Temari ball – aspects of practice

August 1, 2011

S8, 26cm circumf, perle cotton #5

Copied from Cosmo 1 of Ozaki (colour photo page 26, b/w pattern page 40). Ozaki’s is done in red and green also, hinting at a four-petalled red flower on a green background, though plainly it looks very geometric as well – a case of it being able to be ambiguously “read” both ways.  Of course simply stating complementary colours is the line of least resistance: red and its opposite green, in this case. Where such obvious and straightforward colour schemes demand little of the stitcher or the viewer, the focus extends then to the quality of the stitching. Which raises questions about skill and competency.

One American colleague raised the issue of practice recently – simply stitching temari, in a relaxed and happy state, as a way of overcoming errors and weakness through the application of repetition. Getting a bucket of tennis balls and serving from the base line over and over again. It can’t be “mindless” repetition because mistakes still out a mile on temari. It has to be “mindful”. This is sound advice for anyone like me impelled by the challenge of the new, attracted by novelty and the unknown, constantly intrigued by the mystery of complexity and intricacy. In this regard, there is plenty in Cosmo 1 to pick from.

You can probably see from this photo of another side of the same temari how much more practice I still need to do, even on the most innocuous of surface designs! I have yet to fully embrace the pernickkity attention to detail of True Embroiderers, the vigilance required so that nothing slips through to the keeper.

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