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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Andrew-
Very interesting! It is indeed very useful to see how things can go wrong.

I wonder tho about the first one- those faint dots look like they could have been done with rice paste resist- something that I see used other places- and perhaps are not a mistake, but intended by the maker. Here in Thailand, rice paste is used for religious blessings on cars, people, etc. As a resist for dye it is used in many places, tho I don't know if it is common in China.

As for the third one, I rather like the "ice lines" created when the wax breaks. In the GeJia culture, is this considered a bad thing?

The mismatches are really quite sad as so much work has gone into the waxing process.

Many thanks for your educational post!

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http://www.tribaltrappings.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:39 pm 
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Location: Bristol, England
Thanks Bill and Susan

I hoped a few examples of mistakes might be helpful in indicating some of the problems encountered when making resist items, but would also highlight some of the points that make up good examples of wax resist.

Susan, I'm sorry to say that the first jacket almost definitely does have waxing mistakes, which show through on the dye, as I have never heard of such mistakes being made deliberately. The Ge Jia do not make paste resist items, although they have used paste resist ties for their baby carrier in the past, which would have been bought in the market and not made locally, I believe they were not even made in Guizhou (examples can be found in the Gina Corrigan/ British Museum Fabric Folios Miao Textiles book page 74, also on page 406 of the Fu Jen University published “Miao Costumes of Southeast Guizhou”). Yes, for the Ge Jia, “ice lines” are definitely a bad thing, showing a lack of batik skills, but unfortunately, they would be quite difficult to avoid unless a particularly large dying vat/barrel was being used.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:25 pm 
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I endorse what Andrew says about the 'shadows' in the indigo as being created by traces of wax left in the fabric where the waxer tried to alter a mistake rather than any paste resist. I also agree that generally in traditional Miao and Ge Jia waxing the 'crackle' lines from where the wax has been creased and the dye allowed to reach a wax covered area are definitely deemed to be signs of poor waxing/dyeing skills. It is only us westerners who like the crackle lines and for us it speaks of the waxing process. The Ge Jia definitely aim for clear whites and blues, not broken up white.

Thank you very much Andrew for sharing these less than perfect textiles with us. I agree with Bill that seeing such pieces helps with training our eyes to see both the excellent and the second best. I particularly like the one with the 'shadows' in the indigo from traces of earlier wax. It is rather like looking at an old master oil painting where earlier sketches or attempts by the painter emerge in cleaning. Seeing superbly executed jackets - both waxing on the fabric and then perfectly matched when assembled - can make you forget just what a challenge it is to get everything just right. Seeing the less than excellent certainly enhances the stars in your collection which you have shared with us - very many thanks!

When I was in Kaili in May and, inspired by your wonderful Ge Jia jackets, keeping my eyes open for such a gem for my collection, I found a jacket where the centre back suffered with the mismatch problems shown in your jacket photo 17.2. As it would have been the only one in my collection I could not bring myself to negotiate for it as I knew that my eye would always see the mismatch in the designs.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Jacket sleeves
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:39 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
Personally, I like to try and put dates to things, just to be tidy, so when I was in Guizhou this September, I asked about Ge Jia embroidery styles that could definitely be attributed and dated. Below are photographs of three Ge Jia jacket sleeves taken in Guizhou this September. The first was made by a dealer friend’s mother, who is now 68 years old, and therefore would probably have been made in about 1953/5 ready for her wedding. The second was also made by a 68 year old for her wedding jacket. She got married at 21, and therefore it is at least 47 years old, more probably 50 years old. The third sleeve was made by the mother of a 71 year old woman for when her daughter got married at the age of 15 and hadn’t yet made her own wedding clothes (a formal wedding for the benefit of the two families though the youngsters didn’t move in together), making it 55+ years old. Her mother used a style similar to that which was then in fashion at that time. (by the way, I tend to trust the people I deal with, but of course, it is possible there is a general conspiracy to cheat foreigners and attribute crazy dates to things).

(I'm sorry to say that the dates/ages given above are nonsense! I've been told that these pieces are more likely to be last quarter of 20th Century based on the threads used and designs. I feel very let down by my Gejia "friend" of 10 years who is capable of telling such crazy stories about her own Mother and family. Ahh well, we all have to learn that money seems to be more important than friendship and honesty where Chinese textiles are concerned).

Some time ago, Pamela posted a Ge Jia jacket’s embroidered back-flap panel of red and yellow thread, but it seems to have disappeared. She thought it might have been made in the last quarter of the 20th C. although I said it was certainly older than that. From a printed copy of her photo, my dealer friends reckoned it would have been made by a 70+ year old woman, making it probably 60+ years old. To me, the style of the embroidery certainly looks older than that on the three sleeves above. If Pamela could re-post the picture, that would be great.


Attachments:
File comment: Ge Jia embroidered jacket sleeve 1
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(LZY)-1.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(LZY)-1.2.jpg [ 53.74 KiB | Viewed 6813 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia embroidered jacket sleeve 2
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(village)-2.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(village)-2.2.jpg [ 61.56 KiB | Viewed 6813 times ]
File comment: Ge Jia embroidered jacket sleeves 3
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(LPX)-3.2.jpg
Ge-Jia-sleeve-(LPX)-3.2.jpg [ 55.79 KiB | Viewed 6813 times ]


Last edited by Andrew Dudley on Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Andrew

What a VERY, very excellent post! I too like to date things and having some 'known' items, or at least, some kind of yardstick is so very useful. I appreciate your comment about trusting sources from friends. Once must always make caveats but this is about as good as it can get.

I will hunt out the photo which is missing - oh, dear, are the photos dropping off the posts again? I can't promise I will do this immediately as I have very boring paper to write today for a meeting early in this coming week - I must surpress my natural inclination to submerge myself in textiles and photos! I also look forward to looking through my Gejia embroideries against your posted date attributed examples.

Thank you very much indeed for your post. Very on point for our forum. (You clearly had a very productive recent visit to Guizhou - thanks for sharing some of your gems of information with us.)

Best wishes,

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Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:26 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Andrew-
Thank you so much for the very useful information about dating these textiles. This is the kind of exploration (when possible) that should be done to presume true age determination- one must ask careful questions not only about who the textile came from, but their approximate age when it was made and what it was made for. I find this 'detective' work most rewarding, and often the people being questioned are flattered that someone is so interested; one can learn a lot in the process about the materials and techniques, as you have no doubt, as well as the uses and context of the textiles.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:09 pm 
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Andrew

I think that I removed the example of the embroidered jacket panel from the page on embroidered GeJia baby carriers where it was shown as an example of newer embroidery. This was as a result of me asking you via email to check the web gallery http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... rriers.htm and associated pages for me (created from yours, mine and Bill's baby carriers). You told me that you did not think that what I was saying about this panels was correct but you were not comforatble to make a definite statement at that stage on the age of the textile.

I had thought that the panels might be from the end of 20th century but you said (hope you don't mind if I now quote you):
Quote:
Actually, my main concern is your jacket back piece. It looks to be made of naturally dyed silk thread (??), in which case it is not 1990's.... I'm not going to stick my neck out, BUT, the style is older and could be 50+ years old ....Some old reds were incredibly bright. I shall send some of my own pics to get updated dates, as my newer carriers are all totally dateless (poor souls).


Have I got the right textile?


Attachments:
File comment: embroidered panel from the bottom of a GeJia jacket
IMGP1359e.jpg
IMGP1359e.jpg [ 73.78 KiB | Viewed 6787 times ]

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Pamela

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


Last edited by Pamela on Thu May 11, 2006 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:15 am 
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Location: Bristol, England
Yes, Pamela, this is the piece I was looking for, thanks for putting my words into picture context. You couldn't find the jacket to go with this piece could you, as I would like to know what a 60+ year old jacket is supposed to look like. My jackets generally claim to be older, so it would be nice to have a definite bench-mark for style and age.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:13 pm 
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Andrew,

Glad that this was the piece that you were thinking of. No, I am afraid that I don't have any jackets. I have a pair of these pieces - but only pieces! I agree with you that it would be good to be able to see the whole jacket to which they were originally attached.

best wishes,

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Pamela

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


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