How perfect is the combination of Tea & Kokeshi? As a (huge) fan of Kokeshi, I was super excited when I first found out about 西荻イトチ Nishiogi Itochi Tea & Kokeshi cafe in Nishi-Ogikubo when they opened last year. I’ve walked past several times but it was only yesterday that I finally went in for a cup of tea with lovely Hiki! The space was quiet and peaceful with lots of kokeshi and other handmade Japanese crafts on display. I especially enjoyed the Kokeshi books and magazines collection they had at the back of the cafe. They also conduct Japanese crafts workshops once in a while on the 2nd floor. Looking forward to attending one soon!
The Kokeshi displayed are all for sale at a reasonable price. They are all handmade by craftsmen from different parts of Japan.
Kokeshi Ramune! I have been searching for them for a long time. So glad I finally got hold of one!
Can’t wait to visit again ♥
Address: 2-1-7 Nishi-Ogi kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 167-0042
★ 西荻イトチ Official website
Today was the first day of ‘Some no Komichi‘, a 3 day event held in Nakai/ Nakaochiai to celebrate the area’s rich history in Japanese dyed fabrics. Traditionally, newly dyed kimono fabrics were hung out to dry outside the factories, along the Myoshoji River. During this event, 50-60 long pieces of colorful kimono fabrics is draped above the same river. The event takes you back in time as you walk along the river and visit the workshops of local craftsmen. The shop fronts are also decorated with beautifully hand dyed Noren (Japanese curtains). ‘Some no Komichi’ will be on till Sunday 2 March 2014. Do check it out if you are in Tokyo!
Kimono workshop open house
★ Some no komichi Official Site
★ Last year’s Some no Komichi report
Last December, we showcased our first handcrafted collection at Galerie Doux Dimanche Aoyama in Tokyo. The collection consisted of ceramic flower pots and planters, Japanese traditional fabric, known as Tenugui, gift wrapping paper with original Polkaros patterns and more. A huge thank you to those who visited us at the gallery! And for those who missed it, here are some pictures of the exhibition. Special thanks to our new photographer friend Felix Lee for helping us document this special event!
Full documentation of the exhibition available here.
Happy 2014 everyone! Sorry this came a little late as we were away during the holiday season. 2013 went by in a flash!! We had such a great year thanks to all your support and encouragement. We spent the year creating new Polkaros products, we started working with clay again which is our favorite medium of all time, we collaborated with local craftsmen and we launched our new handcrafted collection in a 3-week long exhibition & pop up store at galerie doux dimanche, a lovely gallery/shop in Tokyo. We look forward to more exciting and creative adventures in the new year! We hope you continue to join us in our journey to discover, learn and create!
The Fukusuke doll illustrated above is known to bring happiness. May it bring you lots of happiness in 2014!!!
Lots of love,
So the time has come! Sorry for the slow update as we have been busy with the preparations. We will be showcasing our new collection of handcrafted products at one of our favorite places in Tokyo, Galerie Doux Dimanche Aoyama. The exhibition will be on from 10-27 December 2013. Please drop by if you are in Tokyo! More pictures coming up soon!
More information on the exhibition here:
And also on Galerie Doux Dimanche website (in Japanese):
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!