Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Which I Discover Oshibana

No, Oshibana is not an obscure fiber technique. Nothing to do with knitting, spinning, or any other fibery fun. Actually it's an art form that uses flowers and leaves, rather than wool -- defined in the dictionary as "the ancient Japanese art of making pictures with pressed plants." Sometimes it looks like this –

I picked the above example, because the shapes are so very obvious. Many Oshibana pictures are indeed that simple. Others, like the one below, are far more complex, and it's quite difficult to see enough detail to figure out where and how the various bits and pieces are used.

I stumbled upon this delightful art at one of our local arts and crafts fairs, tried desperately to resist, but could not. I bought this picture –

I was charmed by the almost Victorian look of the picture. And the lady waving at a ship reminded me of the years I lived on Catalina Island, where life is all about making it to the boat on time or picking someone up at the boat. The artist is Larissa Thaney of San Diego. She doesn't have much available right now, having sold so much at two different shows, but there will probably be more soon.

Of course this leads me to wonder if anyone has ever used yarn or fiber to make pictures. I know we incorporate pictorial motifs into knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc. But could one use actual fiber, arranged and glued down in some fashion, to create a picture? Could it be done? Or is this one of those things that should not be attempted?