Reconstruction Studies

Reconstruction Study 1

Reconstruction Study 1

Photographer: Dan Meyers

Reconstruction Study 1

Reconstruction Study 1

Photographer: Dan Meyers

Reconstruction Study 3

Reconstruction Study 3

Photographer: Dan Meyers

Reconstruction Study 4

Reconstruction Study 4

Photographer: Dan Meyers

Reconstruction Study 2

Reconstruction Study 2

Photographer: Dan Meyers

Reconstruction Study I:  ~6.5”x8”, 2018. Handwoven wool-tencel with rusting nails.

Reconstruction Study II:  ~7.5”x9”, 2018. Devoréed Hoshi Gami paper and silk thread, overdyed with MX-Reactive.

 

Reconstruction Study III:  8”x11”, 2018. Rust-dyed silk-cotton, devoréed then darned with silk thread.

Reconstruction Study IV:  ~8”x10”, 2018. Silkscreened degumming on organza and crocheted sewing thread affixed to rust and MX-reactive-dyed Okawara paper.

Senninbari, literally ‘thousand-person stitches,’ were talismans of good luck created for Japanese and Japanese-American soldiers during WWII in which 1000 french knots are embroidered by 1000 different people onto a clothing item or piece of fabric to symbolize the community behind the soldier. The knots were considered to add fortification to the fabric, but often resulted in parasitic damage to the pieces on the battlefield due to the number of punctures.

When I visited the site of the Topaz Relocation Center, no buildings remained, but thousands and thousands of rusted nails were imbedded into the ground everywhere—to me they became vestiges of internees in the same way each french knot implicated an individual on the senninbari. Reconstruction Study I reflects this thinking.

In Reconstruction Study IV, I continue to investigate the senninbari in relationship with the Topaz Relocation Center. Crochet is used as a generative knotting system and layered to frame the degummed image.

Reconstruction Study II & III use devoré paste. Devoré, thickened acid catalyzed with heat, is a textile process used to eat away cellulosic fibers on substrates composed of multiple types of fibers. Used on cellulosic Japanese printmaking paper in Reconstruction Study II, devoré penetrates only the top layer of paper pulp, creating a very fragile impression of the silkscreened image. The areas where the paper dissolved while washing out the paste were repaired with silk thread, then re-immersed in a dye bath.

The found fabric used in Reconstruction Study III is composed of a silk warp and cotton weft, so devoré produced a series of vertical floats throughout the screened area. Stretching the fabric vertically, silk thread was rewoven as weft through the burned out areas, returning integrity to the cloth.