Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Something Unexpected - Day One

Longpo Yi - “Dragon Wife’s Robe," made by the Yi people in
Malipo County, Yunnan Province, China, first half of the 20th Century.
International Quilt Study Center & Museum 2012.021.0001.

In my happy place studying this beauty all week! Look closely, you may be able to see a pattern in the blocks. What I originally thought were randomly arranged blocks actually have some semblance of order.  By looking carefully you can see that the first row of blocks do not have blue fabrics, yet the second row does. The third row does not have blue, continuing the pattern.

- Amanda Lensch

Quilt cover, maker unknown, made in Niujiang, Huanjiang, Guangxi, China,
Circa 1925-1975. International Quilt Study Center & Museum 2012.040.0003.

I’m a learner by nature. Give me input from reading, listening or doing and I’m in my element.

The quilt that I was assigned in class today was filled with Chinese folk art symbols. While we haven’t studied Chinese symbols in the classroom yet (that’s tomorrow’s lesson), I was excited to recognize some of the symbols as a result of reading parts of Nancy Berliner’s book “Chinese Folk Art: The Small Skills of Carving Insects”. We also completed a hands-on observation of our quilt this afternoon.

I look forward to listening and learning more about Chinese symbols tomorrow. What an adventure to go to China again (well figuratively anyway!).

- Dottie Evans

Baby Carrier, maker unknown, made in Guizhou, China, circa 1950-
2000. International Quilt Study Center & Museum 2011.026.0007.

 A Chinese “Snugglie.” All cultures must find a way to carry the baby!

- Ruth Walker

Pan Kai Li, Bai Jia Bai. Wang Jian Village, Shaanxi Province, China,
Dated 2013. International Quilt Study Center & Museum 2013.020.0001.

Our "blogging assignment" today was to write about something that surprised me about the Chinese object that was assigned to me for this week's work. I was there (lucky me!) when Dr. Crews and Marin purchased the object, on site, in Wang Jian Cun (village) last month. So, I've already examined it pretty closely -- one of the privileges Amanda and I enjoyed as research assistants!

Even so, I continue to marvel at this "bei jia bei" ("One Hundred Families") quilt, traditionally made for new Chinese babies. Many representations of the "five poisons" are stuffed and appliqued on the quilt to frighten away any evil forces, thus protecting the child. The Five Poisons are: Snakes, Centipedes, Scorpions, Lizards, and Spiders or Toads.

I have never seen this technique before and we actually have a video of the woman demonstrating making these for us! Way COOL!
- Cindy DeLong

Waistcoat, maker unknown, made in China, circa 1880-
1900. International Quilt Study Center & Museum 2011.020.0001

The object I am studying is a black silk satin waistcoat. It appears to be a uniform of some sort; there is a mark where a label of some sort used to be on the inside below the collar. The surprise elements are the thirteen heavy gold/brass exquisitely carved buttons that add an elegant touch to the garment. 
- Anna Rolapp

Check back tomorrow for more of Something Unexpected.

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