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.
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.
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.
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.
Living so close to Bali I have been there many, many times over the past 40 years (I was very young the first time I went). I fell in love with the Island of the Gods from my very first visit. Beneath it’s obvious tropical beauty lies another layer of joyous harmony in the many and varied festivals celebrated at regular intervals.
One of these festivals is Galungal and is celebrated every 210 days. It gives thanks to God in His manifestation as Hyang Giri Pati (the God of the mountain) for the bounty that the island provides its people. To honour the volcano Mt. Agung elaborate Penjors (see below photo) are erected outside of the gates or doorways to homes, businesses and shops creating an archway of dangling and swaying gifts to the mountain god.
Created from bamboo, palms, fruits and flowers it represents the necessities of life that the fertile soil of Bali provides. I have always wanted a Penjor in my garden but of course bringing one home would be very impractical so I have decided to make one from felt! It seems only natural that it should be officially unveiling at Nancy’s Bali Meditative Adornment Textile Retreat to be held in May 2019.
Follow my progress in creating the Penjor and for its raising in Bali or better yet join us and have a fabulous time!