Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time Flies

So how it can it really be mid-May?  Two months with no posts...what's up with that?  Here in sunny California we are enjoying intermittent days of sunshine and rain and I'm catching up on new work and ongoing projects.  But way back in March I had a chance to visit Rhythm and Hues: Cloth and Culture of Mali at the the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco.  This great small exhibit closed on May 2nd and I hope some of you got a chance to see it.

The museum has three exhibit spaces that were filled with wonderful examples of textiles from Mali and included videos of cultural events and textile making.

I love these layers of fabric that compose the costume and the animal masks.  It is always so tempting to touch the fibers but I resisted the urge.  I just looked very closely.

This beautiful shirt is inspirational and shows what a creative mind can accomplish.

These playful puppets put us in touch with the child within.  Now if I could just learn to manipulate one and bring it to life as many performer artists has done through the ages.

I had good notes on the artists and fabricating methods but I had senior moment and lost two notebooks and a favorite tote bag so I'm sharing the beauty without the particulars.  Keep your fingers crossed that I find that bag.

These garments are  a Yorobani (the shorter garment in brown) and a Boubou.  They are made using a starch resist technique with pleating and scrunching of the fabric that is placed on the ground and then splashed with a dye solution in one or more colors.  The starch prevents or resists the dye solution from penetrating all of the cloth.
I did find that the hand painted fabric made by applying clay mud to cloth is called Bogolan Fini and is not worn much by citizens of Maili but is sold primarily to tourists.  I hope I get a chance to do just that.

These are inspirational pieces and motivate me to do more surface design work this summer when it gets warmer and I can play outside in the back where I'll have plenty of space.  I'll be sure to share when I do.

In the meantime, enjoy a bit of Mali and think of all the possibilities.  I'll be using my mudcloth fragments to continue the piecing tradition.

This is "Getting Over the Blues" which has assorted African fabrics including bits of blue mud cloth that I have been parceling out over the years.

I'll be sharing new works later this week.  In the meantime, visit to see my work being considered for their art quilt exhibit.

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