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Sometsukasa Yoshioka 染司よしおか, A Botanical Dyer’s Atelier: Post #2

Written on June 14, 2009

The previous post, below this one, talks about a series of  consecutive posts to be devoted to the multi-faceted master dyer of Kyoto, Sachio Yoshioka, and his dyeworks, Sometsuka Yoshioka, a workshop of the highest quality which is dedicated to the art of using botanical dyestuffs and traditional mordants.

I mentioned that we would go on a tour of Sometsuka Yoshioka and revel in the colors produced by plants in the natural dyeing process.  First, however, let’s follow the same path as I did when I visited the dyeworks.  Before going into the workshop and getting drenched in color, we’ll see the burning of rice straw, the ash of which will be used as a mordant in the dyeing process.  In this case, this ash was destined  to be used as a mordant in benibana or safflower dyeing. Have a look:

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Sachio Yoshioka feeding a sheath of rice straw into the fire, below.

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In the next post we’ll see blues produced by indigo, and we’ll see a few steps in the process of tsutsugaki dyeing.  Stay tuned.

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