Monday, June 18, 2007

A Favorite Tea Towel

A Favorite Tea Towel
Originally uploaded by notionnanny
This embroidered tea towel is one of Dianne's favorite items in her collection of textiles. However, she has never used it as the inspiration for a contemporary piece in her line of reproduction textiles. After years of careful examination of the design motifs within Arts and Crafts period textiles, she and her husband Tim came up with an interesting interpretation for the embroidered pattern.

Reading it like a symbolic narrative, the pattern seems to begin with a small red diamond shape, situated like a seed within two swirling "brushstrokes" suggesting a circular movement like that of a recycling symbol, or a swastika. Small green and blue leaves sprout outward on either side. Three lines "rain" downward with more red seeds at their tips, suggesting the proliferation and sewing of new seeds into the earth below. Horizontal lines radiate outward on either side to taller vines adorned with multi-colored leaves that create a heart-shaped frame around another line moving upward with a seed, or bud, at its peak. The theme of regeneration seems to resonate with the notion of a contemporary re-visiting of the Arts and Crafts Movement's instrumentalizaton of the natural world, considering our frought relationship with nature and the earth's resources today. I also like the connection this makes to a recycling of ideas and histories.


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