Tuesday, May 23, 2006

And now for something completely different

For those of you who read my profile, you see that I am interested in temari balls. And what , pray tell are those? They are decorative stitched balls that originated in Japan. They were originally made using scraps of kimono fabric or rice husks for the stuffing, wrapped with leftover thread or yarn and then stitched to keep them together. They were made as a toy for children. Through the years, the stitching has become more intricate and temari has been raised to an art form. In fact, there are temari masters. It takes 70 years to become a master. You spend the first 30 just watching. You imagine? 30 years just watching! No stitching, no pratice, no first shaky attempts. Just watching. Then if you are deemed sincere enough (after 30 years of watching I should hope that one would be considered sincere) you are allowed to stitch.


This is a traditional pattern that is a good pratice piece. It is called a chysanthimum or kiku stitch. It makes a nice flower shape.

After stitching a bunch of tight intricate balls, I decided to loosen up a bit and make this web ball. It is a complex 10 division. The first time that I divided a ball this way it took me 5 hours. Since then I have sped up and can do it in about 45 minutes. I have made about 15 +/- balls, most of which have been sold or gifted out, and these are the only two complete balls that I have left. And of course, I didn't have pictures of my other balls. But for those of you who want to see more, click on temarikai in my links listings. In the album pages poke around and prepare to be amazed.

8 comments:

amanda said...

Those are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

gorgeous...love the spider web..have seen them been made in Japan...well done

jackie said...

The spider web is my own personal design. Maybe someone out there has stitched a spider web, but I've never seen it. I have always liked spiders and spider webs. They are sacred in my house ( anything that eats mosquitos is sacred in my house). I am a weaver and so freely assiciate with Arachane, that mythic weaver. Even before I was a weaver, I loved the spider web motif. I remember walking with a friend on the Westmorland Street Bridge in August (spider month here) one year and realizing that the orb spiders were building webs between the rails next to the side walk on the bridge. I was facinated! My friend was totally grossed out and pratically ran off the bridge. I stayed to watch. I have instilled a sence of wonder instead of fear as far as natural creatures and processes go. Spiders catch and eat meat, and guess what??? So do we!! Think about it.

Liz said...

ditto on the spider web! lovinit!

Mia said...

Who knew? That spiderweb ball is awesome.. How do you display these little balls??

Mia said...

Wow again! I'm even more impressed now that I've gone and read a lot of the info from your link.. I especially love this part..

"About a month ago I was talking to a Japanese woman who told me about the "Blessings" She said "my Grandmother makes those (temari) in Japan. She always puts a blessing in the ball under the wraps where it can't be found. The Japanese people believe that as you make a ball you are thinking good thoughts of the person who will receive it and because the blessing is silent it goes to Buddah (God). He keeps it in his heart. You as the recipient must look to Budah (God) for all blessings because you know not which one you are to receive." I thought it was a charming concept and have included a "Blessing" inside all of the Temari Balls I make." From Karl in TN, USA

Why, oh WHY aren't there more hours in a day??????

jackie said...

If youlook at the top picture you can see a string thing sort of crumpled up. That is how I hang them. The other alternative is to have them on their own little pillow or in a group in a bowl.

I remeber reading the blessing story and ment to add blessing, but , of course, forgot.

Cynthia said...

Jackie those balls are absolutely gorgeous! You have such a sense of design and are very skilled at what you do! Lovely job.