What would it be like if you could get twenty-two of the most committed textile artisans from around the world in the same room? People who not only knew their craft but who took charge of reviving it, promoting it, and giving others the chance to fall in love with it. What would it be like if you gave each one a space to tell their story and let them illustrate it with lush, detailed photos? It would be very much like issue #5 of HAND/EYE - World Textiles.
There are amazing stories being told in this issue. We knew, for example, of the process found in many cultures where a tannin treatment is followed by the application of a mud to get dark brown or black. The mud usually contains some iron which reacts with the tannin. We didn't know that there was a Chinese variation on this, known as tea-silk. In her story "Ancient Luxuries" Kathrin Von Rechenberg explains the 500 year old tradition of using yam juice and river mud to produce "Gambiered Canton Gauze."
There are old friends in this issue - weavers from Chiapas, Mexico are featured in a story by Laura Aviva, the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles founder Kikuo Morimoto is featured under the title Heroic Eco-Culturalist, and Gasali Adeyemo gets a mention in Marcella Echavarria's interview with designer Christina Kim.
There are also many new introductions being made in this issue. The twenty-two features span a variety of cultures and techniques - from machine and hand embroidery, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crochet and beading to Dutch dot painting.
For those who have never picked up a copy of HAND/EYE we strongly recommend it. Cover to cover there are no ads and the exquisite layout, design and photography make it an artifact to keep forever.
You can order issue #5 directly here.