Dr Hiroko T McDermott, co-curator of the exhibition. RRP £25.
Events: A programme of events including a study day, lectures, workshops and family activities are programmed throughout the exhibition.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Japanese Embroidery Exhibition

Japanese Embroidery UK are exhibiting at The Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft Show at Event City near the Trafford Centre next week.  You can find details of the exhibition here.

If you are in the area, please come along and say hello.  White Blossoms (below) will be off the frame and on display.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Silent Communication - advanced design

In March this year I attended a JE class in Bournemouth.  One of the great things about this class is meeting up with the other students and seeing what they have been doing.  On this occasion two students had completed advanced pieces, Silent Communication and Venerable Maple.  I have always admired both of these pieces and took many photos.  Both students kindly agreed to allow me to share some of these photos here.

First Silent Communication embroidered by Wendy Wier, a Phase 16 piece from JEC.  This is a two panel piece, each panel measures about 32inches long.  Enjoy.

Thank you Wendy, coming soon Venerable Maple.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Sakura Exhibition

The Sakura exhibition I mentioned in my last post is now up and running at the Gallery at the Wharf. There are many beautiful things from the artists, dancing cranes, ceramics, painted silk lamps, embroidery, and many other things.  Below are a few photos of the lovely work on offer.  Click on the photos to go to the Gallery website. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Japanese Embroidery Demo

On Saturday 7th April and Sunday 13th May I will be giving a demonstration on Japanese embroidery at the Gallery at the Wharf in Burscough.  The demonstration is in honour of our Sakura (cherry blossom) Exhibition..  My Cherries and treasures piece will be making it's debut.

The Sakura exhibition runs from 6th April to 27th May, the Gallery is open from 10am-5pm, please come along to see all the wonderful work the artists have created.

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Art of Yuzen Dying

It has been a while since I updated this blog, so when I found this video on Youtube I thought it appropriate to share. Allthough the title says yuzen, there are a number of arts and artist employed in creating the completed kimono. Enjoy