The art form of bunka shishu is alive and well in Central Indiana. The form of Japanese embroidery uses rayon threads to create a very detailed picture that could be considered high art.
Two chapters of the American Bunka Embroidery Association met over the weekend at the Wayne Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library.
The Thistle Chapter out of Columbus and Hollyhock Chapter from Greenwood meet monthly to work together and visit about their projects. The small group of women have all been doing bunka shishu for years and love teaching others the artistry and craft of Japanese embroidery.
“We like to meet in this area because it’s a place we can all get to easily,” said Anita Palmer of Columbus. “We also like to meet in the Decatur Branch of the library. The libraries are so supportive. It’s a nice place to meet.”
Palmer, and fellow Columbus resident Kate Baird, came to Indianapolis on Saturday to meet with fellow bunka shishu masters. They make the trip every month to spend time with others who enjoy the craft. Baird is serving as the national president of the American Bunka Embroidery Association.
This month they were joined by Vicki May of Greenwood and Mary Jane Frank of Avon. Normally they have a fifth member, Melinda Palmer, who fills out the core group. Palmer is a resident of the Westside of Indianapolis.
“If we had students, we would be teaching right now,” Baird said. “We welcome anyone who would like to come and see if they would like it.”
The national association has a website where each chapter can list their meetings and teaching opportunities. That website is www.myabea.com.
“Sometimes we even get walk-ins from people who are just visiting the library,” Palmer said. “People see it and are curious.”