The Kumihimo Viperidae Collection was inspired by the snake collection at the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.
I was initially drawn to the snake collection because of the convoluted shapes formed by their bodies. Subsequent research revealed a surprising variety of snake colour patterns. I became fascinated by these and began to experiment with various techniques and media in an attempt to recreate them. Kumihimo proved to be the ideal technique with silk and metallic thread the ideal medium.
Information cards (as shown below) form part of the work.
This collection of Kumihimo braids depicts snakes from the Crotalinae (pitvipers) and Viperinae (true vipers) subfamilies of the Viperidae (vipers) family. They have been made using only maru (round) or kaku (square) yattsu gumi (eight part braid).
Species of snake can often be distinguished by both their size and characteristic colour patterns. The major types of colour pattern include: blotches, crossbands, uniform colours, stripes, speckles, diamonds and spots. Similarly, while the structure of maru and kaku yattsu gumi remains the same, many different colour patterns and sizes can be achieved according to the number and proportion of colours, their position in the initial layout sequence and the number of silk strands per bobbin.
Kumihimo (the traditional Japanese art of braiding) embodies the aesthetic ideal of combining function and beauty. Many different methods of braiding can be used to create braids with different qualities suitable for different purposes. Maru and kaku yattsu gumi (traditionally used for tying and making decorative knots) have been chosen because they produce a stiff yet flexible braid that retains its shape when manipulated.
silk and metallic thread, hand made boxes