Friday, September 30, 2011
From the Collection: Weaving Accoutrement Part III
Once again, we're back to why decorate something that is for utilitarian purposes? (I know why, but I get a kick out of it, so you'll probably hear about it again.) Sorry the photo isn't any better; you'll have to take my word for it. The spindles above are from: Ladakh, Laos, Oman and Thailand. The largest one, and the one on the bottom, come apart completely, I'm not sure why--for transport? They are all heavily used, very worn. They're simple, beautiful, and do the job (once you know how).
Here are two Tibetans using drop spindles somewhere on the road to Kailash.
There are plenty of videos on youtube showing how to, and videos of spinners from all over the world. I don't want to discount anyone's spinning skills because I can't do it at all, but I was especially impressed with the women in Peru & Bolivia...they do it standing up & sometimes while walking (and we didn't see many sidewalks or paved roads when we were there). I can't even being to think how that works; I can text & walk, but I have to think hard and I only do it on routes that I take every day.
If you've ever seen anyone spinning (with a wheel or a drop spindle), it's mesmerizing. I find it so relaxing. The old fairy tale about straw into gold? It's about magic--and when you see wool being spun into yarn, you'll realize you're seeing magic, too. And a skill that's probably at least 20,000 years old. More on that later. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think. Questions? Comments?
BTW, the Met has an exhibit on Andean Huipiles (Tunics)! Unbelievable weaving & dying techniques on these masterpieces--some of them over 2000 years old.