The Japanese kimono has been one of the highest expressions of textile art for more than twelve hundred years. As an object that is beautiful in both form and function, its design also mirrors the exquisite symmetry of butterfly wings. And, as butterflies represent longevity, joy and transformation in Japanese folklore, there is reason to believe that the kimono’s design was intended to pay homage to these enchanting creatures and the mythical powers they are believed to possess.
Cho is the Japanese word for butterfly and because I’ve made these wood kimonos with bookmatched panels in a way that mimics the lovely proportions of butterfly wings, it made perfect sense for me to use that word in the title of these new works: KIMONO CHO.
I use what could be called a painter’s approach to this way of woodworking by shaping and arranging boards of contrasting hues and grain patterns so they enhance each other in a way that I hope will create an evocative composition.
Making these KIMONO CHO from wood gives me the freedom to experiment with the classic kimono form to produce a series of new pieces that are inspired by the exquisitely woven masterworks of the past but will have their own unique identity.