Category Archives: arimatsu

mono no aware and shibori

“mono no aware” is a japanese term most simply translated to awareness in the transient nature of things. shibori is like that to me. yesterday’s pieces while bound and tied for drying held a certain transient beauty for me, and an anticipation of what they would or could become when unbound. when unbound, some pieces delight me while others dissapoint and i must be satisfied with the knowlege that their transitory beauty existed for a brief time and i was there to see it. ahhh….the cherry blossoms are nothing but gutter flowers now.

Shibori and kids…

Speaking of practicing shibori with kids, whipup has been sending lots of readers my way and thanks for that! (stop a minute and leave a comment!) Someone must have been reading my mind because I am in the planning stages of a two lesson shibori class for some 5th graders at the local elementary school. We are going to do silk hankies for mothers day using clamping (itajime), stitching, and bound resists. The first lesson will involve creating the resists and showing them some sample pieces. We will use all kinds of everyday objects for binding and clamping. In the second lesson, we will be dyeing the pieces outside in the rose garden. We’ll be starting in late March and finish in April. Look for photos here and in the shibori photo pool on flickr.
itajime.jpg triangles.jpg

practicing itajime

I can really appreciate the perfection of some of the japanese itajime pieces I have seen after practicing this myself. This piece is 11×60″ and was divided into 2 lengthwise pleats before doing a triangle concertina fold. The silk is slippery and not as easy to fold as paper.
I moved the circular blocks several times and dyed the silk after each re-positioning. My intention was a little different than the result but I now know what I did “wrong”.

making shibori…

Watashi wa shibori o seishi desu. My japanese is so bad I’m not sure this is saying what I mean to say!
It needs to say, “I am making shibori”. Perhaps those readers in Japan would like to help me out on that account.
In any case, I am working , making shibori. No time for a post but you may check out the flickr shibori photo pool. I am collecting photos to post later.

a little history…..

It took Suzuki Kanezo 8 years to invent and perfect the technique of arashi shibori around 1860 in Arimatsu, Japan. Arimatsu was originally one of the 53 rest stations established along the eastern coastal route of Japan, known as the Tokaido. The Tokaido connected the old and new capitals of Kyoto and Edo (now known as Tokyo) and was travelled by feudal lords, officials of the shogunate, and merchants, among others. Shibori was introduced to Arimatsu in the early 1600 ‘s as a village industry and it came to be known as the center of production for some of the finest shibori one could acquire.

Today, artists and designers worldwide recreate many of these designs and techniques, combining the new and traditional, bringing to market contemporary shibori pieces for you to enjoy. Shibori, a shaped resist dyeing technique, is inherently unique due to the handmade process necessary to produce it.