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Gallery 12b - Richard Sutherland, USA
Rep Braids
Far left, Braid 1 - The Dark Side - While attempting to decipher the pattern of an elegant obijime that I had purchased in Kyoto, I came up with this design. It has no resemblance to the Kyoto braid, but I thought that it stands on its own. It is a single layer takadai braid made with 36 tama (18 dark blue, 18 silver). The silver thread proved too glaring (and also stiff) so I substituted with half lavender color silk on each tama. This braid's back side is more interesting than the front, and it is what is shown in the photo.

Braid 2 - Trellis - A second attempt at the Kyoto braid. This has no resemblance to it either, but again, I like the pattern. Same use of 36 tama on single arms (18 wine, 18 rust). Both are easy to make takadai braids. Anyone wishing the patterns for either or both, email me and I'll send the instructions.

Braid 3 and 4 - Ukifune - This is a favorite pattern. Juliana introduced me to it. She had learned it many years ago from Tokoro-san at a workshop in Cologne. Then I discovered it reproduced in some annual catalogs from the Domyo School. (They call it 'Kawari Kai no Kuchi Gumi'.) And Makiko was familiar with it also, so apparently it is a traditional pattern. It can be braided using either 46 or 58 tama (mine are with 58). It is not considered a double braid, however it is made using both upper/lower arms. As you can see, varying the colors and light/dark values dramatically changes the appearance of this interesting design.
Richard can be reached by e-mail.
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April 24, 2006
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