Monday, August 20, 2012

Kay Sekimachi

 We recently spent a day at the Textile Museum in DC and I must say, it's one of my new favorite places. We came for the exhibit on Japanese textiles (which was amazing) and unexpectedly found the exhibit, Sourcing the Museum, where modern textile artists were invited to select pieces from the museum's permanent collection and develop new pieces inspired by them.  

I immediately found the weaving by Kay Sekimachi (last photo above) and had to be cajoled to leave it. several times over. I returned to stare at it on four separate occasions while touring the museum, and it was the last piece I burned into my memory before leaving. Kay's selected inspiration piece was an Incan alpaca yarn tapestry (the smaller of the two images in the final photo), and as beautiful as the Incan piece was, I couldn't take my eyes off Kay's (she painted the warp prior to weaving).  Photographing the art was strictly prohibited, but thankfully the museum has provided images of each weaving and their inspirations online -- all of the contributions are amazing, by the way. 

In a follow up internet frenzy, I found some of Kay's other work and several interviews with her. I am in complete awe of her: her work, her home, her presence and manner.

The first two photos above were taken by Leslie Williamson for American Craft Council (Weaving the Sea). If you haven't already read this piece (I hadn't, though I can see it's gotten some love out there), I couldn't recommend it more.  Nona would like me to add that it's really, really amazing that Kay has a real abandoned hornet's nest above her reading nook.

I've seen the name Kay popping up again here and there, particularly in the middle.  If you love it and need a great reason to pick it, Kay Sekimachi could easily inspire your naming process. 

Finally, this video chat with Kay is too good not to share.

images: 1-2 by Leslie Williamson for American Craft Counsil , 3-5 courtesy of browngrata arts, 6 by Renee Comet for The Textile Museum

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