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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Hello all

Here is a group of Ge Jia batik baby carriers that might be of interest to those of a blue and white, Stilton or Danish Blue persuasion over the Christmas season! I think this selection gives a reasonably good idea of the range and variety of the Ge Jia’s workmanship. Many of the pieces show impressive levels of skill with the cloth having a predominantly white colour, the area where the wax was applied, and with very fine blue details.

I have no information about these pieces, although I would hazard a guess and say they seem to be from the second to early third quarters of the 20th century. Except for the last one, they are all on machine made cotton. Several of the carriers show various different “bird” patterns, even the large open winged motifs on carriers 1 & 3 are described as birds by the old women, although they look more like butterflies to me. There are also bat motifs (often in the small triangle areas beneath the “arms” of the carriers (1, 3 & 4)). On carrier 3, most of the patterning is made up of particularly fine waxing lines (white), but it also has very pleasing areas of fine blue lines on a white background which gives a “negative” effect. The serrated-edged line is a fairly common feature on baby carriers, and can be seen on most of these carriers to a certain degree, however, the serrated spiral pattern on carrier 5, is just outrageous when considering how much wax had to be applied in so many small strokes to achieve this almost totally white carrier.

Carriers 7 and 8 combine patches of applied embroidery to the batik body, which gives them added interest. Whether this type of carrier was made as a cheap version of an embroidered carrier or by a wealthy family showing off their wealth by embellishing their batik carriers, I’m not sure, but they are both very striking pieces.


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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 1.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 1.2 detail
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 1.3 detail
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 3.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 3.3 detail
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
More baby carriers.


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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 3.5 detail
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 4.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 4.3
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 4.4 detail of bat
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 5.1
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
more carriers


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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 5.4 detail of serrated edged spiral pattern
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 7.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 7.2
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 7.3 detail
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Still more, sorry!


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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 8.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 8.2
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 8.3 detail
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 9.1
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Last of the crop


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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 10.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 10.4
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 11.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik baby carrier 11.2
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 Post subject: Great Pieces
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:27 am
Posts: 124
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Andrew,

Great finds. I especially like the one with the additional embroidery. These pieces are just stunning. I will write you under separate cover. Happy holidays.

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
I have been remiss in not posting a 'thank you' to Andrew for showing us these fine Ge Jia wax resist baby carriers in his collection. I took them as my own special Christmas present and emailed him accordingly!

As you will have gathered from my previous posts added to Andrew's beautiful wax resist textiles I am really 'wowed' by fine examples of this technique. I certainly never realised just what was possible until I saw his pieces. I have attended a couple of workshops taught by a Gejia waxer in Kaili and I know from first hand experience that such skill must take years of practice to achieve and even then only the most accomplished will manage to produce pieces of this quality. I doubt very much if such quality is being waxed today. Even the oldest ladies who might have the experience will find the control and excellent eyesight needed a huge challenge. Anything being demonstrated by middle aged GeJia ladies, whilst still amazing is light years from the quality that we see here. Can you imagine painting these designs on paper much less controlling hot wax on fabric and also imagining the design in the negative of your application? Yes, Bill, the couple with embroidery are lovely and the tone of the red as well as the restraint in the amount of embroidery makes them special.

I am attracted to no. 11 which is quite different to the others although there are some flower petal echoes in no. 10. It is similar to a winter babycarrier cover that Andrew posted some time ago and which I incorporated into a photogallery of GeJia babycarriers http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... JbcE26.htm Hopefully I can put together a second GeJia babycarrier gallery from these latest photos - as Andrew has given me permission to do so. One of the 'things to do' for 2008! Nos. 1 and 3 wow me because they seem to be crammed with images and shapes which flow, move, jostle for position and yet balance.

My thanks, as ever, to Andrew for sharing these gems from his collection.

_________________
Pamela

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 143
Location: Bristol, England
Pamela

It’s always good to know you can’t resist carrying-on about wax resist baby carriers!

Although these carriers show off the waxing skills of the Ge Jia quite nicely, many older Ge Jia women would consider them inferior pieces, having been made using fine, machine produced cotton cloth rather than the rougher traditional hand-made cloth, which is not only harder to use, being of a heavy and loose weave that makes fine lines and sharp edges difficult to achieve, but also because hand-made cloth shows off the producer’s skills at spinning and weaving as well as control of the waxing knife and the dying process (the complete batik making process).

As far as the quality of batik being produced today is concerned, because the price of Ge Jia textiles has increased dramatically over the last few years, I understand there are now small batik workshops in the countryside that have been set up specifically to produce faithful copies of old designs, the quality of which is very high and is now very difficult to distinguish from the originals (good for the locals, bad for anyone buying a one hundred year old piece of batik).

I’m also a big fan of the batik carriers with added embroidery pieces. Unfortunately, these pieces are few and far between, and so are difficult to get ones hands on. I must say that it can be very pleasing (or even a great relief) to come across a bit of colour after looking through pages and pages of blue and white batik photographs.

On another subject, it is very obvious from the photos above that several of these carriers are quite dirty. I’m wondering whether anyone has any suggestions for cleaning such pieces? Fortunately, batik is made for regular use and therefore is expected to get dirty and to be washed. However, often, the dirt is fairly well ingrained and a simple hand-wash in warm water doesn’t achieve very much. I have resorted to the washing machine with particularly nasty pieces (children’s clothing), but would prefer to use a more appropriate method if possible. Both the carriers with embroidery have been washed a number of times, so it is unlikely the colour in the embroidery will be greatly affected by a gentle wash (or so I was told by the Ge Jia seller of no 8, who suggested putting it in boiling water and giving it a gentle scrub!). I would certainly like to try and clean the bottom half of carrier 8.

Also, one more carrier for Bill and Pamela.


Attachments:
File comment: Ge Jia batik Baby Carrier 12.1
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File comment: Ge Jia batik Baby Carrier 12.2
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File comment: Ge Jia batik Baby Carrier 12.3
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