Monday, November 15, 2021

Reproduction Loom Quilled Bag by Ward Oles


Reproduction loom quilled bag c.1775. The original of this bag is housed
in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford UK. This was a labor of love project
after first seeing the original back in 2010. Every detail of this unique
object was examined as closely as possible over the course of those
11 years in order to recreate a bag that was as faithful to the original as
humanly possible. It consists of 12 individual loomed panels sewn onto a
brain tanned bag and is fully lined. Every warp, weft, and quill had to be
sorted and carefully measured several times during prep work ahead of
assembly and while the panels were being constructed so that the
dimensions could be met consistently. The original has some damage
and a significant degree of fading in the lighter colored portions due to
he properties of original dye materials, age of the bag,  and storage
conditions. All of which were considered during planning and accounted
for in the finished piece. The most striking feature is the use of blue.
Blue as an natural indigenous dye material has not been identified in the
material culture of the northeast at the time, however blue derived from
boiling the color out of used textiles is. Production of indigo blue dye
from “worn green baize” is an established practice in the Great Lakes by
the period in question. This blue color is not at all uncommon in original
18th century quillwork ornamentation and can be found on dozens of
quilled objects. It was by the more well preserved objects that the colors
on this bag were extrapolated. 

Dimensions: 7.5”L (10”L w/ cones and hair) x 7.25”W

Materials: Dyed porcupine quills, dogbane and hemp fiber, silk ribbon,
tinned sheet iron cones, dyed deer hair, glass beads.

Copy and Photography supplied by Ward Oles.

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