I have always loved natural fibres such as jute, linen, sisal, cottons and silks and when I started making tassels three decades ago they were orignally made from these same rustic materials. My latest overseas commission project is for over-sized tassels, ropes and large light shades for a faithfully restored Edwardian commercial building in downtown Rangoon,Yangon. Can’t wait to see the actual installation going in next week! view the project here
I was designing a new tassel, first by commissioning a local blacksmith to make the metal head of the tassel. But the design needs to be oversized, plus painted red and white to incorporate the logo colours of the client. The rope was exhausting to make. Thankfully I had a new staff member, Mr Channa, who was a god-send. I taught him how to make rope using by Captain Cook rope twister installed on our roof, and he excelled in twisting the threads. When I teach a workshop, I have people make a thin simple cord about a few millimetres thick (fraction of an inch) and that takes just a few minutes to make. By contrast, this 14 metre/18 yard rope weighs in at 20kg, is about 10 cm/4 inch diameter and took 4 hours to pull out all the threads and an entire day to complete one rope. We needed to make four ropes for the job.
Here, Miss Channa (no relation) is carefully trimming the tassels, while painstakingly attaching decorative embellished cable cords.
Now they are all completed and hanging in Bric-à-Brac Battambang, waiting to be installed next week in Myanmar. So for 2 days only, we’re having our own art installation hanging from our 3 storey atrium.