Monday, August 17, 2009

Yoshiko Jinzenji

Star Connection, nylon, natural dyes, 68 x 83 inches

Yoshiko Jinzenji lives and works in Japan and in Bali. Her quilts are simple and to the point. They are spiritual, covered with hand work and attention to detail. They are like prayers. Baby quilts, bamboo dyed silk, hand stitch

She began quilting after she came upon quilts made by Canada's Mennonite people in the 70's and was moved by their resonant, sacred quality. When she attended the Mennonite Relief Sale she realized that the Waterloo area Quiltmakers played a role of global significance. "Women's handwork was making a huge contribution to the welfare of humanity, and that helped inspire my eventual decision to devote my own life to quilting." Ten Thousand piece quilt, Natural dye, cotton, 72 inches square

The energy in the repeated texture of the many seams and the understated colour make Ten Thousand Piece Quilt a minimalist masterpiece. All images in this post are from Quilt Artistry: Inspired Designs from the East, a book published in 2002 about Yoshiko Jinzenji's work. Versification II

Yoshiko calls the method used for the above quilt 'spiral block', a technique similar to the traditional log cabin technique in that the fabrics are stitched around a central square. What's different is the use of innovative materials such as titanic coated nylon and rubber in combination with silk, wool and cotton and the artist's use of piping cord to strengthen and enhance the wide variety of textures.
Dew II, silk, cotton, wool, linen, natural dyes including bamboo, 75 x 77 inches

"What I am striving for is to bring out and add to the essential textures of the cloth" she says. "to create shadows and light, to find a balance between minimalism and a sense of richness."

white repose
hand stitched bamboo dyed silk quilt 85 x 102 inches