Saturday, August 7, 2010

Inspiration From China

Asian Art always inspires me and leaves me in awe of the intricate attention to details and superb quality of craftsmanship. It always takes me a long time to create my carpet bags since I construct and sew them entirely by hand and don't always have sufficient time to devote to my Art. But I'm thankful for the delays in the process and the unhurried pace the pieces come together... because inspiration often takes many twists and turns as my pieces come to life. As I have been working upon Hsiao Hsien's bag I knew my inspiration would come from China and Chinese Art... I wanted this bag to honor the culture and the beauty of Asia. I had chosen a vintage Chinese Tapestry as the background material, with some Purple Silk fringe... MUST have some Silk when you think of a piece inspired by China... and the focal point was to be a hand carved Jade Amulet from China. Jade also was a MUST when drawing inspiration from China... and it comes in such a vast array of colors and fabulous Artistic forms that I was spoiled for choice! Making a decision on which piece to import for this bag from various Chinese Artisans was difficult... so naturally I HAD to buy a few pieces for myself! *wink*
Mail from China takes some time... so I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first piece, while working on the bag each evening. I had been playing with various vintage metallic trims and new fringes to compliment the piece... pieces evolve on their own time frame and rather 'create themselves' actually. Since I've had no formal training I'm quite certain a trained Seamstress and Designer would say I do it 'all wrong' and see my methods as organized chaos!? *gasp-LOL* I don't use sketches or patterns, I don't think of the end from the beginning... like the recipient, the end results will be just as much a surprise to me as it will be to them. I just know when it's 'done' and each part 'feels' complete... and then its put together to form the whole. Tim Gunn's famous phrase, "Make it work..." is definitely my Mantra! *Smiles* My old Cat, Rat Boy, often paces around me as I work or sits and watches me, inspecting each piece as if she's a Tim Gunn clone, ensuring I stay on task and the results are worthy of presenting to the World! *LOL* I have no inhibitions about colors or textures going together and I quite enjoy trying something different every time... what is YOUR vision and what colors speak to YOU... that will be the jumping off point and there's always a lovely piece of fabric in my stash that was just waiting to be called out for that Purpose... to be transformed and worked into a beautiful piece of wearable Art!

Now, amazingly enough, Patience has never been one of my virtues... which makes it rather ironic that my Art requires large doses of it! So the creations are actually perfecting the creator of them in many ways... and I hone my skills with each piece, learning along the way. I try not to get attached to the outcome, also rather hard for me, because so much of me has gone into each piece... but knowing that each will go to an appreciative Home makes it easier to let go when the time comes. So... here I've been... working... working... waiting... waiting... and the FIRST BOX arrives from China! *gleeful squeal* Which piece will it be? Hers... one of mine? Ahhhhh, it's the Double Dragon Golden Jade piece *one of mine* and even more fabulous than I ever imagined.... photos simply can't do it justice... the details OMG the details, to know a superb Artisan carved this gorgeous semi precious Stone by hand is magical... the love that goes into a piece like this is palpable. The color of the Jade is amazing, like rich Golden Butterscotch... I fondled it like a Lover! *smiles* Because truly I am, a Lover of all amazing pieces of Art.
I will have another Golden Jade Dragon Amulet coming... and a dual scene Tibetan Dzi of carved Wood, which will have to be made into Jewelry because I can't bear to attach it to a bag and have one scene lost to human eyes! It's almost easier for me to attach pieces with plain backings to my bags because often the reverse sides of Artistic or Vintage pieces of Jewelry are as elaborate as the fronts. All of these Chinese Amulets are typically carved identically on both sides, so there is no "plain" side, amazing work has gone into ALL sides. West German Bohemian styled Jewelry is also notable for the amazing filigree work on the backsides of the pieces. But I digress... Hsiao Hsien's Black Jade Amulet has a prosperity symbol and Bats on each end... she explained to me the symbolism of the piece and the symbolic History of the Art is as amazing and delightful to me as the pieces themselves. I will want the whole story on each piece... which adds to the story of my pieces as a whole... and that is what is so much fun working with altered Art... where various pieces with their own Histories come together and make a new story to blend with the old stories... one of a kind... just like us ... Dawn ... The Bohemian

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