Stories are inherent in traditional textiles, about the artisans and their communities, and about their cultures and traditions. Some of the stories are in the process, others are integrated in the designs, through figurative or geometric motifs. Though we usually associate stories with words, many are told through symbols or images, whether through hieroglyphics, geometric designs, or figurative imagery. Stories do not have to have a beginning, middle, and end, and they can take many forms, such as prose, dance, poetry, or even a list.
The first time I saw a photo of a Turkish shepherd wearing a floor-length kepenek over his shoulders, I thought of a toddler wearing a snowsuit, standing stiffly, barely able to move—it looked so bulky and cumbersome. I couldn’t begin to imagine a shepherd working while wearing such a garment. Surely there was more to … Read more
Roaming the vendor hall during a weaving conference, an intriguing pillow case caught my eye. I stopped at the booth to examine it. It looked as though it was a patchwork of four differently colored handwoven patches with invisible joins. I studied it closely—they were definitely not sewn together. It was more like an invisible … Read more
We treasure gold and diamonds, and to a lesser degree silver, rubies, and emeralds. But what if precious metals and gemstones didn’t exist? Would we have looked to other natural resources to treasure? Or to something completely different such as handmade items or skill? Arts and artists? Books and writers? Among Plolynesians, this issue was … Read more