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pattern and design

September 17, 2011



the last time I was in Japan this book literally leapt off the shelf and fell on my feet.

Don’t you believe me?


written in Japanese, I’m not sure of the translation for the title (can anyone help)?  ISBN4 – 10 – 310714 – 6. It was written by a daughter to showcase her mother’s kimono. Shirasu Masako was the daughter of Meiji nobility and lived a very privileged life. Known as one of the literati she was a writer, an art collector and had eclectic tastes when choosing her wardrobe – she had the money and status to carry off her choices when the rules surrounding the wearing of kimono were fairly rigid.




the book has wonderful photos of her wearing the textiles featured.




Alex Kerr’s book,  Lost Japan mentions Shirasu-san.







the picture of these obi captured my imagination and I spent some time working on the M’s and O’s pattern variation.








the obi with alternating green and orange blocks was obviously kasuri. That’s what I studied at Kawashima for 6 months! Without the specialized Japanese equipment – I measured my warp threads in my livingroom and dining room, stretched between the cast iron radiator (immovable) and the oak dining table (almost immovable). And stepped over it for a month while I resist tied the pattern with plastic ikat tape.













a painted warp and weft variation.





tea towel without the window pane effect, in hemp and cotton.



back to the software, another M’s & O’s Variation will be my next warp.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2011 11:45 pm

    oh forgot! the first kanji is white, the second something like sand or sandbar and the last one is ko as in child. something about small white sand?? white child sand??? the key might be in the middle : (


  2. September 18, 2011 11:42 pm

    love these, the ikat is sumptuous! the japanese have a way with m’s and o’s and you’ve inspired me to do an indigo/ white piece.
    now for the ducks and swans.blandina, you’re a bright pink flasmingo sweetheart..


  3. September 18, 2011 10:06 am

    and i like the header’s change!


  4. September 18, 2011 10:05 am

    i love how we weavers co-opt furniture for our purposes. beautiful, jean.


    • September 18, 2011 11:02 am

      this was tricky – if I had to get up in the night I had to remember to step over the “installation” or possibly break my neck! and one son saw it and thought it was time to committ mother.


  5. September 18, 2011 6:22 am

    Hi Royal swans, I think you both are Royals swans in the textile world. The more I read about you the more I feel I don’t know much about Japanese textiles at all, but my thought is that, I’m glad I have got on the ladder to learn about it – Jean, that is a great looking book. I will ask my friend Ayako to tell me the name of the book for you – Hugs Nat


  6. September 17, 2011 10:25 pm

    I start realising that I will be the ugly duck among a group of beautiful, textile experts, white swans during the Japan tour.
    I love your resist tying between the radiator and the oak table!


    • September 17, 2011 10:48 pm

      in the short time I’ve “known” you you’ve never been an ugly duck, your beautiful work entitles you to be a white swan. think I might be the black swan or snow goose!


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