Sunday, February 20, 2011
Japanese antique silk wheel.
This is a silk gathering wheel from the 19th century. I saw it in a Japanese antique store about five years ago and bought it to put in my shop. To me it's beautiful and I draw a lot of inspiration by having it hanging around.
Maybe it just speaks to my worm work ethic character or there is some caterpillar to moth metaphor or some such wacky thing. Or perhaps I was a silk worm in a past life and this is like looking at the old job site. Actually that is cold comfort, forget that. I was never a worm despite what my old girlfriend said about me.
There was a basket on the left side mounted on that block and the caterpillars lived in there, eating Mulberry leaves until they were fat and full of silk. Then when they began to spin cocoons the silk was directed up onto the wheel by the silk gatherers and the caterpillars would spin and spin until the they were spent, and the wheel was full of raw silk thread. Some Sysiphean task.......