patterns are geometric and usually
symmetrical, with many of the design elements being based upon nature.
In appearance, most are very reminiscent of a kaleidoscope's patterns.
Modern day creations may use a preformed ball base (the "mari") -
a styrofoam ball
or large wooden bead - which is then wrapped with a layer of yarn and
then a layer of regular weight sewing thread (it requires at least
hundred yards for a three inch ball) - both of which must be placed
to insure roundness of the ball. Strict traditional Temari artists will
still create their own mari base from discarded fabric or other
materials that can be wadded into the shape of a sphere. Sometimes a
layer of batting is applied prior to the yarn wrap in order to smooth
and round the ball form. The ball is then divided with relational
using a thin paper strip - no defined measuring is generally used. The
are indicated with pins and then marking threads are placed. If the
threads are incorporated into the design they will often be done in
or silver - other designs require the marking threads to be the same
as the base thread wrap so as to blend into the background. (For
information click here
). After the ball is prepared and marked the designs are
embroidered with a variety of threads. The most common type used today
is pearl cotton, although finer and specialty silk, metallic and rayon
embroidery threads or embroidery ribbons assist in producing even more
beautiful outcomes. The designs are accomplished by either stitching
patterns (there are very few basic, simple stitches) or by designated
wrapping. A combination of the two may also be used. There are no
outcomes - Temaris are limited only by the imagination of the crafter.
It was traditional for the balls made for children as toys to have some
rice in their center so as to have them rattle. Modern balls may have a
jingle bell or rattle in their centers for good luck. Some balls, after
they had been taken in as art, were further decorated with elaborate
made by intricate methods of braiding and knotting.
Most Temari balls average three to five inches in diameter, although any size is possible and larger ones are popular in Japan, where collections of all sizes and styles are treasured. Smaller ones may be made for Christmas tree ornaments, and other home and personal accessories including jewelry. They may be displayed singly or collected and arranged in groups. When shown singly they may be hung in windows or from ceilings or doorjambs. They may be mounted from crossbars as a mobile. Single balls may be hung on tabletop display stands. Alternately they may be grouped in a bowl or basket, or shown individually on a ring base or "egg" stand. Temari balls make exquisite Christmas ornaments. They make wonderful, unique gifts and treasured as wedding and anniversary gifts, and as mementos of friendship and special occasions.
information was available in English
for these kaleidoscopic treasures, but crafting temari is a growing
interest in the West and expecially with the advent of the WWW, much
more information is being learned and shared and contacts being created
with temari crafters in Japan. There are few books published in
English; many are available in Japanese that may be used for design
ideas once the basic ball
construction techniques are mastered.
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