Bali Penjor Project|Realisation

I am counting down to the Meditative Adornment Textile Retreat but have realised I had better get to it! Its

to be exact till I board that plane to Bali. After a frenzied effort I now have the design, engineering and resists made ready to start felting.

Heliconia flowers

I decided to make it all black and then adorn it with as much glorious tropical colour as I can. Penjors are usually decorated with fruit, flowers, coconuts, banana leaves and sacred cloth but as I am making a decorative rather than ceremonial Penjor I can have a little artistic licence. That was the easy part.

Sunset drinks

As you can imagine I had a couple of things to take into consideration. First of all I have to fit the Penjor into my suitcase to take it to Bali – so I decided to make it in smaller pieces. This also helped with the very complex shapes – some will be multi-ribbed resists, some will be shaped with differential shrinkage, and some will be encompassed layers. And of course with a shrinkage rate of 2 a 3 metre Penjor will be 6 metres laid; much more manageable in small segments.

Multi-ribbed resist

A penjor has 3-4 sections to it. Often it has a offering temple at the base then elaborate structure sits on top followed by a long filled adorned pole piece often entwined with a dragon. Finally topped with a hanging piece with sways and swings in the breeze.

My penjor won’t have an offerings temple as it is purely decorative but it have the next three sections. My base will comprise of 4 pieces; 3 multi-ribbed resists and 1 shaped from differential shrinkage.

Now for the felting! Fingers crossed they all work. Will report back soon.

Author: Soosie

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