,The Designing Traditions project was a collaboration with the RISD Museum, and served as a unique opportunity to re-innovate a piece from a curated body of work from the Costume and Textiles Collection. I was drawn towards an early 20th century Japanese Shifu Hanten, a seemingly simple looking garment that was comprised of plain weave structure and dyed a deep shade of indigo. I wanted to investigate the transformative process that took the artisans to make the garment, from the very roots and use jacquard weaving as my visual language. The bast fiber that comprises the garment is sourced from a paper mulberry plant, and features an array of vibrant blossoms. I used these saturated bursts of colors as a dominant motif in my artwork to translate into my final jacquard length. The fibers of the plant are compressed into a traditional Japanese tissue paper, that is then cut into strips and twisted into yarn. I incorporated these symbolic tendrils to entangle around the repeat and colored them in an ombre of blue shades to show a sense of space. I thought the concept of representing a garment with such an inherent identity that is so rich in process, yet cloaked by simplicity, would be interesting to exploit in a composition.
[Inspiration board featuring the transformative identity of the paper mulberry plant that eventually is processed into paper yarn used for the referenced garment, a shifu hanten.]
[A sampling of motifs used, the original technical colored repeat artwork developed for Pointcarre software programming and an experimental color sampling trial]
[File weaving on the Jacquard loom]
[Close-up of the 27" repeat]
[2.5 yard final fabric in repeat]