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.
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!
The rainy season is here in Japan and it’s timely to make some Teru Teru Bozu, a cute traditional handmade doll that Japanese farmers hang outside their window. This little amulet is believed to have magical powers to bring good weather and stop/prevent rain. When hung upside down it can also act as a prayer for rain (which is much needed in Singapore right now due to the haze). Here’s a simple tutorial on how to make your own Teru Teru Bozu. This post is dedicated to friends and family in Singapore. Stay indoors and make a Teru Teru Bozu to hope for rain!
1.Select your materials
2.Decorate the edges of the cloth with decorative tapes.
3. Snip a small slit in the middle of your cloth.
4.Make a loop with baker’s twine/any thread and string it though the slit. Tie a knot at the end.
5.Place a ball of fillings on the center of cloth and wrap up tightly. Tighten with a ribbon.
6.Draw your Teru Teru Bozu face with fabric markers. Make it a happy one!
7. All done and ready to be hung up by the window!
If you have more time…
Try different tape combinations to decorate your cloth.
Make more to increase the power!
Remember to hang it upside down if you want it to rain!!!
Earlier this year, I went to a Japanese traditional dyeing event called ‘Some no Komichi’. It was a 3 day event held in the Ochiai/Nakai area, also known as the center for Tokyo’s traditional dyeing industry. A place where skilled craftsmen can still be seen in their workshops applying colors and patterns to kimono silks. Until 1960s, newly dyed cloths were being washed in the Myoshoji River. To celebrate the traditional craft, hand-dyed fabric were displayed in the ‘River Gallery’ over the Myoshoji River throughout the event. The shopping street was decorated with Noren (Traditional Japanese fabric dividers) that were specially designed and hand-dyed by craftsmen for the shops that participated. Local craftsmen living in the area also opened their workshops to public for viewing and some even offered a 1 day trial lesson for visitors to experience traditional Japanese dyeing techniques. Here are some pictures of the amazing 3 day event!