Wednesday, June 27, 2007

natural plant dying at ohara kobo, north of kyoto

this is the view of ohara kobo, a plant dye workshop in ohara, which is a small town an hour north of kyoto. i was really excited to try their dye course. we stayed overnight at a traditional japanese onsen ryokan, and went here on sunday morning. it was great. the guy spoke some english, and gave us lots of information (more so when we kept asking detailed questions!).

this is the view from their back porch, with dyed cotton hanging.
inside the shop/example area of the workshop, showing all the scarves and colors available.
in the dyeing shed, with the proprietor at the stove. he was a very entertaining fellow.

yarn dyed with loquat, or japanese medlar, or 'biwa' in japanese
madder plant (grown very very locally). in japanese 'akane'.
traditional cotton spinning wheel in use. they grow a small amount of their own cotton.

ohara (kyoto) japanese indigo dyeing

this is the japanese indigo plant, or polygonum. in japanese, it's called tadeai. ai is indigo as in 'aizome' means indigo dyeing.this is what it looks like dried. the leaves can be used directly to dye, but this is not really ever done. tadeai is fermented in a big bucket. it's really a huge bucket, the size of an oil drum.and goes into this vat, which is 1 meter deep.dyeing a silk scarf using oxidation to get a deeper color: one minute in the dye, one minute in the air. *repeat.*
silk scarf

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

renegade in the nytimes

being in japan, i can't get to the renegrade craft fair in new york or chicago this year.

i had a great time in chicago last year, and in brooklyn the year before. renegade has had a huge impact on the d.i.y. craft movement, and keeps getting bigger. and today i saw an article in the nytimes about it!

sue from the cool store giant dwarf was the feature photo, and the nifty felter penfelt showed up too. etsy got a mention as well. yay for crafts!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

june handmade market

since summer is here, the handmade market at chionji temple in kyoto (the 15th of every month) has been really busy. lots of cute new summer things for sale, of the glass summer bells (above) or whimsical creatures (below).
lots of zakka

and awesome feltmakers whose work i hadn't seen before. these dolls are so lovely!
and crazy tissue holders in the shape of animal heads!
and wee walnut mice.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

vacation blog lapse

i'm back in japan, and have tons of pictures to post from last week's handmade market and a natural dying workshop i did with my mom last weekend. she doesn't seem to mind that i plan to make her do a lot of fiber classes with me;-) i promise to post pictures.

for now, check out the new design over at craftster, it looks great!