Friday, October 18, 2013

Kanzashi Morning Glory



Helen and I love kanzashi morning glories! We've been admiring them for years, and Helen has tried to figure out how to make one the traditional way, with absolutely no success. We have observed two distinct petal shapes that other artists use for asagao, or morning glories. Here's an example of one....


....it might be hard to see, but it's a rounded petal that creates a trumpet-shaped flower. We think it's just so beautiful. You can buy this one on Etsy from JagataraArt here . Now, here's an example of the other petal shape, equally as beautiful....


This is also available on Etsy from GirLinKimono ; buy it here . Well, Helen even found an online tutorial for one of these, and couldn't make head or tail out of it. Not wanting to just give up, Helen made up her own morning glory petal. The goal was to look something like these...


                                                      ....and here's what Helen made.....


And guess what? Helen's new petal, while unorthodox for kanzashi, is pretty easy, so here's your tutorial! First, cut a 3-inch square of fabric and fold it roughly in thirds, like this...


....now, fold that in half...


.....now, pinch in the center, like this......


.....and fasten it with a bobby pin, or something.....


......and now stitch it, or glue it....whatever you usually do to make your kanzashi petals. Helen's sewn version looks like this on the back....

OK, now glue 5 of these together, leaving no space at the top. A variation you might want to try, is to sew or glue the petals in reverse, so that the smooth side is the front of the flower. We haven't tried that out yet, but we're thinking about it. Let us know what happens if you do it, OK? 
 
Nerdy botanical note: the above photo of flowers is a Google image generated from the keywords morning glories. If you search for asagao, you find photos of similar flowers, but the leaves are quite different; they have 3 lobes, not something you find in the Americas at all. So, we're assuming the Japanese asagao is a different species from what we look at in our neighborhood.

So, Helen made the above comb for herself. She's got some plans to make something similar to sell, from a rich, royal blue vintage kimono silk, and I don't know, something green for the leaves. We'll keep you posted!

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