Over the weekend the silk moths began to emerge. This year I separated out a half dozen or so of the best white and yellow cocoons for mating. Last year, I let them mix and got a lot of variations. We will see where this leads.
Mr Koizumi, the former Director of the Yokohama Silk Center show us cocoons from all the past periods of Japan’s sericulture history. So many types!
When I was at the Silk Center in Yokohama recently, I picked up a book on silk cocoon flowers (hanamayu- はなまゆ or cocoon flower) by artist Tomiko Sakai. She is a Nagoya native and has been making her fantastic floral creations for over 20 years. Each diminutive blossom is often fashioned into larger sprays with each complete floral work worthy of display at the most formal event. Imagine wedding, tea ceremony, formal entry, or any honorific occasion. One day, I would love to see some of her work in person. She uses only the finest of Gunma produced silk cocoons. I see that an exhibit of her work was sponsored by both the Gunma Prefectural Government and the Tokyo Silk Science Research Center-both entities that we have visited on previous Silk Study tours. I wonder…
The book is all in Japanese and was the only one in stock but has an ISBN 0f 4-89977-174-6 which you might be able to track down if desired. I think the title is something like “Flower Born of a Silk Cocoon” but don’t quote me on that. I will contact the museum in Yokohama prior to our visit there next year and ask about the possibility of having a few in stock for our group when we are there.
The flowers are not anything like the ones I recently did but I would like to see what I could create based on some of her works. Her craftsmanship (or perhaps the craftsmanship of her studio directed by her) is supreme. She also uses some of the stained cocoons, incorporating the natural stains created by the emerging moths into the works. My recent trials pale in comparison!
And on Saturday, I had the privilege of giving an indigo shibori workshop for a group of great high school kids here in So Cal. Their teacher, Debra, has been the art teacher at this school (gr 7-12) for 32 years and you can tell that she loves her work and that her students love her. This is a great credit to her, as difficult as it is to be a teacher in the public school system these days, she is full of energy and ideas for her students. As she told me, she was in the right place at the right time and this is a very special school. The students were wonderful and we all had a great time. Several of the students are off to college soon and this was a great way for them to end the year. A few pics:
the group and Debra waving from the back
discovering the results and wondering
resisting the temptations to pull it up and look
they got a glimpse of arashi shibori too-
volvo doubles as a clothes line…
some results- they all did a sample stitched piece before trying the dragonfly motif
and before i left i turned the drying indigo
me waving to you and the dried and separated first indigo harvest
early summer garden- happy to say that i have been meeting my personal challenge to feed us at least something daily out of the garden here for over a year. may it continue!
Thanks to Cathy Bullington of Elephant Booty for the idea to save all the various harvests through the summer and use an ice chest for a composting bin. Also, thanks to jude for introducing me to Debra’s blog Artisun through the link in her sidebar.
Now back to the dyepot, cocoons.