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.