Saturday, August 29, 2009

Basket weaving

I have long admired rush matting for its simple and natural look but, until last weekend had given little thought to its making and I was very suprised to find rush being woven on a loom with a warp ( or is it weft) of hemp string. I was lucky enough to be able to chat at length to the curator and guide to an exhibition of basket making- all fascinating, There is a long long tradition of basket weaving in Hungary and it is thought that the craft was bought to Hungary by the Mongols many years ago. Rush , reed and willow are the most common materials for bakset making in Hungary. The rush matting shown above was traditionally used on mud floors in peasant houses or as wall hangings, placed on the wall alongside the bed . The bags like those shown above are woven on a loom and then beautifully seamed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Matyo roses

This colourful, dense embroidery comes from the Matyo region, a small area in Northern Hungary. The most famous Matyo motives are the Matyo roses which initially gained popularity in the 1890s and continue to do so today. Recently I visited the "memorial house of a hundred roses" of Kisjanko Bori, who was a famous "rose writer" she drew roses onto cloth to be embroidered. These rose motives were also painted onto furniture and walls. These pictures show tradional Matyo costumes incorporating the wonderful matyo embroidery

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vintage costumes

These hand made, vintage waistcoats and jackets, complete with porcelain buttons come from Slovakia. Lots of bright colours, silver and gold thread.
The last two pictures show a hand embroidered childs waistcoat, lots of work went into this. More information coming soon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Embroidered bonnets

I bought these really pretty bonnets yesterday. I am trying to find out a little more about them, I think that they come from Slovakia and are about 100 years old. They are beautifully made and rather delicate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cross stitch embroidery

Well it was worth the long trip to the Ukraine border to meet Erszike and to see her amazing embroidery for which she has won the prestigious Kis Janos Bóri prize. Beautiful work and we are now working together to develop some designs using slightly different colours and designs than the the very bold traditional Hungarian red!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weaving hemp

Oh dear its been a long time since I last posted!. Been mad busy with big orders and the summer , nearly at an end, has sped by. This weekend however I did manage to take some time to visit amongst other things, a small village near the Ukraine border which was holding their annual "hemp" festival. This village is incredibly rich in folk craft heritage. My primary purpose was to meet Erszike who is a master embroiderer , I hope that we will be doing some work together in the future. It was a bonus to see the preperation, spinning and weaving of hemp. It just went to remind me what a time consuming process it all is! They still weave in this village, though mostly a hemp and cotton mix. Here are some pictures;

Hemp drying. After the hemp is picked it is soaked in the river of lake for 4- 6 weeks and then dried

The stalks are bashed to releas teh fibres which are then combed

spinning the fibres.....
and finally weaving the cloth, this chap was having a go and finding it very difficult!