Tag Archives: Susan Meller

A Rose is …

is a rose is a rose.
 

Here is a blog I wrote in 2014, with a few new images:

Roses

Recently a friend, Julie Little, brought over a big bucket of roses from her garden. There were so many roses that we had more than one bouquet.

The roses were achingly beautiful and they smelled good. But roses fade. Alas.
faded roses

Luckily roses on fabric can provide timeless pleasure. Here are some to savor.

This 19th century English chintz border is from the book  Textile Designs , an encyclopedia of historic fabrics compiled by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers.

chintz england 19th

Susan Meller also wrote an amazing book about Russian Textiles . It includes examples of printed fabrics, embroidery, ikats, paisleys and stripes. It shows the cloth and robes made from them. Here are some rose fabrics from that book.

russia 1870s

In the Russian fabrics there are many rich reds: crimson, scarlet, cherry, carmine, rust and maroon.russia 20thrussia mid 20thrussia late 19thRussian roller printed clothTurkmen robe 1930

This Suzani piece was embroidered. The designs were drawn on the cloth, then separated into panels. Various family members would embroider the separate panels which would then be sewn back together. The slight variations in the density of the stitches and the slight flaws in the registration give the piece life.suzani embroidery 19th

Roses line this woman’s mulisak from Khiva.munisak 20th century

Returning to Textile Designs , you can find these roses from France (1922 and 1930):

france 1922

france 1930

And this bouquet, made in England for export to Portugal in the mid 1800’s.

eng for portugal mid 19th

So, gather (and stitch) your rosebuds while ye may.


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Here is a poem is by Sandra Gilbert, from her book Kissing the Bread.

sandra gilbert

 

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Red Star

In the winter a bit of red is nice. A red berry or a red bird can warm the landscape. So I designed a red scarf.

I started by looking at red fabrics in one of my favorite books: Russian Textiles by Susan Meller.

russian-textiles

I noticed that the reds were made more beautiful by the colors around them- by more reds, and by contrasting colors. Here is a small feast of some of the Russian textiles that inspired me. Most of them are from the 19th century. They are either block printed or roller printed on cotton.

russian-block-printed-027

russian-textiles029

russian-block-printed-026

russian-paisley032

russian-block-print030

russian-suzani-print031

1900-roller-printed-025

I got out every tube of red gouache that I own and painted the basic building block of my scarf: a red star. The half circle and quarter circle on the edges flip to create whole flowers. I wanted joyful colors.

dragonthread-red-star-copy

I painted a border to use on the ends of the scarf with a different red background.

dragonthread-red-border-copy

I kept a record of all of the colors that I used: one sample sheet for myself, and one for the printer.

dragonthread-red-swatch-copy

Then, with photoshop, I made a design for a long scarf using that basic red star as a building block, flipping and repeating it. It looked too busy with the border panel, so I ditched that. Using the existing art I created a simpler star pattern for the ends, and added a red-orange border all around. Here are some of the steps, and then the final design.

Paschkis dragonthread-red-d Paschkis dragonthread-red-c

red-scarf-small-copy

Linda Teufel of Dragon Threads had it printed in China. The scarf is 20″ x 70″ long on a beautiful, matte silk crepe de chine, with a hand rolled hem. The red saturates through both sides of the scarf. Allow me to model it for you, please.

It is a limited edition. You can buy one here at juliepaprika.com for $48. I’ll also be selling them (and books and prints) at the Ravenna Holiday Art & Craft Sale at the Ravenna Neighborhood Center, December 3rd from 10-3 (6535 Ravenna Ave. NE). Please come by!

I will leave you with a poem and picture that I wrote/drew about the color red. This is a page from a picture book that I am working on now.

Paschkis Red Poem