Another month comes to a close here. We are getting some good rain again and are grateful. A cold and wet day means a good day for working inside and cleaning up paperwork, posting online, and answering emails.
shibori curves… like life and the unexpected curves
first time student was patient and deliberate-guntai shibori
Unfortunately, one of those emails was accepting the cancellation of two spots for this year’s Silk Study Tour to Japan. This year’s tour has been the year of cancellations! Never before have I had this many having to bow out of the tour! Almost all for health reasons unfortunately. What a disappointment for those who have had to back out! Every time I have been able to fill in the earlier spots but now, here we are in the home stretch, having to fill in a couple of spaces. Would you or someone you know like to join us? This tour is an exciting and educational adventure into the textile world of Japan wrapped in the culture and beauty of the Japanese people.
What will you experience?
a visit to a traditional sericulture farm
a visit with an indigo dyer
entrance into the beautiful museum of Ichiku Kubota
a night at a resort hotel overlooking Kawaguchi Lake
tour of a Silk Museum (or two! Yokohama optional)
several nights at a resort spa ryokan (inn) with traditional Japanese baths and a lovely traditional Japanese dinner
two nights in Tokyo Ginza area with free time to visit museums,shop and a day side trip to Kamakura and Yokohama-optional
a stop at a kimono museum (if open)
a visit to an obi weaver
a visit to Tomioka Silk Mill (new World Cultural Heritage site)
a stop at a textile museum
a morning at the famous Kyoto temple sales
a visit to the shibori museum in Kyoto
visit the Amuse Boro Museum in Tokyo(optional) Sadly, this museum is closing March 31
a visit to a washi studio (handmade papermaker)
a visit with a modern sericulturist
and any added invitations we may receive and accept! (we already have a few!)
a workshop with a natural dyer
a workshop with Ton Cara-a silk processing and weaving studio
Not to mention all the small moments that you will experience if you wonder and notice!This year (we always have repeat travelers as it is a trip that can be taken more than once), we have the honor to include once again, the author of the book American Silk, 1830-1930:Entrepreneurs and Artifacts, by Jacqueline Roberts and Madelyn Shaw. This book details the history of silk production in the US and is a wonderful look at early entrepreneurs and the textile mills pre-synthetics. I enjoyed it very much.
Coincidentally, I met Jacqueline at a Costume Society of America convention many years ago when it was in San Diego (2007 or ’08). She had a table in the vendor room and I saw her book on the table as I passed by. Of course I stopped and talked to her and bought the book. It was several years later that she came on the silk tour and I recognized her name. I had to ask if that had been her I bought her book from and of course it was! How interesting that our paths would cross like that!You can book the tour with or without airfare- ask me for the Land Only price. More info here. Single supplement also available. Please share with anyone you know who might be interested!
I am tying up some loose ends on things that have been in the works around here for a while. Everything takes longer than expected it seems-especially around the holidays when there are lots of comings and goings.
Today the wind died down a bit (not completely) but the surfers were devoted to getting into the water which leaves me in complete and blissful silence to work on these unfinished details.
First- the In Studio Workshop with Richard Carbin and myself is available in the shop. Just click here to visit the listing and read through it carefully. If you have any questions, just use the contact form or email me. Leaving a comment here is OK too- I can reply privately via your comment.
I’m excited to collaborate with Richard again. Ours has been an wonderful pairing of interests and talents. We met virtually via Flickr several years ago becoming fans of each others work. Richard is an ex-pat living in Nagoya Japan with his wife and two boys. In June 2009 when Phil & I visited Nagoya for the Arimatsu Shibori Festival, we made a pact to meet up and get to know each other better and in person. We visited late into the night and although our work is completely different we shared a passion for Japan, silk, and dyeing. Afterwards, we continued getting to know each other online via Facebook and via email and decided to create a collaborative workshop. Our online workshop Indigo Mandalas(born of the original In Studio workshop last year)was the first internationally collaborative online workshop as far as I know. We continue to inspire and draw on each others experience and interests using the internet & media, learning as we grow.
Secondly, the Silk Study Tour to Japan is filling nicely. We only have 4 spots (out of 20) left so, if you think a trip to Japan to see silk sericulture, beautiful textiles, a natural dye workshop and more are in your future for May of 2013-contact me soon. We never really know if we will repeat this tour-so far our third biennial tour. Life has a way of keeping us on our toes and in the present which is a good thing and keeps up from putting off those things that we really want to do but somehow don’t. More and more I realize that today is the day! Click the link for details and feel free to contact me if you you have any questions at all. I’m getting excited all over again. New things await us in Japan every time we go!
Things are beginning to heat up for the Silk Study Tour to Japan May 18-28, 2011. As expected, there have been a couple of cancellations and some new additions to our list of participants. We will miss having you along but welcome our new tour participants! We still have room for a couple more-but at this point the tour is “made”! If you think you would like to join us, perhaps this quick slideshow of the 2009 tour might whet your appetite for a little silk experience Japanese style:
We were just informed that Tokyo University is closing it’s Museum of Agriculture and Technology while they renovate and move it to a new location. In light of this news we will be adding one of our other pre-chosen destinations to surprise and delight you. We actually had several other destinations on our list of “gee, wish we had more time and we could see this too”, so happily Hirata-san is investigating all the possibilities with visits there this week and we will get to pick from the best of them. He was actually very excited to be making new connections and exploring the possibilities-this is what he likes doing best and we are so lucky to have him as a guide. We did love the Tokyo University collection but when things change-well we just go with the flow. This is the beauty of travel. You never know what is around the next corner to discover!
If you missed the previous post which included the tour brochure, you can see it here.
Let me know if you are interested in joining us and I will get back to you with answers to any questions you may have.
a break right now between wrapping poles and discharging on my way to overdyeing and steaming. had to come in to check the inventory for colorways and make some decisions on what was going to get dyed what color in the overdye stage and what was going to be discharged (or not). this decision is based on me eyeing the ribbon and scarves on hand and making a list based on what i feel my “eye” is missing, what i think will sell at the show…blah blah blah. it’s a crap shoot basically but i do like to see a nice well rounded selection. basically, there is a person for every color i dye and part of the best part is seeing who chooses what color and helping them decide if they do in fact want help (many do!). often colors i personally love are the last to sell but that’s been true of the things i make and sell for a very long time. i try to think outside myself and also think about what moods and feelings the different colors and their combinations evoke as well as how they appear visually-which is of course how we take in this information in the first place. sorry, rambling a bit.
interestingly, there has been a conversation going on here that went in an interesting direction and reminded me that i DO in fact make to sell but with other intentions as well.
on another front (there are many), the following piece of silk (an 18 x 90″ scarf) will be going to one of the video subscribers as a gift. to qualify, subscribers who leave a comment on the video page will have their name thrown into a hat (once for each week they leave a comment) and at the end of the month i will pull one name out to receive this piece. it is just a sample of something that was done on the video- a shared quickie technique using the colorhue dyes. it’s not pleated but could be. this piece feels pretty strong-stormy almost.
also, as promised- a few quick clips of last year’s Silk Study Tour. sorry, don’t have time to do a formal edit on the clips-just too much to do. but you get the idea. on this day we were with the Tama Silk Life 21 group at the Metropolitan Research Institute. we spend the full day there and everyone gets to try their hand at everything from reeling, spinning and making silk caps and mawata. both classes exampling what we learned here are sold out at the Houston show. i will be assisting in one of them.
some traveling money will be required so i restocked the shop with some indigo boro packs (selected indigo fabrics for a new stash of them last night) and as soon as i get some more ribbon scrap bags organized i will be putting them in the shop as well. be ready, they always disappear quickly! might also offer a scarf or two-as soon as i get the beads sewn on…
back to work, it’s gonna be a long night.