Introducing our first series of Tenugui, handprinted by local craftsmen in Gujo city, Gifu prefecture, Japan. This series is inspired by four of our favorite traditional Japanese patterns: Seigaiha (blue), Kikotsunagi (red), Uroko (green) and Mizuhiki(yellow).
Our Tenugui are now available at Takara Gallery in Gujo city. Here are so some pictures courtesy of Takara Galley.
A picture of the silkscreens that were used to print our Tenugui.
For those living outside of Japan, you can also get them at our online store now.
Takara Gallery & Workroom is a silkscreen studio located in Gugo city in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. They aim to increase interest in traditional Japanese towel known as Tenugui through their hands-on Tenugui silkscreen classes and gallery shop that features Tenugui, Furoshiki and other Japanese textile related products by selected artists. We are honored to have our Tenugui produced by skilled craftsmen at Takara gallery and happy to see our products in their shop!
Gujo city is a popular holiday spot for many Janpanese and also recognised as the birthplace of silkscreening industry in Japan. According to Maho-chan, owner of Takara Gallery, the best time to visit is in Summer when they have the biggest dance festival called Gujo-Odori. If you are planning a trip to Japan, perhaps you can consider dropping by Takara Gallery in Gujo city for a hands-on experience on making your own Tenugui!
Here are some pictures of their workshops.
Here’s a very lovely video by Takara Gallery. Do take some time to watch it!
The sakura season is here again (and leaving oh so quickly!). Above is our pink Mt. Fuji pot out for a photo shoot during this lovely seaon. 9 years ago today I arrived in Tokyo and saw sakura bloom for the first time. To me, the sakura season marks the beginning of something good. I can’t believe that I am embarking on my 10th year in Japan now. Every year is a different experience as I grow older and evolve. Sharing with you some pictures of this year’s lovely sakura season. Have a great weekend everyone ♥
Last Sunday I painted my first Hariko (Japanese papier-mâché) at Bibariko‘s workshop at Nishiogi-Itochi (Tea and Kokeshi) cafe! Above is what I came up with in the one-hour workshop. It’s really a test of your creativity to come up with a smart, cute, quick, hariko-like design when all you can see is just a blank white blob of paper mache.
We were given four different shapes to choose from. I chose the ‘dog with a ball on its head’ hariko. We were shown many variations made by previous workshop participants and they were all very creative. One even managed to convert the ball on top to a human head by painting a face on it.
I was inspired to make something different, and this was what I came up with. A clown like dog with a fancy hat on its head. Ha! Below is a picture of how everyone’s works turned out. Cute!!!
The fruits of our labor.
During this three-day Kyodo Gangu(郷土玩具) Japanese folk art event, the 2nd floor of the cafe showcased works by Yonagadou and Ohm-sha. It was such a pleasure meeting the amazing minds behind both companies. We had such lovely conversations and I learned so much about Japanese folk art from them. Below are some pictures of Yonagado’s space.
Ohm-sha showcased their private Japanese craft collection along with their original miniature wood figurines.
Ohm sha’s cute wooden figurines!
It must be one of the best exhibitions I’ve been too. My love for traditional Japanese folk art & craft just got more serious!
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!