Beauty of Ikat

Are you familiar with ikat textiles made from threads that are dyed section by section?  No doubt you have seen the fabric used in decorative items and clothing, but have you ever thought about how the designs are created?

When done by hand, the threads are stretched on a frame and the pattern is marked off. Each section of the design is then bound off and dyed separately until all areas of the thread are covered.

Ikat textiles are popular these days, but they are not new.

Historically, they have been symbols of status and wealth much like tapestries were in earlier times.

They were offered to rulers, loyal friends and people of importance as part of a centuries old tradition of gift giving.

Some of the gifts were used to establish and cement political alliances.

Today, in some countries, ikat garments are part of the culture.

As a weaver, I am fascinated by the artistry of the fabric,

often woven with silk threads as fine as a strand of hair.  Knowing that I will never be able to duplicate such beautiful creations only enhances my appreciation.

Strand of Silk - Journey Map - Ikat - Producer Communities - padmashali

How grateful I am that the tradition of making ikat textiles by hand is being maintained in places like India, Southeast Asia, Japan and Latin America.  I was very happy to be able to photo these wonderful examples of ikat creations at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Art: The Magic

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.

Twyla Thorpe

For me, looking at art is running away, enjoying the magic of another’s creative reality. A few days ago I went to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts for an exhibit of sculpture by Ron Mueck.  To say the least, I was blown away.

He is called a hyperrealist sculptor, and it is easy to see why.  No detail is left to the imagination.

Using resin, silicone, fiberglass and other materials he creates human forms that portray life through its various stages: birth,

middle age,

elderly.

Not always are the figures true to scale.  They may be larger 

or smaller giving one the idea that size reflects the enormity of the event represented.

It is said that some of Mueck’s images reflect Christian imagery 

while others draw on the perfection of Renaissance painting.

Whatever the influences, Mueck’s sculptures demand attention. Like them or not, one cannot help but appreciate the artist’s attention to detail and the time such must require.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Art of a Different Kind

IMG_6219As much as I enjoyed the art cars, the ones in the Sculpted Steel exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston were of a totally different ilk.

IMG_6225I have a thing for beautiful old cars so these  from the Art Deco era made my heart beat fast.

IMG_6206Manufactured from 1929-1940, these vehicles are  extraordinary.

IMG_6208Some were prototypes, too expensive to manufacture

IMG_6195while others were made in very limited edition.

IMG_6215At one time I had a LeBaron convertible, so it was impossible not to imagine this Chrysler Thunderbolt as its forerunner.

IMG_6201If I could choose just one car, I think it would be this one.

How funky are the lines, how fun the look!  I can just see myself behind the wheel, in my tennis skirt no less.

IMG_6193While I’m not a motorcycle buff,

IMG_6223these models were pretty cool, maybe the kind a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel would ride.

Asked if this exhibit had been a popular one, you guess right if you think it was a homerun!  I haven’t quit thinking about it and imagining myself in anyone of the cars which are true pieces of art.  I’m thinking you’d love it, too.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind