Karen Selk has spent her career researching silk. With camera and journal in hand, each expedition was focused on researching the rich history and heritage of silk production and traditions. A deep respect for the land and people who make the textiles as well as prodding from her friend in India, inspired Karen to lead many textile tours through India and Laos.
Image: In Search of Wild Silk by Karen Selk, 2023. Available from Schiffer Publishing or Amazon. Image above: silk moth.
What is your first memory of a textile?
My grandmother taught me to embroider images on cotton feed sacks when I was four or five years old. We cut the sacks apart, then washed, ironed and hemmed them. It was special to draw designs on the cloth and then embroider anything we liked to make pretty dish towels with my grandma. The memory of the smell and feel of the feed sack cotton, the bright colours of the embroidery threads, laughing and drawing our own designs then learning how to bring those designs to life with needle and thread, remains strong and keeps me connected to my grandmother.
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