This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written over the past 25+ years, as well as my travel journals and announcements. Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu."
- Thank You All
- Block Printing and its impact on textile and book arts
- It's a Bird... it's a Plane ... it's a Sale!
- Moroccan Epilogue
- The High Atlas Mountains in Morocco
- From Ouarzazate to Taroudant, and a GPS Fail
- A race, a fortress, and the Atlas Film Studios
- Kasbah Ait Ben Moro and a Berber carpet shop
- To Tinghir and Tomboctou
- Into the Red Dunes
- Monkeys, a White Horse, and a Kasbah
- Fez Day 2 - a tile factory, a cemetery and a souk.
- Fez - Volubilis and broken things ...
- My Morocco Tour - Casablanca to Rabat
- Welcome to Casablanca!
- Morocco At Last
- Pro-bono projects - and Morocco!
- It's not about the Hats
- AnyDay Hats at Beppa
- A Requiem for a Hat
- Ramping up for Fall
- Beppa Studio Fall Sale
- Arts North Studio Tour Sept 10-11
- Walking Around History
- A Few New Works
- Mood Indigo at SAAM
- December 2017
- August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- January 2017
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- March 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
SEATTLE, WA – June 1, 2016 - Seattle artisan hatmakers gather at Beppa Studio this weekend to bring hat culture into the Emerald City.
“Any Day Hats” brings six of the city’s finest hatmakers and artisans together for a show and sale of handcrafted hats, fascinators and headwear. Each one will bring their own distinct style to this event, and will set out to dispel the myth that not everyone looks great in a hat. “Saying you don’t look good in hats, is like saying you don’t look good in shoes…”
"What are the Four Intelligent Creatures?
They are: the Unicorn, the Phoenix, the Tortoise, and the Dragon"
from the Li Ki (Book of Rites and Ceremonies)
So it has been said that these are the four spiritually endowed animals sacred to ancient China...
This is the last in this series, which has focused on (mostly) Chinese embroidery as a surface embellishment. This segment will cover a few other forms of surface decoration that can be combined with embroidery to bring new color, texture and uniqueness to your own textile projects and wearable art pieces.
Every symbol in Chinese textiles had significance and evolved from several philosophies and concepts. The Chinese enjoy puns and plays on words, and often designs were used if their verbal sound or written character was similar to a quality or virtue. Hence, because the words for bat and happiness sound similar, the bat became the symbol for happiness.The invention of the draw loom and the development of jacquards and brocades allowed patterns to be woven into the cloth. Common patterns included checks, diamonds, zig-zags, coins, clouds, dragons, lions, horses, flowers, birds and fish. Brocades were often over-embroidered to augment the woven patterns (a technique I now employ on my hats…)
Textiles from Han Dynasty tombs in China show that the embroidery used during this time period incorporated Satin Stitch, Stem Stitch, Peking Knot, Chain Stitch and Couching.
Peking Knot (da zi) – called seed knot in early centuries and came to be known as Forbidden Stitch, when it was outlawed from embroidery factories during the 1940’s because it was thought that women were going blind in their extensive use of it. Current literature attributes this to a very old urban legend. I have personally lost more of my eyesight from working with metallic couching, than I ever have working with this stitch...
Embroidery - to decorate the surface of a cloth with thread or yarn - is a process that dates back to very ancient times.
The Bayeux Tapestry, shown here, is not actually a tapestry! It is however, one of the most recognizable embroideries in Europe, depicting the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and conquest of England in 1066 by William, Duke of Normandy, known as William the Conqueror. The work measures about 230 feet long, and consists of several panels of linen, worked with a variety of stitches in wool threads...
This series of blog notes will start with a brief and decidedly Chinese-centric historical overview, and then delve into materials and technique. I will try to demonstrate how embroidery can be combined with other techniques to bring new color and texture to your own textile projects.
The Ulan Baator Boot
Several years ago, a friend and I stumbled across these boots in a military antiques shop in Seattle (now closed). We recognized them as traditional Mongolian footwear, and were informed by the shopkeeper that they are still manufactured in Ulan Baator for the military.
This article and pattern is copyright free.
Once upon a time (about a decade ago), Lao Hats (now August Phoenix) issued Gift Certificate Number 5 to a lucky recipient, who, after having retained it all this time in its original envelope, presented it at my Phoenix Rising Event last August....
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woven hat. It sat on a shelf of a religious bookstore in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, growing dusty as it waited for just the right person to try it on...
...a tale begun by Brian, interrupted by Tailor, and woven together by Heather ... (as told by Brian's wife, Joan...)
Few people are aware that in addition to making my own hats, I have also redesigned hats from other people's collections, tearing a keepsake into its components and rebuilding it into a new piece, reminiscent of the original.
Today's mail brought a new challenge...