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Archives for September, 2010

An Upcoming Talk by Hiroko Karuno, Shifu Artist

September 23, 2010

At Toronto’s Japanese Paper Place on Tuesday, 5 October from 7 -9 PM, Hiroko Karuno, a shifu artist, will give a talk and short demonstration on technique.  The Japanese Paper Place’s press release is below:
Tues. October 5 7:00 – 9:00
Admission by PWYC Donation to the Ontario Crafts Council
Hiroko’s medium, as many will know, is shifu cut, spun and woven kozo paper – and she is one of the few people in the world who have embraced and developed interest in this almost extinct art form.  Tonight’s presentation will be a visual journey of a unique exhibition held this year in a historic private home in Nara, in which a single monumental piece of Hiroko’s shifu with both warp and weft of kozo – was displayed. It will be followed by a short mezmerizing demonstration by the artist. Join us for this special Washi Star night, to end with refreshments and conversation.

77 Brock Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada  M6K 2L3
Phone: 416-538-9669
Fax: 416-538-0563
[email protected]

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Leaving for Japan Today

September 16, 2010

…on a buying trip.   I’ll be back on 5 October–with maybe a posting a two from the road–updating the webshop on Wednesday, 6 October at the usual time.  See you then!

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September 8, 2010

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Snow Bleaching or Yuki Sarashi: Echigo Jofu

September 5, 2010

A client came by yesterday and we started talking about Echigo jofu, the fine-as-silk ramie weaving from what is now Niigata, Japan.  One of the many striking features of this cloth is that it is snow bleached, meaning it is laid on snow and the intense rays of light reflecting off the snow “bleach” the fibers and lighten their color. Since it’s summer, and we all need a bit of cooling off, I thought I’d  talk about this refreshing topic.Above is  a photo of tanmono, or full kimono bolts laying in the snow in Niigata; the photo is taken from this site.*

Echigo jofu in an amazingly dense topic of discussion: ramie weaving this fine is something marvelous in itself, but imagine that in the past, the far-flung area of Japan that produces this cloth was trading directly with the Okinawan islands, and, therefore, the weaving of this remote, rural, north western prefecture was influenced by the prized weaving of the tropics.

Another reason I wanted to write just a bit about Echigo jofu was to showcase this wonderful UNESCO site that has fantastic information on this remarkable cloth and the people responsible for making it.  It’s fascinating.

*please note that this website says that Echigo jofu is woven from hemp; it is woven from ramie.

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