Month: November 2013

Purchasing textiles Today.

I’ve been asked if I will sell some of the Textile pieces I’ve bought. I’m considering buying pieces for sale on my web page for those who are unable to come here. Sometime next year. It was my last visit to the Hmong textile ‘sheds’ today. This is my 3rd visit on this trip and over the past few days I had time to plan how I was going to use  them. So purchased with intention today and because I wanted “old’ I paid a premium price.These are two of the skirts I bought  and I had to undo them and lay them flat to pack them in the cases. There are 7 yards in each piece. The one on the right had been stitched into pleats thats how they are stored… but once washed it will be manageable. This is part of one of the skirts. The tiny blocks in the centre of the red appliquéd strips on the skirt are about 1/4″ square. This is a close up. I think they have actually …

The art of the amazing White temple

Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple , is no ordinary Buddhist temple. Whereas most temples have a history dated back many centuries, the construction of this ornate white temple only started  in 1998 and is still a work in progress.  The temple is designed by renowned Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who often refers to it as an offering to his religious belief and his country.  Located in Chiang Rai Province, the White Temple is now a national landmark, and one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. The detail is amazing, take a look at the detail in this image. I’m not sure if you can see but this face has 4 sides, I love the lines and the delicacy and composure of this face. It was difficult to get photos without tourists in the picture and I wanted to concentrate on the details. Chalermchai Kositpipat, the artist an patron of the Temple started out painting movie advertisements on …

I’m behind with the blog but right up there with the adventures.

I’m writing this as we travel high in the mountains, the road twists like  a grey ribbon through lush green tropical forest.Every now and then you catch sight of terraced rice paddy guarded by  small brown teak houses.The mountains are steep and  the ridges across the valley are dark, blue mysterious and often shrouded in mist.The outline of the forest is different to home, The silhouettes of individual trees are ferns or palm trees, a rich dark green in-dispersed with bright lime banana palm leaves.Yesterday we visited a Karen village. So different to the tourist village we visited a few days ago. There is a church at the edge of the village and just as we arrived the villagers were streaming out the door, It might have been interesting to observe the service. There was a central dirt road winding up the hill and small wooden dwellings were located on either side. Families were sitting in small groups, some ladies were sewing, some just chatting  and one family we visited were stripping  a …

Little by Little one travels far.

I‘ve been turning over a question in my mind. If I use a piece of fabric in a quilt that was embroidered by another person, does it make it a two person quilt?I’m using the embroidery as a background fabric base for my project. Is it any different to a hand dyed fabric created at someone else’s hand or indeed the many hands in a factory.? It’s my final week of travel.    3 months away from home is a very ing time.I’m becoming restless considering the amount of work I have waiting for me at home and balancing much needed time with the family I’m going to have to be very disciplined.Inspiration for travel can be instantaneous, but its experiences are ongoing and embed into the process of life’s journey. As JR.R Tolkien  indicated, “Little by little, one travels far” and “The road goes ever on and on.” Each vacation, each journey adds flavor to the mind and heart. And, to quote T.S. Eliot “The journey, not the arrival, matters.”With that in mind. I will capture …

Just amazing.

A boat ride out into the mud flats, mangroves and shallows of the Gulf of Thailand. was one of the highlights of our trip to Bangkok. It a huge expanse of water fringed by river  fingers of mangroves. Monkeys live in the leafy green hosts of the trees, they dig for cockles and crabs and love the bananas and fruit given to them by locals and tourists.The  glass like water extends to as far as you can see. Poles with pale blue flags of sheer fabric dictate the boundaries of a cockle farmers plot. Yes, they own the water.Its surreal in a way, as you can see by this photo it was overcast and a little grey and the horizon blended with the ocean.Buildings, old and new rise from the ocean and it looks bizarre to see so many houses out in bare ocean. They are not lived in houses,  but are there for the plot owners to keep a watch on their valuable bounty overnight.I would love to sleep out there… can you imagine how …

Investigating textile art and design 

This is a piece of Indigo dyed hemp that I found in an antique textile warehouse yesterday. I don’t have any books on the techniques of appliqué with me of course and I can’t find much on the net, but I will go to the textile museum here later in the week an that should add some light to the ideas.I purchased some indigo last year directly from the dyer.Today I will investigate if further. If you look at this old skirt. It appears the indigo was laid in a pattern (resist dyed)The red fabric at the top of the skirt is hand appliquéd in strips following the indigo dye path.The bottom part of this skirt is a piece of red fabric, with hand appliquéd strips, of fabric, cross stitch embroidery and a tiny hand appliqué block around the base of the skirt. Its almost like a miniature quilt. The little appliqué blocks are about 1/2″ square. !!!! Interesting to say the least.There is a  conglomeration of shanty tin …

Just one of those days.

Last night when I sat down to write I found the experiences of the day really hard to put into words But I’m giving it a go now. We visited a local market in Samutsongkram about an hour out of Bangkok and then spent the rest of the day on the delta of the Gulf of Thailand which included a trip through the mangroves to feed the wild monkeys.They were all re-visits which means we had done on the same trip a few years ago, but armed with new knowledge we were much better prepared.  The train market. Passenger trains have passed through an incredibly busy market 8 times a day for almost 30 years…Lily, our guide explained that the market is overflowing and there is no more room for vendors, so when some enterprising folk saw that the space by the train line was free, they gradually put their stalls right next to the line. As the train arrives,  the produce is lifted or rolled back like a well co-ordinated race team the canopies are removed and …

Fabric, food and fantasy.

I bought Indian cotton today (in Bangkok) its very fine and I paid 60 baht a yard. which is exactly $2 US,  but although its quite sheer, I think it would look fabulous for the background for a quilt. I once saw a gallery of portraits in Mexico which had been done and then placed on  bold oil cloth fabric.  The portraits were in oil paint and it wasn’t a quilt but a framed painting. The portraits were cut from the canvas and stuck to the patterned background, but appliqué portraits or thread painted ones would look wonderful too.I’ve purchased scarves made from this fabric over the years and worn it without a problem so I think it will work well with the plain fabrics I bought in Dubai. Looking at it now, I think I should have bought the turquoise background one too.Oh well I have another 10 days.I guess thats my creative nudge for the day, but once the idea is deposited in the brain it doesn’t go away and keeps resurfacing (sometimes at the …

Textiles at the Chatachak market.

I’ve been visiting Thailand almost every year for the past 36 years.3 of our children were born in Thailand and two of our other children worked here  for some time, so its a bit like a home away from home. Lets just say its very familiar to us.Each year brings new surprises and our visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market today was no exception. I found amazing bargains and just gorgeous stuff.Its hard for keith though, He diligently carries the cameras and hates shopping so he gets the raw end of the deal.The market  covers 35 acres and there are over 8000 shops. Last year I discovered a number of young fashion designers who have booths there.  I bought a number of garments and they are excitingly different, I wore them all year, specially for teaching. The designs have an art aspect to them. At home or in the US, each garment would cost around $80, today I paid $9 each for them.Considering the price, today I added another 7 tops to the collection.  I love the designs. They look rather Japanese and I …