CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Kay Sekimachi Exhibit

“During her six-decade-plus career, (Sekimachi) has created a unique body of work that combines the rigor of her Bauhaus-influenced education, the innovation-driven postwar fiber art movement and her Japanese heritage,” says Jill D’Alessandro, curator of costume and textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  Most of our primarily weaving membership know of her and her works.  The following is review of her recent show at there DeYoung as seen through the eyes of a basketmaker.  He obviously enjoyed the works and you will, too, if you hurry to see it before it comes down.

The Kay Sekimachi Exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco ends November 6.  Most members of our guild are probably already familiar with the work of Kay Sekimachi since she is a local artist, but I was not.   I think people who are already familiar with her work will still see some work that they have not seen before.

At first, I thought the exhibit was small since it is in only one room in the textile gallery.  I was enjoying the work on the walls when I noticed two women in the gallery were opening and closing drawers. The drawers are filled with additional artwork, studies and raw material.  The larger percentage of the work on exhibit is in the drawers and only a smaller sampling is on the walls so donʼt hesitate to open those drawers.

While I was looking at the work on one wall I kept trying to think of how I could incorporate her methods into my baskets. Some of my favorites are “Fishnets” and “Variations on a Camel Girth.”



camel girths

camel girths

Then I came upon two baskets she made. Here is one.



Those of you who are into nontraditional baskets will most likely enjoy this hanging sculpture, called “Katsura.” The pieces look like screening and remind me of Lanny Bergnerʼs work, but Kayʼs are woven pieces.

woven piece


After our meeting( BABM) on May 7, I was talking to Nancy Briemle about how I want more colors to be available in waxed linen and she mentioned painting the threads.   My interest in color really drew me to this piece.  Maybe Kay dyed these herself.


study for crossed warp effect

The most fun was coming upon her necklaces. I did not expect to see jewelry and I loved her work that looked so earthy and yet classy.

Bob Darchi’s involvement with creating artwork began with a dream he had one night twenty years ago. Bob has divided his time since then making baskets/wall hangings and jewelry.  He has been represented at several galleries and he has shown his work at juried shows such as the American Crafts Council and The Contemporary Crafts Market.  Bob is currently Secretary of the Bay Area Basket Makers.

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