Wednesday, January 20, 2010
South of the border
My next project is an adaptation to needlepoint of several design elements I came across in researching Mexican art. At this point, I'm seeing the end product of this canvas as a lid insert for a black five-inch-square Sudberry box, which I fortunately found while raiding my stash last year.
At the center of this design is an "Ojo de Dios," or "God's Eye," a symbol of seeing and understanding the unknown and unknowable for the Huichol tribe of northwestern Mexico. It is formed by crossing two sticks, with the four points representing the elements of earth, air, fire and water.
When a child is born into the Huichol tribe, its father weaves the center "eye"with yarn to join the sticks, adding another "eye" for each subsequent year of the child's life. When the child reaches the age of five, the "Ojo de Dios" is complete. In the Huichol culture, it is thought that this symbol will bring health, prosperity and long life to the weaver as well as the person for whom it is being made.
In keeping with tribal simplicity, I'll be stitching this canvas exclusively with cotton floss and perle cotton, adding dimension and visual interest with my choice of stitches for the various sections of the design. Do come back and check my progress over the weekend!