Just a quickie post here about the upcoming tour. The tour has been filled now for some time. BUT…. we just yesterday had one couple drop out due to personal health issues and although they are OK, they are sad to not be coming along. This does however, leave us with two openings….
If you are interested or know someone who is, it might just be that these spots have opened up for you.
For information and details you can go here:
Silk Study Tour to Japan details
It promises to be a very illuminating experience.
Seems like lately I’ve been in the employ of words ending in -tion and -sion. words like:
instruction, concentration, immersion, connection, destination, impression, revelation, fermentation
and the main one:
All through the recent couple of weeks these words rolled around inside my head and I find that they apply to so many things throughout my day. All of them though, bound up by intent. I am focusing more on intent these days. Maybe focusing isn’t the right word really. At least being more conscious of it, wondering about it, taking it into consideration . Noticing it, within myself and beyond.
I think that the silks that Richard brought over made it ever clear. These fabrics have intent. Working with them I can feel and see it. Even though most were produced many decades ago (and maybe especially because they were) the intent seems clear to me. They are still here. They were saved all this time. The intent was carried on through many hands into their present form.
And over time here, I have been wondering not only about silk, but about indigo too. Last year I grew indigo-cut and dried it, even saved the seed. Eventually I composted the leaves into a claylike mass. Now, I have made a fermentation vat with the homegrown indigo. I think the past is about to meet the future, blending the past with the future, sustainably.
silk boro indigo
This intention has been brewing in me for a very long time. Some days I think maybe since the dawn. I am only beginning to recognize it as such. I can be a slow learner…
once upon a time there were many many kimono. some were worn daily, some were worn for special occasions and when they needed cleaning, they were taken apart, cleaned, then sewn back together. as time passed, many of these kimono were no longer being worn. the outer fine colorful silks were often stripped of the inner linings and resold to be remade into other things. but the lowly inner lining silks-though also fine, but often plain and with little pattern or color, were set aside (if not discarded!) since no one knew what to do with them.
Richard has been collecting them and remaking them into his beautiful silk mandalas. he is here once again to give a workshop and for the past couple of days we have been preparing things. today, we took some pieces out to get a few photos and some video for the daily dyer.
my, they looked glorious! so alive & revivied.
for this workshop, we decided that we wanted to concentrate on using some of these silks and show what can be done with them . we will be using them freely both for the arashi and the mandalas. if they don’t start being used, they are simply going to be discarded. silk was used as a form of currency at one time, so it is interesting to me that something that was once so highly valued is now being cast away.
i like the intention of these pieces we are making. some of the silks are quite old. they were important enough to have been saved by someone all this time. some appear to be hand loomed, even hand spun! imagine throwing that away. some are simple but perfect for dyeing. some have spots or stains. all are unique in various ways. most of the blemishes were no longer noticeable once they were dyed. my favorites are the ones where you can see the slubs, tyoffs and the uneven tensions from the weaving. like these-
there was more than enough for the workshop so i spent some time today sorting and ironing and packaging up some to put into the shop.
i like that we can use this silk from the past in our work today. i can learn things just by looking at it! and some of it is here now in the shop.
It seems like preparation is sometimes the biggest part of getting something done. This week my desk went through what was akin to an archeological dig(out).
invoices/orders from last year
Due to a printer breakdown, its replacement inspired a whole clean out of the “office” area. Since the sales tax returns have to be filed by the end of the month this was a good thing. I had been avoiding it. But it did get me wondering about printing a copy of each order to include in your box when I send it. Since we all get an email or have access to our own online purchase activity I am no longer going to include this with each shipment. I think the planet will thank me for “going paperless” . Woohoo…50% less printing just like that!
Moving on, I cleaned every nook and cranny- every slip of paper- no drawer escaped my wrath!
-and in the process I unearthed a few things- fun things! like some old family photos-
(and i do mean old!) greats and great-greats
And although it wasn’t “lost”, it had been shelved-a gift from an old friend so very long ago. A bound set of an old Japanese publication from 1925 called “The Graphic” or “The International Graphic” published by Kokusai Johosha. At some point while Ricard is here we will sit down and look this over.
bound set-Feb. 1925-Dec. 1925. Vol 1 Nos. 1-11
Inside there are may colorized photos of western women, geisha, politics, foreign culture as well as ukiyo-e prints and a couple fold outs. My guess is that these are not woodblock but early litho reproductions. Still very beautiful-and suitable for framing if one wished. Here is one I thought you might find interesting-
artisans making katazome fabrics
And in the end, the desk was cleaned (and I feel so much better!) So the rest of the evening was spent working on tour business. I am getting excited for everyone!
waku waku suru!
Richard arrives tonight and we will be in the studio for a few days before next weekend’s workshop.
yes, i did get it done today- mostly. aside from making the actual ribbon, there’s the sorting, cutting, choosing the combos, photographing, uploading, naming, photoshopping in the color names/titles, uploading and listing. phew!
in the shop now. and thank you!
3 borealis baby
all spiced up
oh, and a really lovely scarf too…
arashi sea dragon
some more indigo moons made it there also…
mon are emblems used in Japan to identify groups or individuals. also know as Japanese crests, Wikipedia states that mon
may have originated as fabric patterns to be used on clothes in order to distinguish individuals or signify membership in a specific clan or organization.
some indigo itajime pieces i have been working on remind me of these mon. perhaps a shibori no ai mon 藍搾り纹 is in order. will be wondering more about this. i think they would make nice pillows…
these pieces are an outgrowth of what i have learned from Richard, who is due to be here shortly. we will have some more time together, standing on common ground, and under the same moon. we have 2 spots still open if you are in the neighborhood…
meanwhile, Susan over at ito de has been incorporating thoughts of kanji into her work. lots of good posts over there.
seems like there is a Zappa theme here tonight.
it got warm here today. i peeled off the outer layers and …
composition in C major borealis
it almost felt like spring! song was in the air~
by monday, i should have the shop restocked with ribbons in all sorts of colors.
I’ve been practicing darkness on moons lately.
tonight’s moon looks more like this though
it was more of an indigo day here despite the cold.
I just heard frost is to be expected on the beach to tonight- a rarity here.
I believe it though- my fingers are freezing and ready for some inside computer work tonight.