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Archives for March, 2011

Vertical Orientation

March 20, 2011

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March 19, 2011

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March 18, 2011

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Snow in Ohara

March 17, 2011

Yes.  Snow.  In March.

Well, it’s not so unusual in the Kansai area for there to be sun, rain, and snow all in one day in March, and, after all, Ohara, just a bit north of Kyoto is known for its snow.

So this is how it looked in Ohara two days ago–and yesterday in Kyoto city, there was intermittent snow during the day and evening.

My god.  To be in this country now is difficult: emotions of profound sorrow and fear permeate each waking moment, sometimes to the point where it feels unbearable.  In as much as we are all trying to be kind and polite and upbeat with each other, there is an undertone  of darkness in our exchanges that is unmistakable.

Keep praying for something positive to happen in Fukushima.  Each day brings news bleaker than the previous one.

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Beauty’s Forms are Myriad: A Posting from the Road

March 16, 2011

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Camellias in Uji

March 15, 2011

(can you find the lone camellia in the photo above?)

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A Quick Note from Kyoto

March 14, 2011

During this time of tragedy, with multiple, widespread disasters happening simultaneously in north east Japan, it is hard to truly figure out what is going to happen next, and what on-the-ground risks are.

I’m grateful to be in Kyoto, which is about 425 miles or more than 600 kilometers south west from the disaster area at Sendai.

Kyoto is operating in a business-as-usual mode, however in scratching the surface and talking  to people and you’ll find that we are all terribly sad, worried, and wondering what’s coming next.   The feeling of compassion for all those suffering in the north is palpable in the conversations with all those in Kyoto, even though all of those I spoke to feel that we are at a safe distance from the center of things.

I’ve been obsessed with news here, trying to figure out who is reporting accurately, and who is spinning.  And should I be staying here or leaving early

On WNYC’s Brian Lerher show yesterday, Neal Todreas, professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT had this to say (please listen to his broadcast).

While on NPR’s All Thing Considered, science reporter Nell Greenfieldboyce reported these two segments: here and here.

Anyone with some insight or with some relevant news, please feel free to post it in the comments section below, and add a link to the direct source if you can.

Also, Japan Post has temporarily–or indefinitely–suspended shipping Express Mail abroad, a rather stiff crimp while on a buying trip, but nothing compared to the primal tragedies being suffered by those in Japan’s disaster area.

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Short Stacks of Shibori

March 13, 2011

How about a little bit of good news–like a glimpse of some stacks of shibori?
Fine, old indigo dyed cotton shibori–meaning examples from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth–are beautiful due to their complex techniques and intricate patterns.  Today I’m showing a little view into some of the pieces that I have in my showroom, by way of a quick glance of three, short stacks of very good, old shibori.

Above are examples of itajime, suji and arashi shibori, in variations.  Most of the pieces are yukata or a kind of unlined, cotton casual kimono.

Above you’ll see hinode, or “sunrise” shibori, the second piece from the top.  The bottom piece on the stack is an unusual ro or summery gauze fabric which has been dyed in two shibori techniques.Seeing shibori in stacks is a lot of fun: don’t you want to dive in, open up all the pieces, and drink them in?

Eventually I’ll write individual posts on some of the yukatas shown on this post, but for the time being, I hope you enjoy skimming over the photos and catching a bit of shibori fever.

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Going to Japan, And Coming Back with New Finds

March 9, 2011

12 March 2011, Japan, update:  Many thanks to those of you who reached out concerned for my safety in light of the recent natural disaster in Japan’s north-east region.  In Kyoto, where I arrived yesterday, things are stable and seemingly fine: I didn’t learn of the earthquake until I checked my computer upon arrival at the hotel.

It’s an unbelievably bad earthquake affecting scores of people over a large area.  Please take a moment and reflect on all those affected.

I will be in Japan until 29 March–I’ll be looking for wonderful textiles to offer for sale upon my return–and hopefully by then my new web shop will be up-and-running and ready to show off my new finds.But keep checking in here as I will posting as regularly as usual: I’ll be showing some old threads and some images from the road.As usual, I will be moving around the Kansai region with just a brief trip to Tokyo, looking for textiles.Stay tuned.  I have some interesting posts in the queue—and I think you’ll enjoy seeing them.

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March 7, 2011

It’s been a bit dark here and at our webshop lately.  And there’s a reason why.
My web administrator and I are moving servers and redesigning the webshop while I am in Japan for the next two weeks, so the webshop www.srithreads.com will be closed during this time.

When I’m back on 29 March, we’ll have (fingers crossed) the first, test phase of a new shop with more fluid functionality and hopefully a bit more ease of check out.

Most likely the webshop will have to go through an additional stint of kink-removing and maybe a little design tweaking thereafter, but the hope is for something a bit better than what I have now–so please bear with me!

In the meantime, I’ll be regularly updating this blog with some new postings about old threads, and, with luck, I may also do a bit of posting while I am on the road in Japan.

And what, you may ask, is this strange image today?

It’s this backlit.

A big, layered, patched and threadbare futon cover, that I always admire at night, for its lush, dark translucency.   It has almost a Jekyll and Hyde personality split: beautifully blue and rustic in daylight, and brooding, looming and shadowy at night.

I think it’s beautiful at night and during the day.  Equally so.

So stay tuned to the blog for new postings–and thank you for your patience while the new webshop is in redesign.

I’ll be back from Japan with plenty of new inventory, and I look forward to offering it to you at www.srithreads.com in April.

And I’ll post something new here in the next day or so–please stop by soon!

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