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Archives for April, 2012

A Rustic Twined Bag: Cotton Covered Bast Fiber

April 26, 2012

This is a beautifully rustic, hand twined bag–a kind of combination of a back pack/back pad.  It is braided from bast fiber rope which is covered in cotton.This beauty is an acquisition from my recent trip to Japan so I am in the process of studying it.  Imagine my surprise when I stuck my hand in this pouch and found a smashed box of safety matches, some dried leaves, a few pine needles and a carefully folded, hand made envelope (or sorts) made of newspaper–which is dated 1935.  This heavily abraded bag measures 16″ x 15″ or 40 cm x 38 cm.  It’s subtle–and beautiful.   And even though there was an unexpected cache of contents in the bag,  I wish I knew more about the owner what this bag was used for.

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Skeins of Hand Spun Cotton: Tetsumugi Yarn

April 21, 2012

When I was in Japan this past month I came across a number of skeins of hand spun cotton yarn and I bought about 15 skeins thinking I could find them good homes.I’m not sure where this cotton was grown or spun, but it’s really beautiful as it is. Each skein is about 8 1/2″, 21.5 cm long x 2″, 5 cm in diameter and weighs about 2 0z. or 56.5 grams.

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An Intricately Pieced Silk Bell Pillow: Dated Taisho 12

April 17, 2012

This round-shaped pillow is constructed from tiny pieces of a variety of naturally dyed and chemically dyed silks which have been pieced together in a spirited fashion, the piecing appearing almost like a rose.The pillow, nicely weighted with a filling of grain or grain husks, is from a Buddhist temple and it was used as a mount for a bowl-shaped brass bell.    Around the circumference of the pillow is a pictorial, appliqued design of lotuses in a pond.This is a really lovely thing, and those of you who have visited Buddhist temples in Japan no doubt have seen textiles made in a similar fashion: often altar covers are fashioned in the same spirit, and often with donated, luxurious silks.The pillow dates to Taisho 12 or approximately 1924, however this technique of piece constructed fabric has a centuries-old history.  The pillow measures  7″ tall by 12″ in diameter or 18 cm x 30.25 cm.

I love it.


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New Offerings from my Trip to Japan: Plan a Visit

April 12, 2012

All the new things I purchased on my trip to Japan are now ready to be seen–and there are a lot of  interesting, new pieces to choose from.

I’ll start posting new items on the webshop each successive Wednesday morning, but feel free to call or email to make an appointment to stop by.

There’s a lot to see.

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Seen in Kyoto

April 2, 2012

This will be my last post from my trip to Japan this spring.  On Wednesday, 4 April, I will be updating the webshop–and I’ll also be sending out orders that were placed during the last two weeks.

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“Occupy Maruyama Park”: The First Flush of Sakura in Kyoto

April 1, 2012

News flash!  The cherry trees have just started blossoming within the city of Kyoto.  Above is a photo taken in Gion, but those below were shot today at Maruyama Park.   It’s been really cold in Kyoto, so these cherry blossoms were late in coming.
These sakura revelers sitting on tarps in Maruyama Park, above, looked a lot like the Occupy Wall Street groups–they’re just hanging out under the budding cherry trees, enjoying themselves, see the photo below for a better idea of how they’re going about enjoying themselves.

It’s good to know the sakura are now starting to bloom: people here were kind of worried about the lack of blossoms as they should been going strong by now.  And as a lot of foreign tourists are now arriving, it would be a shame for them not to see the luscious and delicate beauty of sakura in full bloom.  Lucky for them, they will.

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