Day 6: Mr. Li
Today, our illutrious teacher Mr. Tafel took me to visit a very special person named Mr. Li, who is the lovely local antique dealer and a really great guy. As soon as Mr. T informed me that Mr. Li had a couple of antiquated pieces of traditional Bai embroidery, I jumped at the chance to meet him and have a meaningful talk. Upon entering, I noticed beautiful period pieces hung charmingly haphazardly on the walls and stacked in a glass cabinets surrounding the shop. Mr. Li kindly pulled out all his pieces and explained what they were used for, how much he could sell them for, when they were made, and many others eagerly. I saw gorgeous hand-sewed baby wear with crossed stitches a twentieth of my index finger nail and beautifully embroidered gradients on bright pink flowers.
I learned a great deal about local embroidery with Mr. Li, today was my first time being exposed to real, genuine Xizhou needlework. I was especially interested in the cross stitch technique or (十字绣), this method of embroidery was frequently used a century ago but is generally 'extinct' now. Being an extremely difficult technique (as well as overly time consuming), it has slowly disappeared. I was also extremely interested in the symbols I saw embroidered, naturally numerous flower patterns came into play, phoenixes were also involved, as well as various flora.
I really enjoyed my time with Mr. Li, it was the highlight of my day.
Stay tuned guys! More adventures soon!