The art of temari – is the most beautiful and amazing kind of needlework, which came to us from the ancient times. Temari creates colorful embroidered balls, the geometric ornament of which is done when many multicolored threads interknit. Temari's ornaments resemble kaleidoscope.
What is the motherland of this wonderful art? Where did it come from?
Temari – is an ancient traditional toy, which mothers used to make for their children in China , and later on in Japan . It turns out that temari is about 1000 years old!
Previously, old silk kimono used to serve as the base for temari. It was cut into stripes and was then tightly rolled into a ball. And now different materials are used to form the base of temari. They can use wood, plastic begs, skin of rise in polythene, round plastic boxes, thatch, foam rubber, sheet wadding, also porous material styroform , which is usually used in the study of flora. Dry styroform is very light and is used only in case of making toys for the Christmas tree.
Also, any old clothes, including old socks, are good as the base for temari - this way it is utilized and is given new life. The base for the ball, if it is required is wrapped in cloth and is then winded round by coarse woolen threads, as a usual ball. When the ball is perfectly round, it is winded round by a layer of thin cotton or polyester threads in order to get a neat shape. Slippery threads are not good for this work.
Then, with the help of the pins, which are stuck into the ball, the exact ornament is marked. Thin paper tape is winded round the ball along its diameter. Paper is then removed from the ball and is marked at equal parts. Depending on how complicated the pattern is, the number of parts can vary. For the simplest pattern you will only have to divide the segment into 8 parts, but for the most complicated – into 10 or 12 equal parts. Pins are stuck into these points. Then the paper tape is removed, but pins remain. They continue doing so as many times as it is required in order to create a system of poles and meridians around the ball, which will correspond to the future pattern. It is a crucial moment, as the thoroughness of the ornament depends on it.
Later on, the guiding thread is winded along the pins, the points, where threads cross are sewed up in stitches, pins are removed. On the ready base you can create any geometrical ornament for embroidery. Embroidery is done by stitches with a big long needle. The main requirement is that the thread is evenly and tightly stretched.
Generally, about 8 different kinds of stitches are used for work. All kinds of threads are used for temari – silk, cotton, wool, ribbon, metallic thread is also very beautiful. Simple temari can be made during one evening. It is not necessary to embroider all the surface of the ball, you can do so with a small part of it, leaving spaces between thread. Everything is upon the master's imagination.
The method of making temari is rather simple. Different handicrafts are combined in the temari technique – weaving, wicker-work, embroidery, wrapping round by ribbon and lace, quilting. Sometimes temari is decorated by beads and seed beads. When the work at temari is finished, you can sew up a brush or a thread to it in order to hang it.
Temari was originally made in China from deer's leather and was used for the ball-game. Later on it became fashionable to decorate balls in the most beautiful way. Temari was also used as a rattle for little children. In this case, they poured rice in the center of temari or put a bell in it. Now it is better to use styroform for this reason. The ball made of these materials is cut in two halves, then a hollow is made, where the bell or weight is put.
Nowadays temari is a traditional Japanese souvenir, which mothers make with their own hands and present to their daughters for New Year. It is considered that silk temari balls bring happiness and welfare, they are even presented for the wedding. Temari is highly valued and happen to be a symbol of great friendship. Shining thread, if included in temari, symbolizes happy and brilliant life. Temari is also wonderful as decoration for the Christmas tree.
In order to become a temari artist it is required to get special training. There are even special Associations of temari-artists in Japan. You can get trained there and receive a certificate. To train for a master will take 2 years! There are also special temari work-shops in Japan . Such work-shops are headed by sensei, he trains his students. By the way, students are not allowed to create new designs for temari until is sensei alive.
Nowadays temari become more and more popular not only in Japan , but also in other countries. Temari continue to surprise and delight us with the elegance of its execution. There's a lot of freedom for imagination. Picking out colors and materials one can create unique and wonderful geometrical patterns. The art of temari preserves numerous possibilities, probably, that is why it doesn't get old with time.