Wednesday 7 December 2011

Seeking inspiration

I'm trying to get my head around our Oriental inspiration for one of next year's exhibitions. Having a theme is supposed to make things easier but sometimes when it is a subject you would probably never have chosen yourself it takes a while to get to grips with it. You have to start somewhere of course so today I thought I'd see what I have around the house to discover if I had anything vaguely oriental that might have design potential.

These fortune cookie wrappers might fit the bill even if I have no idea what they say! They've been lurking in my stash of interesting papers for far too long - it's time they earned their keep.

The colours are really gaudy so I've laminated a few of the wrappers between very thin layers of paper pulp. The one above is still wet so don't be mislead by the colour . The sheet is so fine you can still see the blue J Cloth through the pulp. It will dry paler and I'm hoping when it's dry it will be delicate and subtle because I'll probably want to stitch it and I can't bear sewing through thick paper! I'm thinking I might wax some of these when they're dry too - that will make them translucent and allow the gleam of the gold to show a bit more.

This little Chinese fellow has been with me for a long time. I used to burn incense sticks in that pot when I was younger. Looking at him now I think I may not have dusted him as often as I might have.

This figure was given to me by my mother many years ago.

I wonder what the characters on his costume mean? They're very ornamental though aren't they? Might have to carve another print block!

I'll let you know how the paper lamination turns out soon. In the meantime if you want to see more of the oriental inspiration I found please take a look at SiX and Friends blog. I'll post there later today.

Talk to you soon - Linda


  1. I think I have mentioned to you Jenni Dobson's book, "Making Kimono and Japanese Clothes", in which she not only demonstrates their construction but also talks about symbols used in embellishment thererof. Another quilter who has translated Japanese style and symbols into fabric is Susan Briscoe, with "Japanese Quilt Inspirations", "Japanese Sashiko Inspirations" and others....

  2. Hi Margaret - Thanks so much for those suggestions. I know Jenni's and Susan's work very well. England is such a tiny place and the quilting community tends to gravitate to all the same events so we all bump into each other on a regular basis! I am hoping to take a completely different approach with my pieces so it's probably best if I don't let anyone else influence me. It's just too tempting to take the easy way out!

  3. OK - I badly want thoses fortune cookie papers .... they are gorgeous and not at all gaudy to my mind. I think you are so right about trying to avoid influences creeping in ... it is hard, but it does mean you have the freedom to go in any direction you want without worrying about what others are doing. I have indulged in a little book of Japanese phrases - it will be great for going from English to Japanese - but harder the other way round, as you have to hunt through page after page looking for symbols! Interesting though x