Resuming posts

November 11, 2012

I’m resuming my posts today after many months away, involved with full-time university study. Here’s what my temari workarea looks like at the moment, including origami folding paper useful for assessing Japanese colour schemes.


This week I’ve started moving into the area of asanoha, a traditional Japanese design motif based on the leaf of the asa (hemp), as well as taking up where I left off with one-stroke-of-the-brush technique (hito-hude-gake). Barb Suess’ book has been invaluable; extraordinarily comforting because it’s in English, given that the books published in Japan in the Japanese language are so complex and intimidating. I have twelve weeks to go before exhibiting my temari in a group show at a gallery run by the local Council where I live, summing up five years of work in the medium. It’s a wonderful opportunity to personally “regroup” before deciding on more adventures in 2013.


Sensei Makiko Tada returns to Australia in April and I’m looking forward to her week-long workshop in the mountains outside Sydney, especially since I didn’t attend the international braids conference in Manchester a few months ago. By rights, I ought to be showing her my “homework” since the last time we met; I ought to be working on karakumidai, the last element of my self-paced braiding “apprenticeship”. I have found this week on Flickr some inspiring sageo as used by Japanese swordsmen in their pursuit of iaido (I’ve tended not to take them seriously because the designs are simple – severe and sober as befits the samurai military tradition).

Other Japanese textiles

I have a paper overdue for the Japanese Textiles Study Group of Complex Weavers (USA) dedicated to a baby’s kimono done with snowflake indigo dyeing on white cotton. A local bookinding/acrylic painting colleague ran a workshop earlier this year on itajime dyeing using paper not cloth, which is something I’d not considered before. I’ve also been following a Canadian colleague’s website,, making me aware of the trajectory from summer to winter in the Northern Hemisphere through her dyeing and weaving as we move, here, from autumn into summer.



Barbara B. Suess, Temari Techniques. 2012: Breckling Press. : inspiring weaving, dyeing, indigo, kumihimo – ‘putting it all together’ in the creation of everday, functional objects



2 Responses to “Resuming posts”

  1. John Whitley Says:

    Welcome back! For what it’s worth, Braids 2012 was amazing. I learned karakumi from Makiko-sensei at the conference, as well as three other new braiding forms on the side, beyond any of the workshops I attended.

    • rodbyatt Says:

      Very glad to hear Manchester went well. With Edna having started me off in 2007 with karakumi, I hope Makiko-sensei can help by reinforcing it (I got distracted by having to help out at the conference shop in the final days). Silly me, I was trying to learn it without making notes to myself as I went, thinking it would “stick” after five days. I hope someone has shared with you photos taken at the Kyoto conference exhibition and the work on display at private visits to workshop studios we visited in Kyoto and in Iga; I can’t publish my own photos for copyright reasons but get in touch with me if there’s any particular aspect you might be interested in.

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