Temari Tuesday 7 – Nejiri

July 20, 2010

After a run of unsatisfactory temari, here’s a “jumping-back-on-the-horse” effort, one I’m extremely happy with! I noticed nejiri (using kagari or wrapped bands to create self-contained shapes which are then interlocked with each other) on the TemariChallenge list of competencies for intermediate temari makers and this resonated when I saw a C10 pattern of relatively simple, straightforward bands. I immediately thought about how this same pattern might look on a C8, with four interlocked kites meeting in the middle of eight faces, but I haven’t gone there just yet. The negative space in this one also begs questions about additional bands creating a “middle” ground between the mari and the “foreground” bands. Photo to follow in due course.

Source: Watashi no temari nyumon/My temari beginner’s course (blue beginner book). ISBN4-8377-0486-7. Photo page 60, lower left; instructions p.62, second from top.

Model: a C10 with interlocking ‘flattened’ “kites” creating five-pointed stars. Grey mari with interlocking bands of red outlined white; 4 stitched rows in total; 27.5cm circumference.

Description: My mari is in bright, light acid yellow. The bands are in classic Japanese ungen style: three rows of dark crimson red/cerise, one row of light red and one row of light pink. The reds appear darker than they actually are against the pale mari and the pink thread fades to white. The rather stark contrast between the red bands on a yellow background make the whole thing appear very festive, very like the red of plush velvet and almost garishly “Chinese” in character reminiscent of Chinese Imperial embroidery. When I work with colours that “hurt”, I’m pretty sure that the finished product will be very bright and the colours ‘pop’ as the say in the temari world. I “live” with my temari by spending a lot of time having them in sightlines around 10-20 feet away, so the ones that “pop” invariably end up working out nicely at this distance. The paler ones, with more tertiary colours, work better at much closer range – on a desktop, for example.

The size of this quite large mari, 35cm circumf, permits bands of five stitched rows; a smaller mari would have forced me to use either fewer rows of perle cotton #5 or move to thinner perle cotton #8.

The surface design creates large negative spaces in the form of hexagons; because of the spherical geometry involved, these hexagons will be “imperfect” in size. These negative spaces are quite large, which probably explains why the surface design hasn’t been repeated around the traps and seems not to have achieved the popularity of other patterns. In this regard, a mari background colour with variegation might be interesting, but I prefer the purity of line in the pattern, strongly reminiscent of Arabic geometry, though in this case I have not bordered the bands in stark black or incorporated Islamic ceramic tile colours – pale greens, blues against white/black.

What is critical is the ‘height’ of each kite and that they meet in the middle of the negative space around them. In fact, try and stitch the kites in groups of twos where they interlock like bow ties. The good thing about these self-contained kites is that you can rip out each one and redo without feeling like you’re sacrificing a lot of time and effort.

Outcomes: I’m intrigued how different this is from the model, mainly as a result of mine being stitched on a very much larger mari.

Concordances: Other temari using interlocking or overlapping bands, some of which I’ve made before (excluding jyouge douji, obi designs and ‘single-thread’ weaving designs, woven bands), building on beginner temari wrapped bands, include – from www.temarikai.com to start with:

temarikai, patterns, page 2 – temari99JD01 (C8/intermediate) – interlocking triangles

temarikai, patterns, page 3 – temari99PG04 (C10/acc int to adv) – ‘stained glass’, an ‘all-over’ using bands

temarikai, patterns, page 3 – temari99TB01 (C8/intermediate) – an all-over using bands

temariaki, patterns, page 4 – temari99GK10 (C8/intermediate) – incorporates interweaving

temarikai, patterns, page 4 – temari99DA02 (C8/intermediate)

temarikai, patterns, page 4 – temari99CC02 (C10/intermediate)

temarikai, patterns, page 5 – temari99LW04 (C8/intermediate)

temarikai, patterns, page 6 – temari0510 (C8/intermediate) – incorporates interweaving

temarikai, patterns, page 6 – temari99LD07 (C8/intermediate)

temarikai, patterns, page 6 – temari99GK18 (S/Advanced) – incorporates interweaving

temarikai, patterns, page 6- temari99DA05 (C10/advanced) – overlapping bands

temarikai, patterns, page 6 – temari99SC06 (C10 acc adv to adv) – an all-over using interlocking bands

temariaki, patterns, page 7 – temari99GK21 (S10/advanced)

temariaki, patterns, page 7 – temari99CP04 (C10/adv beg to interm)

temarikai, patterns, page 8 – temari99LW08 (S8/intermediate) – incorporates interweaving










2 Responses to “Temari Tuesday 7 – Nejiri”

  1. Eric Clyne Says:

    Your work is beautiful and interesting. Some Japanese design is asymmetrical. Would this ever be seen in Temari?

    Good fortune in your work.


    • rodbyatt Says:

      Thanks! I was very struck by the very strong symmetry in temari when I first came upon it. So much relies on exact replication of the two hemispheres on either side of the “obi” on the equator, for example. I think it has to be said that for the vast majority of traditional temari, symmetry is the rule. While symmetry is lacking in surface patterns relying on freestyle embroidery, and in some extremely complex Western (and Japanese) interpretations (what I call “Extreme Temari” as in “Extreme Origami”) there is still a strong underlying sense of balance between forms, between postiive/negative space.

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