Monday, December 15, 2008

Yoshiko reflects on the ISS & WSN

The following is an excerpt of an email response written by Yoshiko to a longtime WSN supporter. This person asked Yoshiko to offer some of her own personal thoughts on the ISS and to share her perspective on the event as its Co-Chair and as WSN President. With Yoshiko's permission, I post it here for everyone to read. She writes:

My focus on our symposia is always on how to create a gathering of creative minds where everyone feels ownership in what we organize. The event and opportunities should be reciprocal and gratifying for all involved. I wish we had more time at the MdQB plenary sessions for the audience and presenters to exchange views and explore the subjects further. I hope frank expression of opinions and correction of facts should be allowed.

RE:natural dyes: After our experience in Provence, especially after talking with
Barbara Barois, Director of the Conservatoire des Ocres et Pigments Appliques, it became clear to me that it would be more appropriate to address "Natural Colorants: Dyes and Pigments" to view the dyes in a larger context.

And also studying with Michel Garcia. This made made me realize that artists, artisans and designers need to fortify ourselves with the understanding of chemistry and we need to approach the art of natural dyeing with analytical mind.

From our experience in France: Between all these great people (Dominique Cardon, Michel Garcia, Anne de la Sayette, Isabel Brouillet, Pauline Duponchel de Bary, and Roussillon Ochre Conservancy (Conservatoire des Ocres et Pigments Appliques) and Association de Couleur Garance in Lauris), you/we all have so much more perspective on this. It was wonderful to see the dye plants at the garden in Lauris.

(ed note: this was in response to a specific comment about the artist) RE: Genevieve Dion: yes, many people were enthusiastic about her vision. We need to always redefine what we do, where we are, and where we want to be -- especially in educating the young people as well as ourselves. You see, we, including you, are truly shaping our field and community together. This is not only about cloth. The Jacquard and Entrepreneurial conference sounds very interesting. The designing of fashion and interior furnishings begins where the designer can create the canvas with the understanding of the entire process all the way to the end-products.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Web revamp

Hey all,
We've been silent here for a while because we've been focusing our attention on revamping our website for Why? We wanted an easier platform for in-house updates. Closer control means better content for you, timely updates and a richer website. We're also rethinking some aspects of the site (special web membership access) and other excellent things to make this not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization function more smoothly and efficiently.

In the meanwhile, you can see some new ISS08 pic uploads to our flickr and here are some additional feedback comments from Barbara S and Sara K. THANKS, Friends! If you are not yet on our mailing list but want to be, click here

Barbara S writes:
Dear Peter and Yoshiko,
ISS France 08 was just outstanding. You provided us with a very inclusive and informative event and the best of French food, wine and culture! Thank you so much.

Sara K writes:
I thoroughly enjoyed the symposium and would like to thank everyone who was involved with the organisation for such a diverse and interesting programme. I look forward to the next one!.......

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gunma Silk + NZ merino wool

This note from Deb Donnelly offers some nice feedback about the ISS and it also raises a common question we repeatedly receive: how to purchase Gunma silk. So read on for our response. And, if you're ever curious to find the best NZ merino wool, Deb is a great resource. She specializes in textile design for fabric prints and fashion using natural dyed merino wool, fine silk cloth and hi-tech garments & fibers.

From Deb:

A note to say how much I enjoyed the wonderful textile and visual
experiences you and Peter put together for the tour of France at ISS08.
It was exceptional not to mention the location and I have made a number
of technological advances, finds, treasures and future teaching contacts.
I now look forward to being the NZ shibori rep and three upcoming
exhibitions to celebrate our National Day in NZ on 6 February.
This means sampling wool and silk treatments for dye and shibori
experiments in the coming months. My request to you is how do I purchase Japanese gunma silk by yardage? Do you have any in stock? How much is it? I am also happy to advise shibori artists on the best NZ merino wool supplies for fine felt shibori and nuno works.

Well, Deb (and others): you can purchase meterage of gunma silk (a specialty silk with sericin that responds incredibly well to shibori) through our office. Stock fluctuates so it's always best to inquire directly with the office. Prices are not available online yet but we're working on a separate website / online shop for these such purposes. You can email us at:

orders [at] yoshikowada [dot] com

Monday, December 1, 2008

More: ISS08 feedback

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to our fellow American friends! Wanted to share more feedback from folks across the globe. It is really great to hear how worthwhile the ISS was for those of you who were able to make it. We know that to travel so far, and especially in these economic times, was a big commitment for you and, as well, a huge uncertainty for us and for PAA. It's really helpful to hear about your experiences so thank you for sharing them. Today's messages come from Mary Mortenson (USA), Clara Schreiber (USA) and Yvonne Wakabayshi & Cindy Do (Canada).

Mary writes:
I want to express my gratitude for all that you did to make the International Shibori Symposium so incredible. You both are incredible and made it possible for us to have experiences we would never have otherwise had. It was very special and memorable. - Mary

Thank you again Yoshiko and Peter for a wonderful experience!

Yvonne writes:
Cindy and I are home reflecting on our ISS08 experience and we both were so happy to be there to take advantage of all the programs and events. In the short time, we can say that we managed to do so much and enjoyed all of it...the plenary sessions, the many exhibitions, all of it..... Oh yes...all the food! It was Cindy's first time in Paris and she even took advantage of free time to use the Museum pass and Metro pass to see all that she dreamed of.....ex Mona Lisa (no line-ups) etc etc. Thanks for all the details of organizing (with Peter) many many details. Both the stay in Lyon and Paris were much more than we expected. We both thank you and Peter for your dedicated work in the planning of such an event. We are very appreciative and now I will try to share much of what I have learned with students and fellow shibori enthusiasts. Thank you again and when you are in touch with Peter, please thank him for us too. - Yvonne & Cindy