Shops open in Cairo today. May peace, religious freedom and respect for individual rights prevail in Egypt, in the United States and throughout the world!
Who can resist browsing through galleries with elaborately decorated coffins, mummified ibis, bronze cobras, linen baboons and gold amulets inlaid with stones in brilliant blues? Egypt, your antiquities provided inspiration for me time and time again.
I send my gratitude to the young people standing guard at the Egyptian Museum. When its website reopens, visit the collection. Until then, take a virtual tour of the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Two of my favorite books for children include
ABC: Egyptian Art from The Brooklyn Museum by Florence Cassen Mayers, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1988
Aida, the story of an Ethiopian princess who falls in love with an Egyptian warrior, as told in the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, retold by Leontyne Price and illustrated by the award winning artists, Leo and Diane Dillon, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1990
Patience! Unraveling cocoons takes time! On September 26th, I spent the day exploring the world of silkworms. The teacher, fiber artist Renate Maile Moskowitz, arrived with a car full of cocoons, fabrics, dyes, silk hankies and even a box of hungry caterpillars. She was as friendly and vivacious as her supplies were intriguing. We spent the day degumming, finger spinning, stretching, dyeing and embossing silk.
Renate Maile Moskowitz teaches “The Secrets of Silk” at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia.
Silk. Soft, luxurious and rich with color. Who would have thought that it all began with a lowly worm? Not just any worm – a caterpillar bent on metamorphosis!
In October I visited Korea. I spent many spare moments scouting museums and local markets looking for beautiful handmade objects. In Jeonju, a town in North Jeolla province, my daughter, acting both as my guide and translator, led me straight to the wedding street! Along this side street shops sold both western and Korean wedding gowns. The traditional Korean garments stole my heart. Long robes in brilliant hues of magenta, yellow or blue hung in the shop windows. Each gown had a high waist tied with ribbons, and the most elaborate boasted a garden of embroidered flowers on bodices and sleeves.
Inspired by the designs, I searched for more information when I returned home. In my local public library I found Silken Threads: A History of Embroidery in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, by Young Yang Chung, a reference book with exquisite color photos.