Sunday, September 7, 2008

Faded But Not Forgotten

There's a Japanese word, 'Iro-Ochi' , which means a special sort of faded beauty. Usually applied to pottery and printmaking, iro-ochi celebrates and appreciates the individual beauty of imperfection. Why is it that we tend to devalue faded textiles such as antique quilts?

"It's old and faded-" we say and thus dismiss the possibility that the aging process of the piece might be unique, interesting, and even worthwhile artistically. Occasionally I come across, in person or on the web, a quilt that, fading and all, is truly striking.

This one has all the colors of a twilight sky.
I think it's even more interesting because the pieced pattern is so simple-a variation of Drunkard's Path called Pullman's Puzzle. The quilting stitches also are very straight forward-dark parallel diagonal lines that cut across the surface.

I would be proud to claim this quilt, faded or not.

1 comment:

Carole said...

What a lovely quilt! Sadly, I think this is all due to today's belief that young/new is better than old. Such a contrast from the attitudes prior to the 19th century whereby old meant comfort and reliability, in a since that it had passed the test of time.

I do want to thank you for selling me your book "mastering Quilt Marking" at the quilt show in Harrisburg. I would have loved to take a class with you, but our guild had only planned to be there on Friday.

Thanks again!