Temari – The art of Japanese Threadballs

Temari spheres - NanaAkua
Temari spheres – NanaAkua

A recent wander through the outer suburbs of Flickrville yielded an exciting find – a set of Temari spheres, decorative thread balls combining mathematical principles, as well a love of colourful decoration. Originally developed in China and later spreading to Japan, Temari were traditionally made by grandmothers to give to their grand children. These engaging kaleidoscopic sphere’s have a something in common with Friedrich Froebel’s gifts as a way of introducing young children to the beauty of geometry and engaging them in the subjects of symmetry and tessellation through expertly crafted tactile objects. Froebel, the founder of the Kindergarten model, is well know for designing eductional puzzle like objects, known as Froebel Gifts, which encouraged geometric thinking and pattern building activities.

NanaAkua’s Flickr set [link above] contains a staggering 486 threadballs designed and made by her grandmother, now in her 80′s, who combines an excellent choice colours with a discerning eye for pattern. Also worth a visit is the Temari Flickr group.

One Response to “Temari – The art of Japanese Threadballs”

  1. CJ writes:

    Please remove that plural made with an apostrophe (should be spheres, not “sphere’s”). It is grammatically wrong, and distracting from a very interesting post.

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