Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Old World Tradition & Culture for Today's Look

One of the things I love most about being part of the handmade world is the melding of tradition and culture into updated styles and motifs that just seem to fit today's lifestyles. The artians I'm featuring here today are all fellow hitchhikers on the Handmade Highway and their artistry illustrates wonderful examples of old world crafts with an updated look. I hope you enjoy these shops as much as I enjoyed browsing through them.

First up is Nothingbutstring. I selected this beautiful Rustic Grapes Irish Crochet Applique Purse partly because I love rusty autumn colors and partly because I think Emily, the artisan behind Nothingbutstring, has done a beautiful job of updating a simple modern purse with beautiful crocheted appliques in the lovely needlework tradition of my paternal grandmother's homeland of Ireland. Irish crochet is actually considered a type of lace making that was popularized during the 19th century Irish potato famine.

The art of tying knots dates back to prehistoric times, but Chinese knotting emerged as a popular folk art in Chinese cultures in the Tang and Song dynasties over 1000 years ago. Believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to newly married couples, this lovely art found its way back into mainstream culture in the 1970's and continues to be a popular folk art in Asian cultures. Jessica Tai of CLineCreations creates a wonderful variety of items from jewelry to hair accessories featuring this lovely art. One of my favorites is this Yellow Knot Keychain, made with a single strand of intricately woven Chinese knotting cord!

Jessica also offers some breathtakingly beautiful Chinese brush paintings. While the technique is described in more detail in her product descriptions, these paintings are done on rice paper with simple watercolors. The effect is lovely! I especially like this original painting of Koi fish - a traditional Asian symbol of love and friendship.

Jacobean embroidery, popularized during the reign of King James I of England in the early seventeenth century, describes a form of crewel embroidery used for furnishing. It is characterized by fanciful plant and animal shapes worked in a variety of stitches. Toni Melton of SatinStitchery on Etsy, has updated this art form beautifully by using it to embellish every day accessories like this Denim Jacobean Brocade Embroidered Shoulder Bag . Toni has a lot of really gorgeous embroidered items from key fobs to jackets and home decor!

I hope you'll take some time to check out some of the other beautiful items available at these shops, and that you'll agree that old world traditions definitely have a place in modern society!

Happy Wednesday and happy shopping!


Jess // CLineCreations said...

Thanks so much for the feature -- I'm glad that I could share my little bit of culture with you!

Toni at Satin Stitchery said...

Thanks for including me. You have a great blog; I enjoy reading it!

Collaborators In Cahoots said...

I Love the shop NothingButStrings! Wow such a cool shop and write up!~ Candles

Tommye said...

All beautiful traditional arts. Thanks for sharing. NothingbutString's Irish crochet is amazing.


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