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 Post subject: Dong Braid Loom
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:23 pm 
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I thought that I would share with the forum a very nice Dong braid loom which Susan Stem found for me. Since reading (and re-reading) 'Chinese Braid Embroidery' by Jacqui Carey (see http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1065 ) I have become quite fascinated by braid and the way that it is embroidered on to clothing. There are several looms in book and I was especially attracted to the beautifully carved Dong looms. I have also collected several Dong children's hats with braid embroidery and a baby carrier which has an amazing amount of braid. The very nice weights and ox-bone bobbins are, according to Jacqui Carey, typically Dong. I was surprised just how heavy the weights are - full of small stones. There is a drawer set into the front of the 'stool'. This also seems quite usual in the Dong looms judging by the book.

I think that I can see the glow of some red lacquer under the dark stain over the whole stool. Looking at some of the similar looms and loom pieces in the book I think I can see similar glimpses of a red lacquer underlay.


Attachments:
Mail-Braiding Stool.jpg
Mail-Braiding Stool.jpg [ 52.71 KiB | Viewed 6639 times ]
Mail-Braiding Stool-back.jpg
Mail-Braiding Stool-back.jpg [ 58.07 KiB | Viewed 6639 times ]
Mail-Braiding Stool- seat.jpg
Mail-Braiding Stool- seat.jpg [ 70.03 KiB | Viewed 6639 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:35 pm 
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I thought I would post a examples of Dong braid work for you to enjoy.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong braided babycarrier
TACH229_Enlarged.jpg
TACH229_Enlarged.jpg [ 38.04 KiB | Viewed 6626 times ]
File comment: One layer of braided work on Dong babycarrier
TACH229_Detail_1.jpg
TACH229_Detail_1.jpg [ 44.88 KiB | Viewed 6626 times ]
File comment: detail of braiding on Dong babycarrier
TACH229_Detail_2.jpg
TACH229_Detail_2.jpg [ 40.06 KiB | Viewed 6626 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:04 am 
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Location: Beijing
Very interesting and a beautiful piece of furniture.

I don't know much about braiding, but the carving is lovely. Some similarities with Han carved furniture, and some differences too. The dragons at the sides look the same as dragons on 18th-19th century Han furniture, but the two at the top on either side of a treasure vase(?) with a ruyi shape (good fortune) growing out of it are rather different to Han styles. They have foliate tails, rather like makaras. Looks like a scholar carved on the upright part, holding a fly whisk (symbol of scholarly pursuits) and silver ingot (wealth). On the "seat" you have a crane and pine (longevity). I can't see what's under the seat, but looks like waves at the bottom of the carving.

Nearly all furniture made in China was finished with some kind of lacquered coat, the most common being tung oil, which dries to a thin, hard finish that turns brownish and progressively darker with age.

Seems very elaborate for a loom ... I wonder if these had some signficance as dowry items or something similar.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:54 pm 
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In addition to their textiles, the Dong excel in woodworking. Look no further than their amazing drum towers and houses for evidence.

They also craft exquisite small wooden and bone birds to use as powder horns and fabricate a large variety of grooved, turned containers. I will try to post an assortment and some more pics next week.

Congratulations on the nice addition to your collection Pamela.

Steven

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:24 pm 
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Chris,

Thanks very much indeed for the 'translation' of the carving on my braid loom and also the info about the lacquer. I afraid that I am very ignorant about Chinese furniture.

I was just hunting for some photos of carving on Dong drum towers to post when Steven made his post. I hope, Steven, that you find the time to post the carvings next week. I am posting some photos of a newly renovated one in Zhaoxing (they have 5 drum towers in Zhaoxing), Liping county in Guizhou. The photos were taken in May 2005.

I also wondered if the carved braid looms might be from a young man to his sweetheart.


Attachments:
File comment: one of the drum towers in Zhaoxing, Liping county, Guizhou
4242Zhaoxing-Drum-3w.jpg
4242Zhaoxing-Drum-3w.jpg [ 76.76 KiB | Viewed 6591 times ]
File comment: one of the drum towers in Zhaoxing, Liping county, Guizhou
4222-drumtower-ZhaoxingW.jpg
4222-drumtower-ZhaoxingW.jpg [ 79.03 KiB | Viewed 6591 times ]
File comment: detail of one of the drum towers in Zhaoxing, Liping county, Guizhou
4238Zhaoxing-Drum2w.jpg
4238Zhaoxing-Drum2w.jpg [ 48.67 KiB | Viewed 6591 times ]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:37 pm 
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I couldn't find photos of my Dong braided hats but here are a couple which include braid both flat sewn and ruched.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong child's hat
DongHat-2b.jpg
DongHat-2b.jpg [ 71.39 KiB | Viewed 6582 times ]
File comment: Dong child's hat detail
DongHat-2a.jpg
DongHat-2a.jpg [ 77.87 KiB | Viewed 6582 times ]
File comment: Dong child's hat
DongHat-1b.jpg
DongHat-1b.jpg [ 64.65 KiB | Viewed 6582 times ]
File comment: Dong child's hat detail
DongHat-1a.jpg
DongHat-1a.jpg [ 73.42 KiB | Viewed 6582 times ]

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 Post subject: knee loom
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:50 am 
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This thread started with a beautifully carved Dong braid loom for weaving very fine, thin braids. I would like to add, by way of contrast, a very simple 'loom' which was demonstrated to us in the Dong village of Da Li, Zai Ma township, Rongjiang county, Guizhou in May 2005. We were a textile obsessed group led by Gina Corrigan. Da Li was a lovely Dong village and we were taken to the oldest house in the village, at least three stories high with a floor to ceiling hall. We were treated to the most fantastic performance of Dong singing. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck prickle just to remember it. Some of the women singers demonstrated various Dong textile arts to us as they sang. Two women shared what I can only call a 'knee loom' use to weave quite wide braids or ties. It just shows that you don't need a complex or beautiful loom to be able to weave. Here it was just the wooden 'sword', warp 'beam'(!) and the heddle stick which were needed. I think this also links quite nicely to Chris Buckley's Li loom ( viewtopic.php?t=1323 ) posted a few days ago.


Attachments:
File comment: Dong 'knee loom' for weaving wide braids and ties Da Li, Zai Ma township, Rongjiang county, Guizhou in May 2005
Dong-knee-loom8.jpg
Dong-knee-loom8.jpg [ 66.06 KiB | Viewed 6564 times ]
File comment: Dong 'knee loom' for weaving wide braids and ties Da Li, Zai Ma township, Rongjiang county, Guizhou in May 2005
Dong-knee-loom4.jpg
Dong-knee-loom4.jpg [ 42.98 KiB | Viewed 6564 times ]
File comment: Dong 'knee loom' for weaving wide braids and ties Da Li, Zai Ma township, Rongjiang county, Guizhou in May 2005
Dong-knee-loom3.jpg
Dong-knee-loom3.jpg [ 54.98 KiB | Viewed 6564 times ]

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