Monthly Archives: March 2014

Asafo

asofo cover

In 2001 I illustrated the book Head, Body, Legs by Won-ldy Paye and Meg Lippert. Won-ldy is a Dan storyteller from Liberia and Meg is a storyteller from the United States – together they turned a Dan origin myth that was told orally into a written tale. My first attempts to illustrate it were not African at all, as I am not African. But when I saw this book of Asafo flags I saw a way in.

asafo flag

Asofo flags were made by the Fante people of Ghana. They began as a Fante response to European flags, and became a unique and vibrant form of art.

asofo airplanes

 

asofo bridge

I could continue this cross pollination.

asafo tree

Here are some of the illustrations from Head, Body, Legs. I was influenced by the colors and shapes of the flags, but the illustrations were painted, not sewn.head body legs cover

4 head body legs

9 head body legs

About 6 years ago I began sewing some appliqués. I wasn’t trying to make them look like Asafo flags, but some of the shapes were similar. This illustrates a tree in Norwegian legends named Yggdrasil.Paschkis yggdrasil

I sewed the mermaid and octopus for curtains.

Paschkis mermaid appliquePaschkis octopus applique

A friend saw my appliqués and sent me this postcard of an appliqué by M. Quisuit of the Nunavut people in Baker Lake, NWT.

nunavut appliqueWhat I take from the connections between these images is that the process strongly influences the form, and that as people we are all stitched together.

Here is an Asafo flag of Funtum Yempa: a powerful and dangerous bush spirit. “A good spirit nourishes her young.”

asofo spirit

 

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Tablecloths: Fabric of Life

wooden fruit

It’s easy to put a beautiful cloth on a table.

marimekko table

It’s a way to see and enjoy and touch fabric.

easter table

It’s a way to make a small and fleeting still life in the kitchen or dining room.

…This owl and the wooden dove above were made by Mike Zitka…

Mike Zitka owl

Tablecloths are a way to weave beauty into everyday life.

daffodils

My mother gave me my love of tablecloths. She always did and always will have beautiful fabric on the table – sometimes several cloths at once. A table without a cloth would be naked.  Here is a table at my parent’s home, between meals.

foulkeways

Tablecloths remind me of the people who gave them to me, such as this favorite one from my sister Karla.

yellow tablecloth

They also remind me of places where I have traveled.

guatemalan tablecloth

They are a way to celebrate the colors of the seasons.

yellow table

july 4 tablecloth

fall table

green and blue table

chocolate cake

gold cloth

Tablecloths look beautiful before and during meals.

table runner

blue runnera

and after…

after

I love to set the table. And of course the best part is sitting around, enjoying life with friends and family.

Vasnetsov magpie