Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paisley Shawls

I have a collection of over 40 Paisley Shawls. Some are hand embroidered and kani weave shawls from Kashmir, India. Others are jacquard woven shawls from Europe. All are from the 19th century. The shawl on top is Middle Eastern, probably Persian. The middle one is a so called "Four Seasons" shawl. The center of a Four Seasons shawl usually has four colors, thus the name. This one actually has five colors, but it is still known as Four Seasons. The bottom one is from France, with a white center, which is more unusual, you see mostly shawls with black centers. This one also has exquisite detail.

Peacable Kingdom

One of my favorite animal subjects is the lion, being a Leo. This photo was taken on a recent trip to Washington D.C at the National Gallery of Art. It is of course a detail of Edward Hicks' Peacable Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Miniature Loom

When I was five years old, my father had a miniature loom built for me as a Christmas present. It was painted bright red and blue. My father then drew a cartoon for a small rya tapestry bearing the coat of arms of Vyborg, Finland, the city where he was born. I executed his design with my loom. That was the beginning with my fascination for textiles. I still have the little wallhanging, it is now on my bedroom wall.
Above, you see a picture of it. Also, you see a hand colored engraving of Vyborg from 1709 and the coat of arms as it was at that time. Finland then was part of Sweden, thus the three crowns.
When my father was born in 1921, Vyborg belonged to Finland, but was lost to the Soviet Union during World War II and now belongs to Russia.