Thursday, July 23, 2015
Today's book is a Chinese Thread Book, or Zhen Xian Bao. This is an obscure Chinese folk art that was practiced in some rural areas of China, and may still be found if you look carefully. Women used these books primarily to keep their sewing supplies (threads, needles, patterns, swatches, etc), and any other bits of paper, photographs, etc that needed saving. I have made this one based on the information collected by Ruth Smith, who introduced the world to this dying craft after she did primary research on these folded books in China. This is one way that they were made and my example has fifteen boxes. Smith identified many variations on the thread book; some with different structures and with quite a lot of variation in the number of boxes.
If you are interested, I made this little video to demonstrate how all the compartments open. I even have some random snippets tucked away in there.