Painting with a Needle


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Painting with a Needle by CHUNG, YOUNG YANG
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New York.: Abrams.. 2006.. Pictorial free endpapers, colour photographic illustrations throughout, 176pp, bibliography, oblong paperback. Young Yang Chung, master embroiderer and renowned scholar of East Asian textile arts, at last reveals not only the secrets of her craft and artistry, but also the colourful and vital history behind the ancient art of silk embroidery in Korea, China, and Japan. From the genesis of silk production to the elaborate symbolism behind the intricately stitched motifs, Chung provides a vivid description of the extraordinary cultures that gave birth to silk embroidery. According to Chung, it is essential to gain an understanding of the complex, centuries-old traditions that have shaped this magnificent art in order to fully appreciate the task embroiderers undertake with needle and thread. Chung guides readers through the fundamentals of her craft, showing readers how to "paint with a needle" as artisans in East Asia have for millennia. In the overview chapter, sixteen stitching techniques are described, and each is illustrated with a diagram and often with full-colour photographs. Then follows step-by-step instructions along with photographs, diagrams, and colour charts for nineteen how-to projects, each designed by Chung., The instructions have been written with beginners in mind, but highly advanced embroiderers will find plenty to challenge them as well. "Painting with a Needle" also has useful additions such as tips on how to get started, including advice about tools and materials; and a glossary of embroidery terms in three languages (Korean, Chinese, and Japanese) make this the ultimate book about the exquisite art of silk embroidery. .

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