Skip to content

nature and natural dyes

September 16, 2012

my physical body is home from a dyeing workshop at Maiwa Handprints, but my heart is still there

the first order of business is a major clean-up of the garden, I can barely get to the lunch bench

not all the Spring work was completed before I went to Japan

and after I hurt my back in July nothing was done

before the rains start, daylight hours will be spent in the garden

the fig tree has grown 15 – 20 feet!! It needs a severe pruning.

– the workshop.

  “Two Japanese Natural Dyes” taught by Yoko Kano and her daughter Kazuho (Kapo) Kano

they come from the small mountain village of Katsuyama in Okayama prefecture

they have a studio and gallery called Hinoki, in a 250-year-old building that was originally Yoko-san’s grandfather’s saki shop

Yoko-sensei is a professional weaver and dyer. She re-introduced the custom, in the village, of  hanging noren (traditional door curtains) at the entrance of small shops

go here to see the noren exhibition at The Silk Weaving Studio

the main street of the town is now a working gallery

she works closely with the shop owner and with the  assistance of  Kapo-san creates one-of-a-kind works of art

it was a delightful experience to watch mother and daughter work together

– the dye, kakishibu and bengara

I have dyed with kakishibu several times but never with bengara

we used liquid kakishibu and although it is extremely convenient, I will continue to use it in a fine powered form

it has an unlimited shelf life, no problems or major cost with shipping, can be mixed and used any time and with numerous applications

My samples are out on the line baking in the sun

all the samples at the workshop

kakishibu needs strong ultra-violet rays/sunshine  and time – up to 2 years – to develop a dark colour

I need time, too, to gather my thoughts, notes and photos.

more later.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Renee permalink
    September 22, 2012 9:58 pm

    It is the workshop samples hanging on the racks that just makes me wonder at the possibilities. Like its waiting to be made into something. Waiting eagerly for your thought process.


    • September 22, 2012 10:45 pm

      Renee – sometimes it takes a very long time to be creative with workshop samples – if ever.


  2. September 18, 2012 3:28 am

    i have to read these thoroughly (and look!) after school. what great stuff here, jean. good luck in th ejungle, er, garden.


  3. September 17, 2012 9:28 am

    wooo! yes, except for bryan-san no one else mentions the uv relationship w kakishibu.
    bengara is a pigment isn’t it?


    • September 17, 2012 1:04 pm

      Neki – as soon as I can get myself organized I’ll write a blog on bengara. I am fascinated -but- we used the liquid form, difficult to get and takai desu!!! I’m sending an email to Maiwa to see if they will get the old, traditional powder.


      • September 18, 2012 4:48 am

        i think i can get it over here. there’s an excellent pigment supply shop and even japanese living here buy from them. let me know


      • September 18, 2012 8:02 am

        Neki – thanks, Neki, that’s quite amazing. Maiwa is trying to work out the chemicals and either let us know what they are or get them in the supply store.
        Velma – my back is still a problem and the jungle is winning.


  4. September 17, 2012 2:23 am

    That sounds like great fun, I look forward to seeing more of the results when you’ve got the garden tamed!


  5. Sandi permalink
    September 16, 2012 6:19 pm

    Welcome Home Jean….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: