Thursday, March 26, 2015

April Program, Kumihimo, Japanese Braiding

Our April 12th meeting, Sunday at 1 p.m., will present a program by Charlene Marietti, on Kumihimo, The Art of  Japanese Braiding.  This will be an exciting afternoon of exploration of an artform new to most of us, with the outcome of making braiding for use around stitched pillows, purses, as belts, as framing for stitched artworks, or for clothing.  The traditional uses in Japan related largely to clothing.

More about our instructor, Charlene, excerpted and adapted from a Philadelphia newspaper article:

Long interested in and proficient in the textile arts in the US, having started with the study of Navajo crafts, she lived in England some years ago, and took advantage of her stay to take a two-year course with the prestigious City and Guilds of London in creative textile craft, learning both textile design and how to teach the subject. She received a certificate with distinction.And while there she studied under Makiko Tada, a Japanese master crafter who is lives in England and teaches an ancient Japanese braiding technique known as kumihimo.

"Basically I'm a weaver, braidmaker and knitter," Marietti said. "I weave rugs, some garments. I knit sweaters. "The braidmaking is kumihimo," she said, "which simply means braided rope," which is traditional for obijime, the sash cord used to affix the sash belt worn under a kimono and to create the closure ties on haori jackets, loose-fitting, broad-sleeved jackets worn by men.

In kumihimo, she works exclusively with silk - and the aggravation it entails. "I have difficulty finding the type of silk necessary," she said. ''It's hard just to find supplies this side of the Atlantic. I buy it from an importer in the state of Washington, who gets it from Japan."
A graduate of Ohio State University, she holds a bachelor's in medical technology and a master's in clinical pathology.

 Now a resident of Medford, NJ, we are very lucky she's close enough to us and generous enough to make her talents available.

Charlene will bring kits to share, complete with a frame (not the wooden one in the pix, though she will show us one) suitable for beginners, and threads to use, probably cotton, silk being impractical for beginning students.  We can supplement with threads from our own stash, and Ginny, Program Chair, is busy organizing all this.  Charlene wants to demonstrate how to warp up the frame, so that when we learn we will be able to continue later, since we'll have seen the whole process.

Members planning to take part need to email Helen or Liz to sign up, and be ready to pay $15 for their kit.

Your humble blogwriter used Jacqui Carey's book Creative Kumihimo, lent by Ginny, to show you possibilities of this artform. This is not exactly Charlene's plans for the afternoon, but it does illustrate what sort of braiding she will be introducing. 

 See you there!  

Other reminders: our usual daytime stitch-in will take place on Tuesday, April 7.  Princeton Chapter Board Meeting Wednesday April 8th at 7 p.m. and regular monthly program Sunday April 12th at 1 p.m.