Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Ten-Day-Workshops for Autumn 2013 and Spring are Full

Thank you for so many enthusiastic emails concerning the ten-day textile workshops and the longer term stays. I had to start turning people down yesterday. I originally figured I would have ten members per workshop  but  eight is a much easier number to handle. The logistics seem to hit the difficulty curve suddenly around seven. When talking to a group of people it is easier to make it interesting and keep the story going if you can keep eye contact. It is tough with twenty eyes.

The ten-day workshops are a lot of fun. I enjoy them and having the members as guests in my house. I want to enjoy the people and the teaching and not burn out. The basic content remains the same. Up until now the workshops have been fresh due to new faces and the different energy and hopes each participant brings. I don't want to strangle the fun out of it through over repetition.

The rainy season starts in June in the mountains here in Japan. This old farmhouse keeps me fighting to keep it looking fresh in good weather. Damp tatamis and stinky monsoon indigo make it impossible to win the battle.  That makes tagging on an extra spring workshop tough. (And although I am dropping the ball my Florentine friend, I am praying I find the energy to get it bouncing again for June!)

OK. Thank you friends.

PS. The lotus at the front door are blooming. I used some of Snoopy's bones when they came back from the pet crematorium for bone meal. Snoopy is paying us a visit. :"^.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Many Kinds of Indigo Students

Winnie and Hilary .... a mother and daughter artist tag-team dropped by for three weeks and turned the house upside down. It was a a bit of a shock on the second day when it suddenly sank in, that when they told me they had never worked with textiles, they were telling the truth. Never.
Winnie is a ceramic artist and Hilary just finished her art studies at NYU in New York. Japan wouldn't need any nuclear reactors if they could find a dozen Winnies and somehow rigged them up to a generator and set them at an indigo vat. The amount of energy released created a critical mass and we all were caught up in the vortex.

I had to change the regular teaching approach. They are super creative and can make overambitious decisions in a severely split second and actually pulled their complex projects off.

Each student who shows up here to learn about indigo and textiles has a different background and different goals. Some know much more than I do about textiles. Some know nothing about Japanese history and craftsmanship. Some don't care. Some are so excited about the new world of indigo and Japanese textiles. They are up until the morning stitching and carving and working on projects. 

 It takes a few days of talking to get an idea of who someone is, what their backgrounds are and what I can teach them.  It can be taxing but I enjoy it immensely. So many interesting people. 

My one-month August group is showing up one by one. Julie, a young French Butoh dancer has been here a week. She studied Japanese dance for years both here in Japan and abroad. She studied corset making in Paris. I could understand her approach to work quickly. She loves and needs to get to the essence of the material through being close to it. Long complex procedures do not intimidate her. The contrast between the creative powerful explosions of Winnie and Hilary's work and the intimate concentration of Julie's work gives me plenty to contemplate and absorb energy from. These are very very busy days at the house. I am somewhat tired and being resourceful with my energy while my batteries are being charged by those around me. 

I came home to the house being wrapped in freshly dyed indigo. I'll never forget it W and H. Thank you for the energy and generosity. Bryan