Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Richard Saja

Back when I was receiving packets of reproduction fabrics from a Keepsake Quilting Club, one grouping included a fat quarter of toile. Toile is basically a fabric printed with a complex repeat pastoral scene in a single color on a light background. Historically, toiles were used for curtains and upholstery, and when incorporated in a bedcovering, it would be used whole. It was a puzzle to me how I might use this small reproduction piece. But it is no puzzle to textile artist Richard Saja who's work is shown above. He simply takes the traditional toile and adds hand-embroidered embellishments. This example is one inspired by an oil painting in the collection of the Shelburne Museum. The Museum had extended a challenge to 8 contemporary artists to choose one piece from the collection assembled by Electra Havemeyer Webb that sparked his or her imagination in a new way and use it as inspiration for a new work. Saja would seem a perfect fit for such a challenge, as his career aim revolves around finding new ways of presenting old textiles while carrying forward the traditions of hand-embroidery.

Visit this post on Saja's blog and this article from September 2009 issue of The Magazine Antiques for more pictures and info about this embroidery. It has definitely given me ideas of what to do with my little piece of toile.

1 comment:

Richard Saja said...

Well...if you cant come up w/anything you could always send the piece of toile to me ; } Thanks for the post.