I never cease to be inspired by the incomparable Mr. X, who threw out a Temari Tuesday post on Facebook which got me thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if there were someone who could cover everything Japanese-y and stitch-y? Oh wait, that’s my job!
Long ago in a galaxy far, far away we’ve seen Temari here before. Way back in 2010, the lovely Mistress T began the Temari discussion and you should totally take a peek.
Temari or 手まり translates into hand or te- (手) and ball, -mari (まり). I’ve talked about how the Japanese don’t like to waste anything in my other article about Boro, the art of mending. Temari is no exception and was historically made with wadded up scraps of kimono or rice hulls. The balls were wrapped so tightly with string that they would actually bounce.
You may already know that Temari were given to children to play with. Sometimes they had little bells or other noisemakers at the center. Other times they contained a goodwill wish for the child that she was never meant to ever see. A lesser known use for Temari was, they were made competitively between women who were vying the favor of their favorite prince. Either way, Temari’s bright colors were symbolic of wishing the recipient a happy life.
Serious Temari artists can practice for more than 10 years before becoming certified by the Japan Temari Association in Tokyo. That’s hardcore! Don’t have time for a decade of dedication? Well, you’re in luck. Google Sensei, engage!
Many artists are playing with the idea of Temari. Any size is possible and they can be displayed singly or collected in groups. Temari are fabulous heirloom toys for children, beautiful table decorations and can be made into brilliant jewelry.
If you’re a brave soul who just wants to Nuido-it-Yourself then check out this Instructables How-To using materials you probably have in your sewing kit. Need more? Temari.com has a list of tips and plenty of information for the determined Temari artist.
Last month I wrote about knotting embroidery thread using my Japanese craft book of friendship bracelets. Since I was in the midst of moving to Oahu, I didn’t have anything to show you but here’s a little update from my darling Princess Cinch-chu-chan.
She doesn’t look impressed with my work, but I love my new ankle bracelet (using local shells) and Hawaiian tan.
When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things and staying sunny in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com
When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family.