A few weeks back I was in Joshibi giving my second guest lecture. This time I was less nervous and really enjoyed sharing my experience with the students. After my lecture, I sneaked into the silkscreen/dyeing lab to take some pictures. My professor invited me to join one of their graduate classes where they were dyeing silk stoles with fresh Japanese indigo leaves (Ai).
Aizome, also known as indigo dyeing, is usually done with fermented leaves and the color is normally a dark indigo blue. With fresh leaves, it’s fascinating how different and vibrant the color is. Indigo leaves are rare and precious in Japan so I felt fortunate to be able to touch and dye with the fresh leaves. We blended the leaves in a juice mixer, extracted the dye with a netted bag and soaked our silk cloths in the dye for about 20 minutes. It was magical seeing how the color turned from leafy green to turquoise as it comes in contact with air and oxidizes.
Love the color!
Joshibi Festival starts today at the Higashi-Koenji Campus. This is a 3-day open campus art event organized by Joshibi University of Art and Design. If you are interested in studying Textile design in Tokyo, I would highly recommend this school as it is has great facilities – silkscreen/dyeing lab, foot-loom weaving lab and electric Jacquard machine. Also, you get to learn all about Japanese traditional crafts and how to apply them to modern products. Here are some of the pictures of the school environment. Have a great weekend!
It’s getting cool in Tokyo which means that summer is almost over:( Summer can get really hot and humid in Tokyo but the fun outdoor activities make it one of my favorite seasons. One of the highlights for me this summer was camping with my good friends from Craftholic. As usual, we would always bring ‘Craft‘ along when we travel! It was so nice spending time with my ex-coworkers again like the good old days!
We camped at ‘Ichiban boshi Village‘ in Chiba prefecture, 70mins drive from Tokoy. A really nice and huge camp site near the mountains.
Camping supplies rental area
Drum can outdoor bath!
Deco & Craft
I was in charge of the ‘deco’ and setting up a craft workshop corner. I brought my mt masking tapes and craft materials to dress up our camp area. I am glad everyone enjoyed the crazy splash of colors!
Decorate your own plates and cups
My friends are great cooks!
We also did the all time favorite summer activity- Suicawari. I was the chosen one! Quite surprised I managed to hit the watermelon in my 1st attempt!
When night fell, we took out our fireworks♡
The camp site also had a bar nearby where you can have a drink by the campfire and meet fellow campers.
It was getting cold and we started our own campfire by our tent. Perfect way to end the night.
I’ve always wanted to have craft picnics in every country I visited to meet up with the local crafters. I finally got round to planning my first picnic in Singapore last Saturday while I was back for my summer holidays. Many people showed up despite the short notice and the stormy weather! Food & craft materials were potluck and I was amazed by all the cute food and materials everyone brought!
A huge thank you to those who came!! It was great meeting you all! Let’s do it again next time!
Here are some pictures of how the picnic went!
Handmade Panda bento! Glad I brought my Panda onigiri mold with me!
Thanks to Nong Jia Nu and Groopies for bringing lots of lovely fresh flowers, props and craft materials!
Talented Pamm on the right!
Case filled with cute yarns by Valerie from Chubby Bunny!
Special thanks to Ruth from The Workroom for contributing her lovely stash of Washi tapes!
Joy with her cute envelope! Love how her potato stamp turned out!
Last week I was invited to give a lecture at Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo where I’d graduated from 5 years ago. It was a 90 mins lecture (in Japanese!) for a group of 150 freshmen from the design faculty. At the end of the lecture, many students came up to ask questions and showed interest in the lecture. It was great to see such enthusiasm! Here are some pictures of how it went!
I studied Craft design and majored in Textile design at Joshibi University. The textile department offers both dyeing and weaving subjects. This was where I learned about modern and traditional Japanese dyeing techniques, weaving on the foot loom and felting. I would strongly recommend this school if you are considering studying in Japan!
There’s something special about Summer in Japan. This will be my 9th summer in Japan and I love it more each year. The sound of cicadas and the scent of burning incense will always bring back sweet memories. Summer is filled with lots of fun activities and a sense of excitement. Maybe it’s the Hanabi(Fireworks) festivals that I love so much. Or hanging out with friends at beer gardens. There is just so much to love about summer!
If you are in Tokyo this summer, you might want to check out one of these firework festivals:
Sumida River Fireworks
Viewing Spots: Along the Sumida River near Asakusa Station
Date: July 27, 2013
Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Viewing spots: Harumi, Toyosu and Odaiba
Date: August 10, 2013
And have an ice cold beer at one of Tokyo’s top beer gardens.