Kumihimo and temari are my main preoccupations, but I’ve come to appreciate that no single Japanese textile tradition exists in isolation – that they are all linked. So I’m doing what I can to learn about the totality of Japanese textiles. I’ve been on the journey for a while now so look out for posts referring to Aizome/Indigo, Banana Fibre, Chiyogami paper, all the way through the Japanese textile alphabet, via Katazome, Kogin, Nambuhishizashi, Sakiori, Sashiko, Shibori and Shifu.
I’m an ordinary Australian interested mostly in the ‘making’ of Japanese textiles for its own sake; for me, the outcome or what I ‘do’ with them is largely superfluous. I’m neither interested in traditional publishing (editors seem to remove the hints and tips and turn what’s serious into something fluffy) nor teaching much (far too laborious and everyone wants ‘instant’ these days – and there’s nothing gained in Japanese craft without struggle), nor making money (there’s enough commoditisation in the art/craft world and the race for money seems to play havoc with the energy needed to develop an aesthetic). No, for me, it’s a form of Buddhist sitting meditation. The textiles are gloriously rich, as well as being sober and simple, but are ultimately as insubstantial as the threads from which they are made.
All the commentary is personal and all the photos are taken by me. No plagiarism (where I quote others, I’ll mention the source), no infringing on the copyright of others.
I’m indebted to the Japanese men and women, many mostly without name, who have created these textile wonders down through the ages – and work at them still -, as well as to my teachers and friends in the ‘jtex’ community. Domo arigato gozaimasu!