Sunday, February 18, 2007

Past is Present

DH's friend made me this hand-carved spindle top, it is his first attempt. I am going to finish the wood somehow, I thought that a wax finish would make it smooth and good for spinning. Any suggestions are welcome!






Here is an excerpt about the craft:



Salish women were considered virtually unrivalled in their ability to produce beautiful textiles that had social and spiritual significance. The ancient art of weaving Salish-style blankets was revived in the 1960s and it continues as a vibrant expression of cultural identity.


Many Salish spindle whorls have sophisticated and powerful carved designs -- human, animal and geometric. The whorl was placed on a wooden spindle to add the weight needed to maintain the spinning motion, and to prevent the wool from falling off the rod as it was being spun. As the whorl turned, the designs would blur together, mesmerizing the spinner. This trance state was considered vital: it gave the spinner the ability to create textiles imbued with special powers.

Coast Salish Spindle Whorl
Spindle Whorl Samples

4 comments:

mel said...

Very cool!! I unfortunately have no suggestions, but I can't wait to see it as a spindle :)

String Bean said...

I know there's some thin was you can rub on that to finish it, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember it. If I do I shall let you know immediately.

Linnea said...

Oh my gosh. That is beautiful, just beautiful! I'm from Seattle and it reminds me of home - wistful sigh... Is your husband's friend going into business with those, perchance?

Midnightsky Fibers said...

*plus* coast salish textiles include cowichan sweaters, which were a huge cottage industry for many years for them and used the symbols they used in the weavings in the knitting as well.
The burke musuems website (or if you have a change to visit, the Pacific NW voices exibit in the basement of the burke) has some great examples of Tlingit weaving in the form of chilkat blankets, which have a really interesting sense of history.

as for finishing- what type of wood is it? Linseed or teak oil might work well, just make sure to let it set for awhile so you dont get the fibers you spin all oily.