Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fat Dragon

 This wall hanging is so long, about 5 foot, that to get a passable photo I had to take two.  (Apologies because the lower half was take from a bit further away than the top half)

The fabric is an indigo, hand-stamped, batik which I purchased in Yunnan province in China a few years ago and have been thinking of quilting and using as a wall hanging.  It's story is this: I was traveling with only three other people (plus American and required Chinese guides) in Sichwan and Yunnan provinces. We visited a Miaow village; they are a tribal people, have attractive stone villages and live in beautiful rolling foothill of the eastern Himalayas. Although we were a very small group of tourists, our arrival triggered a serious feeding frenzy. We could barely look at the village and the people's costumes because venders were shoving things at us telling us prices. I saw an indigo dragon fabric and paused a moment go see how long it was.  The woman was asking a price as high as I would have to pay retail in the
US.  I said no thank you.  Eventually the venders realized we were there to listen to the village spokesman and to wander around the attractive village and countryside.

A couple of days later we were at a grotto that is a minor tourist site. We were the only tourists around, there were a couple of women with brassiers selling delicious smelling roasted sweet potatos and a few tables with items for sale. On one was this batik which I recognized as surely from the same workshop as the one I'd seen before. This time the vender's price was half that asked  by the Miaow woman. I bought it.

I machine quilted around the designs, added the navy border and added some quite narrow silver colored braiding. I can see that the stamps of designs along the sides are out of sync with one another near the top -- a "mistake" that makes me like the print more  than if it were perfect.  However, as I worked on it, I liked the scaly body of the dragon, felt his feet were too small and his head very much too small.  He looks like a fat worm with a little dragon head. I remember that some poem or epic from early English lit. called dragons "worms". And I think Tolkein calls his dragon, Smaug, in The Hobbit a worm.  Still this worm seem to have no menace, has no wings and seems a pussy-cat of a dragon although it is quite authentic as handwork from another country.  So I have mixed feelings about my personal Smaug.  I look forward, in a couple of weeks to seeing the movie of The Hobbit. For now my fat wormy dragon hangs in a space just the right size for it but I think his tenure is limited.


Nellie's Needles said...

What a "smile" ... both the hanging and its story. Thank you.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

June it really resembles a centipede too me. Love the story.