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Monday, June 11, 2012

Kimono Pillows by Karen Gadbois

See article in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles.

Pillows made from Kimonos by NorthWest Carrollton resident Karen Gadbois.

"Textile artist Karen Gadbois has been collecting less formal kimonos since her college days as a textile student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She often purchased frayed kimonos once worn by housewives. One merchant she located sold bags of kimonos by the pound.

Many kimonos were decorated with flowers and nature scenes and told a clear narrative. These were worn mostly by Japanese women. Kimonos worn by men often featured bold geometric patterns with strong graphic designs.
 'Japanese are creative in their dyeing techniques,' says Gadbois. 'The Shibori technique is a sophisticated form of tie-dyeing that results in a beautiful pattern of little dots. The ikat technique forms different gradations of colors. These ancient forms of craftsmanship fascinate me.'

Gadbois loved the sturdiness of the fabrics. By unfolding the kimonos and using the pieces that were not frayed, she began making throw pillows, wall-hangings, curtains and scarves. Today she sells her kimono-inspired textiles at private shows three or four times a year."

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