Bear with me here…I think you will see how it happened. I wrote about making my block of colours based on the Tsarang apron here.
So I had my colourful block, and started playing around with ideas based on the panels of fabric being set at opposite directions. Came up with a pretty straightforward and very wearable little number where the panels were interspersed with ultra-marine glass beads or composite turquoise discs. Tsarang mala #1 and 2!
Then I started to think about the chunky necklaces that young Newari girls in Nepal wear for the bel-bibaha. This photo was taken by Siddhi Lal Kayestha. There are lots of variations on the bel marriage story but basically young Newari girls are married to trees so that if their human husband dies they are not considered widows. Not a great thing to be in Nepal, so it’s a practical measure. I’m sure that’s oversimplifying it but it gives you the gist of it.
Anyway, you can see the necklaces the girls wear and this was in my mind when I made the Tsarang mala #3. The curly shapes came from the animal horns that hang above doorways in Upper Mustang to keep evil spirits away. Fun shapes.
Then the horns started to get vaguely oceanic and tentacular. And the striped clay fabric was turned into petals rather that apron panels and, oh boy, was I having fun?! And here is Tsarang Mala #4. I felt like I recognised it as what had been simmering in my mind (and kind of vaguely as sketches scattered through my journals for years!) This one will hang as #52 in the YON series and I want to make another version for me to wear on opening night. If you can’t wear a confection like that on your own Opening Night when can you? It is actually very comfortable to wear. When I started assembling it I was being rather careful with where things went but what happens is that they all nestle really nicely however you wear it. As soon as you flip the flowers up, the little curls just adjust to your neck and stay there. A lovely bonus! Comfy but a little different each time you wear it.
And I’ve had this idea for a teapot….