Temari Books in English
With the integration of
personal computing into our lives as it is now versus ten or more years
ago, it's redundant to create a comprehensive listing of temari books in
English. A search on any online bookseller will yield more current
results than can be maintained here. There is not the difficulty in
identifying them as there is the Japanese
. This is only a partial rundown and my thoughts and
experience with some of them. (I have no vested interest with any of
English language books about
Temari first began appearing back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This was also before there were connections to the JTA
and traditional teachings, and everyone was pretty much making it up as
they went along and figured things out, as there was no other option.
Therefore, these books tend to represent the author's interpretation of
working temari rather than authentic lessons (that's not being critical
- these folks put a great deal of effort into figuring things out and
interpreting, and it's how many of us got our starts). Readers need to
understand and remember that for the most part the terminology is not
accurate and authentic to Japanese teachings. HOW to execute the
procedures is overall fine, but don't latch on to terms and titles as
being the traditional teachings (which have now taken their place as the
vernacular of discussion). Even in recently published sources, be
careful as to the vocabulary being used; is it accurate to the Japanese
teachings, or is it the author's version?
My early and still favorite
English reference is Mary Wood's The
Craft of Temari
. Her instructions are clear and understandable.
While not completely accurate in terminology, she wasn't too far off.
Most importantly, Wood teaches by technique rather than project, so it's
a well-grounded knowledge base after you have worked through her book.
She shows multiple examples of the stitch being used in designs. You can
then take these methods and stitches and go on to create your own
designs, having seen how they interact with each other. Most other
authors present a stitch or style under their own project name. This can
be very confusing since the beginning stitcher has no clue if this is a
stitch, a traditional design, or an original contemporary composition.
More than a few TalkTemari discussions were spinning off into confusion
because some people learned, for example, Jyouge Douji, from one author
whose project was called "This"; others learned it from a different
author whose project called it "That", and yet others learned it as
"Something Else". When we began to interact with Japanese
mentors,it was even more confusing. Stitches are stitches,
projects/patterns are projects/patterns, and Mary Wood adheres to this.
The book is out of print but can usually be found on the secondary
Diana Vandervoort is perhaps the
most well-known English language author. Her works include Temari, Temari Traditions, Temari
Treasures, Temari Adventures, and Temari Gifts. Temari,
Temari Traditions and Temari Gifts
will lead you through the
basic methods and stitches. The other two volumes tend to track off of
the temari theme a bit, but these three are comprehensive to the
subject. Of all of these authors, Diana takes the learner through to
some more intermediate-advanced designs. She is an experienced teacher
and writer and pays great attention to detail. They and a companion
video to her early books are all still available.
by Anna Diamond was perhaps the first to be
published. Diamond learned temari in Indonesia and as such the
presentation is on a bit of a different path, which does not easily
integrate into where things are today. There are also, sadly, numerous
errors in the pattern designs that can be confusing. Diamond also
published A Book of Baubles
which was essentially the first edition of The
. Margaret Ludlow's Temari
- A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique
is overall not
too bad. This book always brings a chuckle to some of us, since in
teaching how to make a mari, she includes how many pairs of tights
(stockings) are needed for the core of a particular sized mari. The
Simple Art of Japanese Temari
by Dominique Herve and Alban
Negaret has left most of us scratching our heads. Sadly, there are
numerous errors in it; photos showing how to make a mari are sorely
lacking in neatness and completion. Seemingly Japanese names are applied
to stitches and designs that are either not anywhere close or outright
wrong (such as "hoshi" for a square); other terminology is invented for
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