Thursday, October 23, 2014

Christmas Crafting with Wheat: Pasting and Weaving

pasted wheat bell
        Straw patchwork, shown left and below, is a Chinese folk art that dates back to the Han Dynasty (250—230 CE) and developed during Sui Dynasty of 581—618 CE. During the Song Dynasty (960—1127 CE), straw patchwork was enjoyed by royalty. Wheat straw is smoked, steams, whitening, dyed, cut, and altered in a myriad of procedures to fashion delicate representational works. Today wheat straw patchwork is a decorative art and popular item for tourists to China. Above I have included a variety of photographs depicting straw patchwork used to create Christmas ornaments for the Western Christmas markets by Asian countries like China, Japan, and Taiwan.
Left, Santa Claus and Right, a rooster are both made with split, dyed and pasted straw.

A vintage, Christmas giraffe ornament made by pasting dyed wheat in layers. Made by Asian industry for an American market, the design is Western. The giraffe motif is likely influenced by an antique carousel.

This straw patchwork ornament took it's design from a Trogen horse.
       Straw plaiting is a method of manufacturing textiles by braiding straw. It is plaited to produce products including straw hats and ornaments, and the process is undertaken in a number of locations worldwide. Straw can be plaited for a number of purposes, including: the crafting of a paper-making material, for ornamenting small surfaces as a "straw-mosaic", for plaiting into door and table mats, mattresses and for weaving and plaiting into light baskets and to create artificial flowers. Straw is also plaited to produce a variety of Christmas ornaments like those shown below. 

      "A Year of Swedish Slöjd (Handcraft)" at the American Swedish Institute is a multi-dimensional project funded in part by the Minnesota State Arts Board through a Folk and Traditional Arts grant. In a series of youth and adult workshops, participants worked together with guest artists from throughout Minnesota, creating beautiful and functional objects out of ceramic tile, wood, birch bark, glass, wire, wheat, and felted wool. The instructor of the Wheat Weaving workshops was Carol Tamte. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008."

traditional straw ornament designs
More European Wheat Work on The Web:
Straw Weaving Projects for The Christmas Tree:

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