A Cacophony of Spots – Coils – Zags – Lines
Rosalie Neilson and I recently had some engaging conversations. Inasmuch as I had experimented with a variety of Kumihimo patterns, her Kongō Gumi book whet my appetite even further. The cover with the colorful binary patterns elicited a subtle tactile experience. The inscription read “For Ray – Enjoy these designs! Rosalie Neilson – and enjoy I did.
The author studied this art form in Japan in the 80’s and subsequently passed down her expertise to many new braiders throughout the years. As she proceeded with the exploration of the 16 element braid structures, she concluded that in order to avoid a very expensive outlay of funds for the silk threads, a template would have to be created replicating the movement of the 16 element design opportunities. Rosalie consulted with Bob Keats, developer of a weaving software program. Together they came up with the definitive number of two color designs for the 16 element braid known as Kongō Gumi. The total number is 1,157 designs consisting of both 1 and 8 spot configurations.
This book “Kongō Gumi” contains an amazing collection of braids featuring spots, coils, zigzags, and lines. The historical bibliographical sections are very informative. A tremendous amount of thought, concentration, and observation produced this book of discovery. It further enhanced my thoughts about the multitude of paths one’s threaded adventure can take.