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 Post subject: Gejia batik Jackets
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:33 pm 
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Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
I'd like to post 4 Gejia jackets I recently purchased for those with a penchant for batik.

The first is made using two lengths of hand spun and woven (tu bu) cotton joined up the back and has a similar pattern to that shown in the Gina Corrigan/British Museum "Miao Textiles from China" book. Although the workmanship is good, the pattern is quite simple.

The second is also a "tu bu"jacket but has much finer batik work, which, due to the difficulty in creating fine lines on the coarse cloth would have required great skills to achieve.

The third is an older jacket (probably early 20th century) showing a traditional pattern on a single piece of market bought machine made (yang bu) cotton which allows for much finer work.

The last jacket is also on "yang bu" and has some quite delicate work. The pattern includes many small birds which are highly prized as they relate to an ancient Gejia legend.

[Andrew originally posted only one photo of each of these stunning jackets. Subsequently he added a further photo of each in a much later post. I have incorporated these later photos into his initial post so that we can get maximum benefit of the shots of each full jacket plus details - Pamela]


Attachments:
File comment: Gejia jacket 1 (front)
ge-jia-jacket-45.1.jpg
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File comment: Gejia jacket 1 (back)
ge-jia-jacket-45.2.jpg
ge-jia-jacket-45.2.jpg [ 58.9 KiB | Viewed 13894 times ]
File comment: Gejia jacket 2 (front)
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ge-jia-jacket-47.1.jpg [ 57.91 KiB | Viewed 13894 times ]
File comment: Gejia jacket 2 (back)
ge-jia-jacket-47.2.jpg
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File comment: Gejia jacket 3 (front)
ge-jia-jacket-49.1.jpg
ge-jia-jacket-49.1.jpg [ 58.09 KiB | Viewed 14443 times ]
File comment: Gejia jacket 3 (back)
ge-jia-jacket-49.2.jpg
ge-jia-jacket-49.2.jpg [ 59.4 KiB | Viewed 14443 times ]
File comment: Gejia jacket 4 (front)
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ge-jia-jacket-51.1.jpg [ 56.29 KiB | Viewed 14442 times ]
File comment: Gejia jacket 4 (back)
Ge-Jia-Jacket-51.22web.jpg
Ge-Jia-Jacket-51.22web.jpg [ 59.68 KiB | Viewed 14442 times ]


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:49 pm 
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Andrew

Very nice indeed - thank you! Are the shapes at the bottom of jacket representations of a bat? After seeing your post I was motivated to search out a small group of textiles that I bought in Ma Tang, a Ge Jia village which is within the Kaili city area, Guizhou province in November 2001 and a couple of pieces have this somewhat abstract shape and I wondered if it was a bat?

I will see about photographing two or three pieces to add to your collection on this thread although none of the items are really up to the quality and interest of yours but nevertheless are perhaps of interest in different ways. I also have a few pieces (with embroidery) that I have bought over the years as Ge Jia work has always attracted me but I am not quite sure where abouts they are stored. There is something very direct and clean cut about Ge Jia work.

Thanks again - you have a very discerning eye for good wax resist so that not only the quality of the technique is of interest but the overall design gives an aesthetic pleasure also. No 4 has a lovely 'flow' to it as well as being an amazing tribute to the skill of the woman who executed it. I would say that the fineness suggest youth (and good eyesight) but the composition and flow surely comes from someone more mature? Thanks for your enlightening comments.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:11 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Pamela

Thanks for your words of appreciation.

Your question about bats (presumably aimed at jacket 2) is a sticky one. Some Ge Jia women/family groups say categorically there are no bats in their pattern repertoire, only different types of birds varying in their levels of abstraction, whilst others say there are not only birds and bats, but also frogs, snails, butterflies etc. and other, long forgotten types of animals. I tend to go along with the idea there are more than just birds represented in Ge Jia batik. Unfortunately, there are no typical 'bat' patterns on any of the jackets shown.

[At this point this thread strayed away from jackets - my fault! The later part of the original thread has now been split off to form a new, free-standing thread http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=242 so that we can concentrate properly here on these wonderful jackets - Pamela]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:19 pm 
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Because of the number of viewings of this thread, I thought I had better add photos of the complete jackets for the details given above [these have now been incorporated into the first post in the thread - Pamela] as well as a couple more nice examples of Ge Jia batik skills.


Attachments:
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 5
Ge-Jia-jacket-33.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-33.1.jpg [ 57.69 KiB | Viewed 13924 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 5 (back, detail)
Ge-Jia-jacket-33.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-33.2.jpg [ 59.53 KiB | Viewed 13924 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:22 pm 
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And just another 2 more.


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File comment: Ge Jia jacket 6
Ge-Jia-jacket-37.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-37.1.jpg [ 59.07 KiB | Viewed 13921 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 6 (back detail)
Ge-Jia-jacket-37.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-37.2.jpg [ 54.75 KiB | Viewed 13921 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 7 (back detail)
Ge-Jia-jacket-30.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-30.2.jpg [ 60.58 KiB | Viewed 13921 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:52 pm 
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Andrew

Thank you SO very much for posting all these additional photos - both of the four original jackets which you posted back in October 04 and the three additional jackets.

These are such wonderful textiles. I find them mind-blowing! All are so very special in their own way. Look at jacket number 5. The in-fill of birds and all their accompanying fol-de-rols are so amazingly flowing and would take such skill to draw out much less work with a wax knife to create. There is such movement, whimsy and sheer panache in their execution. As it is so finely drawn is it on yang bu cloth?

The paragraph above does not mean that I am not impressed with the others but just that I cannot quite believe this one! Thank you so very much for sharing them with us. I hope that you will be happy to let me create a photogallery from them all when I can get a chunk of time. It would be such a pleasure to do so as they are a quite wonderful collection of jackets which deserve an 'exhibition'.

Do you know the Ge Jia village for any of them? Any indication of age of jackets 5-7?

Very many thanks,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:33 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Pamela, for sorting out the photos for me, and also for your poetic descriptions of no. 5. I’m afraid I don’t have the artistic nor language abilities to describe things in such a way. If anyone else is able to help me with writing elegant and creative descriptions, that would be great.

Yes, no.5 is on ‘yangbu’ and is probably 2nd Quarter of 20th C. Jacket 6 is older, the seller saying it was made in about 1910. No.7 is on a bought piece of heavy and course ‘yangbu’ and is younger, probably being mid 20th C.

As for where they come from, I’ve found it so difficult to get dealers, even those I’ve been buying from for many years, to bother about recording where things come from. Often, my contacts are not the original collectors of the goods they sell, but are the second link in the chain, with the first link refusing to disclose sources for fear that others will rush in to buy what is left. Anyway, I reckon they often just give me any old address to please me and send me on my way!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:43 am 
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Andrew

Thanks for the further info on jackets 5-7. Yes, I understand the lack of information on the location of origin of the jackets.

Looking through the jackets again No 7 is quite a tour de force of design. Having been a quilter for about 20 years (the website took over from about 2000) I again (as with No 5) admire the flow of the design. I have worked hard to create circles and curves of quilting designs - such as is traditional in the north-east of England, so called 'Durham quilting' and found it incredibly difficult to do freehand. It is difficult enough with templates and other aids to get a good flowing design. The old master quilters, and in some cases pattern drawers became expert at this. The latter would mark out the quilt tops for others to quilt. I can't stress enough how great is the skill required to create these flowing, balanced designs whilst at the same time controlling the flow of hot wax. It needs several different skills and simultaneous messages from the brain! (Oh, being greedy and nagging as usual (!) any chance of a shot of the full No 7 jacket? I am curious as to the sleeves which have been thought suitable to accompany the very strong curves in the main body of the jacket.)

On another thread Tongzhi has been asking questions about the pricing of tribal textiles. During the discussion, following on from a comment by Sandie, Tongzhi asked
Quote:
'refering to sandie's note on pricing; "until an accurate assessment of both the origin and technical skill can be made". just wondering normally who does these things and tries to regulate the price? museum or textiles society or associations or who? who takes the time to ascertain the technical skills?
i always thought it is also influenced by market demands of collectors and sellers.
Technical and artistic skills are so closely linked in the case of Ge Jia wax resist textiles. You, Andrew, have posted some prime examples above. I responded to Tongzhi on the other thread
Quote:
'Well, I certainly do. I do it every time I look/feel/assess a textile. For me it is both subconscious, instinctive and it will also be part of my decision making process when I purchase a textile. Of course, pure technique alone is not enough, it needs to be well designed and attractive to the eye. Scarcity will also affect price but a glut of a textile can never completely diminish the admiration for superb technical execution. '
In the case of these jackets we have fine technique, artistic ability and scarcity! For the full discussion - and to make comments on pricing etc see: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=195

Thanks again, Andrew for the wonderful textiles on this thread. It has certainly opened my eyes to the skills and variety of Ge Jia wax resist. There is so little available in any of the literature and even the Ge Jia textiles that one sees around tend to be limited to aprons and, albeit very striking, full costumes produced in the last quarter of the 20th century but which do not seem to include jackets full of wax resist (or perhaps they are well covered by all the layers of the full costume).

Best wishes

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:12 pm 
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I hope Andrew won't mind but I have just put together one web page with thumbnails of the seven jackets laid out on it. I have had no time to create the supporting photogallery of larger photos. However, I hope that it gives you a chance to see all the jackets in one screen shot (albeit only in thumbnail form) and contrast and compare. If you hover your mouse over each jacket you will see which number it is in Andrew's series above. See: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... ackets.htm

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:39 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Pamela, you asked if I could post a photo of the complete jacket 7 so that you could see the sleeves that went with this style of batik. Unfortunately, I bought this jacket without sleeves or lower back panels.

Often, the women selling their textiles will want to keep a part of the piece as a connection with the past and because the piece was made as a labour of love and they are desperate not to give it all up. So, jackets are sometimes sold without sleeves, or more usually with lesser quality sleeves. Likewise, baby carriers very rarely come with the original straps/bands. Assuming the jacket is sold in its original condition, dealers will then often cannibalise them in order to maximize profits, so again, good sleeves might be replaced with lesser versions. Also, mothers, grandmothers and even other female relatives might help a girl with her sets of wedding clothes by providing a batik jacket to go with the girls sleeves or the other way round, embroidered sleeves to be put on the girls jacket, and so jackets, even in their original form, could be a combination of more than one generation. One is therefore very lucky to buy a jacket that has not been altered and has been made by a single person.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:02 pm 
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While it pales beside Andrews magnificent pieces, I thought I would add this one, which I bought in 1994. It's one of the things you pull out of a trunk and suddenly remmeber a piece you haven't seen in five years. The rigors of having too many textiles.

Bill Hornaday


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Ge Jia coat3-frontfull027.jpg
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Ge Jia coat3-frontdetail028.jpg
Ge Jia coat3-frontdetail028.jpg [ 77.27 KiB | Viewed 13768 times ]
Ge Jia coat3-backfull029.jpg
Ge Jia coat3-backfull029.jpg [ 68.93 KiB | Viewed 13768 times ]
Ge Jia coat3-backdetail.jpg
Ge Jia coat3-backdetail.jpg [ 75.6 KiB | Viewed 13768 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:58 am 
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Bill, a nice jacket. Although the batik is quite simple, it gives a bold and striking appearance, which can be very impressive, particularly from a distance.


Attachments:
Ge-Jia-jacket-46.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-46.1.jpg [ 60.25 KiB | Viewed 13742 times ]
Ge-Jia-jacket-46.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-46.2.jpg [ 58.2 KiB | Viewed 13742 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:14 pm 
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I’d like to add a little more to the batik subject, this time showing what can go wrong when making batik jackets. The first jacket below shows how difficult it is to correct mistakes that are made during the drawing of the wax patterns (unless they are completely blanked out/covered over with wax). Unlike embroidery and weaving, mistakes with wax cannot easily be undone, since, although the surface wax can be scraped off, there will always be traces that have soaked into the cloth that cannot be removed, and after dying, leave a shadowy image as seen in the 8 small squares in the centre. The second jacket shows what happens if the cloth is folded or crumpled too much after waxing but before dying. The wax will crack, allowing the dye to penetrate into the cloth, leaving the thin blue lines across the pattern (called “ice lines”), and/or, areas of wax will be loosened, giving a blurred and indistinct white pattern. The third jacket is just an example of wobbly straight lines and an inconsistent, unsymmetrical design. The fourth shows that it can even be difficult to ensure the two pieces of home spun/woven cloth making up the jacket are actually the same length. The last one is simply a tragic case, with different lengths of cloth, unmatched patterns across the two pieces of cloth, inconsistent pattern styles and areas where the wax has been loosened, resulting in blurred areas of pattern (a pity, since the batik work is actually pretty good).


Attachments:
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 1
Ge-Jia-jacket-32.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-32.1.jpg [ 51.73 KiB | Viewed 13626 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 1 (detail)
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File comment: Ge Jia jacket 2
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File comment: Ge Jia jacket 2
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File comment: Ge Jia jacket 3
Ge-Jia-jacket-41.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-41.1.jpg [ 60.42 KiB | Viewed 13626 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:17 pm 
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Jackets 4 & 5


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File comment: Jacket 4
Ge-Jia-jacket-18.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-18.1.jpg [ 58.44 KiB | Viewed 13619 times ]
File comment: Jacket 5 (front)
Ge-Jia-jacket-17.1.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-17.1.jpg [ 60.98 KiB | Viewed 13619 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia jacket 5 (back)
Ge-Jia-jacket-17.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-jacket-17.2.jpg [ 59.06 KiB | Viewed 13619 times ]
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:57 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Oliver-

Thamnks alot for showing pieces with problems. The last one is a heart breaker. It's so nice to see the problem pieces to help us know what to look for. Sometimes we get so excited we forget to really examine a textile. Hope you are well. Once again we all wait with great anticipation for your next contribution of photos from your collection.

Bill


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