this silk started out white, like winter snow
then it became dark-like midnight
lights and darks, hills and valleys formed
and greens in many shades and hues swept across the land.
beaders and jewelry makers are having a grand time…around the world!
link to see article…Perlen Poesie
i have always liked figuring things out. a production run is like a puzzle of sorts.
one must figure out and streamline the entire process. thinking about such things as efficiency, energy, materials. the order of things. and most importantly, the FLOW.
the flow can refer to many things- the physical space in which i work-allowing me to move through my workspace without hinderance. the flow of energy as i choose and mix the colors, prepare the silk, thinking several steps ahead of myself so as to maintain that flow.
the flow of work in and out of here as orders come and go, the flow of communication with all of those who email,comment,ask,etc..the flow of paperwork, money, and of course time.
but most of all i enjoy the process of transition. of taking something rather plain and mundane (although i can say that the miracle of the silkworm is anything but mundane!) and turning it into something else by hand.
so, lots of shibori ribbon being made here at the moment. if i have overlooked an email, been tardy in sending you something promised-please send me a little reminder nudge and accept a proforma mea culpa from me. i appreciate your patience.
speaking of flow. one also needs to refill the vessel and when Richard and I get together for a workshop that is part of the intention- to give you lots to wonder about- to get your flow going-or back into the flow.
good grief…in my mind i had done it! but alas no- just on Facebook and constant contact. there are still a couple of spaces. and several requests to Skype/broadcast the workshop which we will be accommodating as well (figuring this out now). this workshop will combine itajime AND mandalas. you will learn both in the first two days. on the third day you can work on whichever one (or both) is moving you-and get into your own flow.
of course we will be working on the process, the technique, of folding and dyeing and resisting-but also larger concepts of time and space in regards to patterns. patterns are everywhere-in nature and in life. sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture to see them.
-some of Richard’s recent work-it just keeps on getting better and better (of course). he recently completed his first continuous 10 meter cloth which is slated to be make into a summer yukata. now THAT’s impressive!
and just a reminder- have a 2 day indigo workshop coming up at the Japanese American National Museum Feb 1 & 2. We will be working on shibori and indigo and creating a boro-esque indigo scarf from our bounty. Call the Museum to register- 213.625.0414
Today I gave as special workshop for the docents at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
30 people in a small basement room for 75 minutes.
Slideshow and videos then on to the Shibori.
Ahh….the first Monday of 2014! And it starts off with a bang!
About my silk shibori ribbon-many folks are asking and wondering…
It was 2006 when I first started practicing and learning shibori techniques. Having closed my porcelain company of 30 years, I wanted a new challenge and a new product to make and sell. Something to continue to sustain me over the next many years. Something highly artistic, beautiful, creative, something that would excite and inspire others to make and create-I know how making can be so very strengthening both mentally and physically. I wanted to continue to be part of that but in another way. I looked for a way. After practicing the arashi shibori technique daily for about 6 months, I wondered. I wondered if one could make ribbon with it. I had never seen it done so I started searching the internet. Nope! Not one image or one mention anywhere that I could find. I searched extensively. Excited, I found a little bit of silk ribbon I had nearby and wanted to wrap it. Around what? Looking around me I grabbed a pencil. Wrapping the ribbon around it my eyes scanned the room for something to wrap it with- some thread. I ran downstairs ( I had been in the bedroom with my bathrobe still on) and went outside and poured some dye over it. Steaming and drying it I opened it up- Shibori Ribbon was born-really way to small and thin and not all that beautiful. But the beauty was in the eye of the beholder, me- and I could see all the glorious possibilities. So it has been a long and interesting path. Littered with miles of beautiful silk and more.
Special thanks to all those who have been teaching and using the ribbon in their classes not just this year but in all the past years since I first came up with this crazy idea. My special thanks goes to the much loved Sherry Serafini who has spread her inspiration and the shibori ribbon all over the world. More thanks to the talented Melanie Dorman who passed on in 2012 and who introduced me to beaded needle weaving and embroidery while we sat back to back at our tables at the Pasadena Bead and Design show some years ago. I was fascinated with her work and she with the ribbon. I think she was the first to see and show me its potential in regards to beaded embroidery work and designed several pieces and classes with it. I was saddened-even shocked, when I went to contact her about something last year and discovered her passing- a reminder…we are here only for the blink of an eye. Adele Sciortino did her part with it in the doll world and introduced it to many doll makers. Art quilters found the ribbon at the quilt shows and put it to work in many inventive ways. It was a pleasure to have them come to the booth and tell me that their quilt entry with the shibori ribbon made it into the show. Crazy quilter Julie Craig of Attic Heirlooms(no website) along with Judith Montano both saw the ribbons potential when I first introduced it at the shows 6 years ago. Kate Tracton (also a Shibori GIrl) found it and made some lovely necklaces with it and her handwoven focal beads. Jude’s words and musings and of course Wendy who keeps a little pile of the ribbons in her therapy room and adds her wisdom to it as she heals. I could fill a whole page with such examples. I thank you all. It is an exquisite privilege to have something I make be part of something you make or do.
Now, entering 2014 there are many, many folks out there enjoying the possibilities and wondering. There are many shops- both online and on the street selling my ribbon. There are two Authorized Etsy resellers of my ribbon who are putting it into the hands of many more creative folks-Michelle, who has been at it for several years now and Lisa who just discovered it late last year and doing a great job getting the word out. This is putting the silk shibori ribbon in the hands of so many creative folks who are dreaming and wondering up so many possibilities. I am overwhelmed! I really couldn’t ask for more shibori love than that.
So it has been a good year and I look back at the slow and manageable uphill burn of the ribbon which makes life around here even possible. I intend as a result of the increasing demand for the ribbon, to be spending more time making the silk shibori ribbon than ever before. I like that it is also helping to support others who resell the ribbon as well as those using it to make things that they in turn sell.
I have been informed that there is someone copying the idea on etsy. I have been approached by a very large company who wants to “blow it up” and eventually have it made in China. No. It is true, there will be copyists- in it for the momentary buck or two. But in the end I will still be here. Know it.
One at a time and everyday- like I said in the beginning of this big adventure.
Now back to the poles. And speaking of poles, Keep warm out there friends. I know some of you are withstanding record cold spells. Janice just emailed me that it is -37 outside her studio in the woods right now. Stand strong-and STAY WARM!
Ahhh… my last post of the year. I’m just going with the flow…
I sat down with a length of silk shibori ribbon some beads, a few pearls, a shell or two, some silk and before long a tide pool began to form…I just went with the flow.
Before long, an anemone appeared and a starfish crawled out from beneath some seaweed. The moon in the form of a shell (found on a walk along Hayama beach) turned the tides and the current swept sparkling bubbles of air along on the adventure. A bright star appeared reflected in the calm of one of the pools before waves washed over and changed the composition. Seaweed grasses formed along the edge and swayed with the tidal surges altering my view of this seascape moment by moment.
I want to extend many thanks to so many people who traveled along with me this past year. From indigo and silk, to Japan and back, from show to show, over the internet via all the social networks and email, through workshops here and there, to the folks at the Japanese American National Museum- my, this list could get pretty long! Through yards and yards of silk shibori ribbons I have come to know so many more of you and your myriad talents and passions. Thank you.
Of course there are friends whispering to me in the background like Jude and Dar, and Richard, and Donna, Velma and Wendy, and Kathleen in SF, Fumiko in Japan and so many more of you who put your whole self into this thing called life and making.
Of course I add to that gratitude thanks to Phil who puts up with the daily shibori report -speaking of going with the flow of things around here- and having to move shibori off the keyboards, the drums and the pan on a daily basis. As I write this he and Trev are off surfing during his break from grad school. And to the boys- thanks for being the people you are which allows me to be me and not worry (too much) about you as you find your way in life.
Believe we must-in ourselves and in others worth believing in.
So as the tide ebbs and rolls out on 2013, and 2014’s New Year’s tides surge and swell, I say- go with the flow- become part of it, let it carry you along, be swept away by your passions into a New Year of love, compassion and caring for our world and everything within it.
everything has a season, and right now it is the season of the ginkgo here in my yard. many moons ago we planted three small 5 gallon ginkgo trees in a line out front. it must have been about 33 years ago. the center tree outpaced and eventually overshadowed it’s siblings although seemingly healthy. the main difference in the three trees being that the center tree grew wide and strong-it’s trunk parting low as if to say “climb me, climb me-do it!”. over the years cats , kids, squirrels and raccoons all obliged.
one day in a “rearranging” I decided to remove the two end trees to make more room for the center tree.
halfway through removing the second tree i wondered- what if I just moved it?
so thinking this I dug it out and planted it in the far back corner of the yard
where it has remained for over 20 years and now is twice the height of its brother tree out front. yes, it is a female and the front tree a male. each fall they both put on a spectacular show and mark time and memories for us all.
in the end they drop their bounty of gold upon the garden mulching spring bulbs and winter crops.
life is golden that way with the gingko and we.
about 20 years younger…
and the back tree?
so, introducing the colorway “ginko” and my small tribute to it’s changing leaves-a rearranging of sorts from fall to winter here.
I don’t know.
But I did finally finish this piece. I had to. Some things just can’t be left undone.
He asked me if it was too late to send a thank you card.
I said “it’s never too late to say thank you. or to say I’m sorry-or I love you for that matter.” It’s really a gift to yourself.
Family new and old gathered ’round here these past few days. As far as I am concerned, whoever graces our table at Thanksgiving is added to the list of “family”. My “family” is really akin to a crazy quilt. Made by hand of the finest and scrappiest of materials. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
As far as this piece goes, it goes way back to 2007 when Karren Brito started a makiage challenge on flickr and I was learning discharge. It was just a practice piece. It resurfaced from time to time and I wondered about it here and there. At one point I decided to practice some quilting on it so I discharged some black seam binding with the arashi technique.
At some other point it resurfaced again and I started doing some hand stitching on it. Eventually, the binding and the quilted part were reunited and half the binding was stitched on. A couple of years ago it surfaced again and I started hand finishing the binding. This past summer it made it’s way into my Yosemite bag and I finished the binding.
Yesterday, I stitched on a couple of hangers to the back and cut a stick onto which to mount it. Finally. Done. Only took 5 years.
Seems I’m in this for the long haul.
a weird but short post.
for all those trying to connect with me on linkedin- I don’t do linkedin.
so all those unanswered requests will remain unanswered. sorry. it’s just too much.
I also understand that some or those requests are auto sent- another reason I don’t do linkedin.
but in other news-
earlier this year i posted about “living in the shadow of the wind” where
the time after a show is my favorite time. the busy preparation time is over, the workshops given, information imparted, items sold, people met, much talking, boxes returned, unpacked, put away. and best of all, bills paid for the coming month from proceeds of the show.
this is the time when i can “live in the shadow of the wind”. a small space in time of seeming protection from outside forces.
this time it seems though, that the shadow has grown shorter. maybe it is the shorter winter days among other things but even though the above remains true, the time i have to spend on lingering and seed planting has diminished for now.
there are many orders to create and dye for, proposals to submit, emails to return and more- but yet it was important yesterday to just take a day off and go for a bike ride, see the ocean, and have a little dinner out with phil. he is busy too, music directing a theater production for a local HS in between gigging and private students so both our schedules are limited.
a little about the show- it was good to see so many folks excited about the silk shibori ribbon. after a long road paved with endurance it is finding a home with creative types of many colors. it really is fun to watch people approach it at the show with wonder and say “what is it?”. “i want some”, they say. “it is beautiful-i will figure out something to do with it”. i love when it sparks their imagination. when it causes pause and wonder. i love it when women bring their kids along because children simply CANNOT resist it. they want to touch it immediately. my favorite thing to do with kids at the show is to ask them how old they are. it goes something like this:
me-how old are you?
them- 8 (6,10,12, etc)
me- well it just so happens that just for today all 8 year olds get to pick out a color and get a cut of this ribbon to wonder about!
them-(eyes wide and not sure… looking at their moms or grandmothers…)Really??
me- yes! pick a color-any color….
and then of course we go on from there and they wander off stroking a length of ribbon..