Silk Scarf with Felt Design Inlay (blue-gray)
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San Francisco, United States
Hand-made in Kyrgyzstan by local felt artist Makha Uyutky, this scarf combines materials and traditions from two Silk Road Countries: Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekestan. Felt is made from local Kyrgyz wool through repeated hand-pressing. Together with Yurts, mountains and nomadic traditions, Felt is an iconographic material that makes up the literal fabric of this stunning country. The piece you see here is the result of hand-pressing, rolling and joining of Uzbek Silk with Kyrgyz felt (see rolling process below). Each piece is especially designed and hand-created by in the Makha's studio in the capital city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Artisan Makha Uyutky grew up the the small town of Kochkor, located in northern Kyrgyzstan s Naryn region. Known for its expansive jailoo (summer grazing pastures) and turquoise-blue rivers, traditional rug-making and felt work are an important part of local culture. In 2000, Makha s mother and her friends established their own women s felt art cooperative in Kochkor, and were supported by a small donor fund. Over a decade later, the women have successfully developed their small, but creative and collaborative operation. With help from her family, Makha set up and opened her small design and production studio in a spartan loft space in Kyrgyzstan s capital city of Bishkek. Today, her entrepreneurial endeavor employs four local women and produces functional textiles that connect traditional patterns with compelling design. Makha at work in her Bishkek Studio Hand-pressed Silk Scarves Employ Artisan's Apprentices Kyrgyzstan is a small, mountainous country in Central Asia. It is home to rich cultural and ethnic diversity, with Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, Korean, and Uighur communities. Kyrgyzstan was incorporated into Tsarist Russia in the late nineteenth century, then eventually gained status as a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan has suffered significant economic depression and poverty. Although it is the most liberal of the countries in the Central Asian region, it remains hampered by widespread corruption. Kyrgyzstan boasts a unique natural environment, and the connection between the Kyrgyz and the land is reflected in their art. Before forced collectivisation in the 1930s, Kyrgyz nomads roamed the high altitude pastures with their flocks of sheep and yaks, living in decorative felt yurts. The traditional designs were symbollic of daily and cultural life sitting drinking horsemilk, watching eagles, the importance of wolves, horses, sheep and yaks. These themes are represented in a contemporary way in the art that you see here.
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