Two items married by me and listed just now in my etsy shop. Well, you know...if I'd found a china albatross instead of a white china whale, the story might have gone differently. Aye, aye! It was that accursed white whale that razed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!... I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.
---from Moby Dick, Herman Melville
I don't know about you, but some days I feel like Ahab, and some days I feel like the whale.
I bought this jacket in a thrift store a few years back and was doing a little research prior to putting it on etsy. Checking the label, I couldn't find anything under "Plum Blossom", so I checked the place name, Guangdong, which opened up a whole new perspective. The cheerful birds on this jacket were not hatched in a sweatshop.
Guangdong province was famous for its handspun silk thread and its embroidery style (Yue). The silk trade gave independence to female domestic laborers, who took an oath to remain single. When the Communists took over in 1949, they cut off trade to the West from this area, and many of the women returned to domestic service as nursemaids (amahs). I don't know, but would like to think, that the embroidery tradition was kept up in private.
The style of script on the label leads me to believe that this jacket was made in the late 40s and that these embroidered birds were among the last to cross the sea.
My name is Susan Sanford. I pursue the arts in Northern California -Welcome to my free-associative visual journey . I don't do memes or accept awards or ads, but I frequently link to other bloggers if I see something delightful. All photographs and artwork here were made by me unless otherwise noted- please respect my copyright (this includes posting any images on facebook- my understanding is that they claim ownership of photos posted there).