Monday, December 28, 2009

Shibori Unbound, works by Margaret Barnett (Feb'10)

For our friends in Australia, be sure to plant this exhibition on your 2010 calendar:

Works by Margaret Barnett
Pine Rivers Gallery

February 27th - March 27th, 2010

An exploration of the Shapes, the Spaces and the Silences of Semi-Arid Landscapes through shibori textiles

Margaret is an artist from Australia who creates 2- and 3-dimensional contemporary fiber works, both large and miniature. She has taught for The Australian Forum for Textiles Arts and assisted International Tutors for that organisation. Learn more about Margaret here

Need info? email:

Artwear Symposium - Register now! (June'10, MN)

"Artwear Symposium
hosted by Textile Center
June 2-8, 2010
Minneapolis, MN
Registration opens January 6. All registration materials are currently available online.

In June 2010, Textile Center will host a week-long symposium focused on Artwear. Held at Textile Center's beautiful facilities, this event will be an intimate and intense study of what it means to be wearable art. Learn about the event details here

Monday, December 7, 2009

Art Installation: Padmaja Krishnan

it's about time.
Came across these images of an installation by Indian artist Padmaja Krishnan and i just had to post here. For Lisbon's 5th annual EXPERIMENTA DESIGN event (Sept-Nov 2009), Padmaja used traditional embroidery to comment on effects of time in our contemporary society. Creating "a collection of handcrafted wooden laptops that capture fleeting objects of mass consumption of the 21st century, [the installation] allow[s] for reflection on the colossal power of the image and the role of new mythology in our society."

Thoughtful, thought provoking, and considered, yet visually fanciful with its brightly colored Kaantha embroidery and illustrations. From her blog:

The laptop is a metaphorical frame of our ‘Fast’, ‘time-less’ and ‘consumerist’ world and Kaantha embroidery is a representative screen of the ‘slow’, the ‘recycled’, the ‘remade’, the ‘inexpensive’ and the ‘precious seconds’. [The two together] create objects that are a comment on and at the same time question the state of the world today.

Click here to learn more about this work or visit

Friday, November 20, 2009

Award: Yoshiko, a "2010 Distinguished Educator Honoree", James Renwick Alliance

Wanted to share some news:

Yoshiko was recently named a "2010 Distinguished Educator Honoree" by the James Renwick Alliance (, an organization that assists the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is dedicated to advancing scholarship on contemporary American craft. She is very honored to be recognized by such an esteemable organization. (Full announcement and feature forthcoming in American Craft magazine)

Congrats, Yoshiko!

Our dear readers, if you have any news & announcements you want to share, by all means send it in: info [at]

Art: "Chord" (Oct-Nov09, London)

Wonder if any of you in London saw "Chord," an installation created by British artist, Conrad Shawcross, for London's Kingsway Tram Subway (Oct8-Nov8)? Sounded very cool. You can read about it in better detail here at londonist, where it is described as "a series of Heath Robinson-inspired pulleys and ropes stretched along a section of track [which], according to the exhibition blurb, "[is] concerned with the human perception of time, as both a linear and cyclical notion", and the constant motion of the piece means it expands through space at a rate of five metres per day."

The images are certainly intriguing! (all images courtesy of londonist)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Indigo lecture by Barbara Shapiro (11/21/09, SF)

I guess October was a slow month! Here's an upcoming workshop and lecture presentation about indigo given by Barbara Shapiro of San Francisco.

"The Magic of Indigo" with Barbara Shapiro
November 21, 2009
SATURDAY @ 10 am
De Young Museum in San Francisco
- presented by the Textile Arts Council -

Discover the magic and delve into the mystery of indigo with Barbara Shapiro, a textile artist whose work has been widely exhibited and published both locally and internationally. Indigo, one of the oldest and most influential of dyes, has a long and fascinating history. Derived from different plants found all around the world, indigo has long been prized for its rare color as well as its medicinal powers. This ancient dye stuff has had a huge impact on fortune and trade
throughout the world as its availability rose and fell with empires. It has come to be strongly associated with certain cultures, not least our own blue denim phenomenon. Well suited to resist dyeing techniques, indigo has given color to a wide variety of distinctive patterning. The mystique and chemistry of traditional formulas and contemporary practices will be discussed in this lecture. Special attention will be given to a particular formula, used extensively in the 18th century, which is making a comeback as a safe and ecological way for contemporary artists to use both natural and synthetic indigo. Barbara Shapiro’s love of indigo has influenced her own woven artwork for many years and has recently given new life to her exploration of traditional basketry forms. Ms. Shapiro is an advisory board member of the Textile Arts Council as well as a board member of the Textile Society of America. She lectures and teaches weaving, dyeing, surface design, and basketry techniques and has volunteered as a teaching assistant at San Francisco State University, where she has maintained the indigo dye pots for many years. Please join us to learn more about the magic and mystery of indigo.

Also, a workshop (for TAC members only):

A Greener Indigo – a workshop with Barbara Shapiro
November 14, 2009, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
San Francisco State University

Explore the magic mystery of indigo using a non-toxic “green” formula suitable for the home studio. Alternate recipes will be discussed. The “new” green formula is based on research by French natural dye expert Michel Garcia, presented during the World Shibori (and Natural Dye) Symposium in October 2008.

Cost: $100, including materials
To register: please contact the TAC office at 415 750-3627 or

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Threads + Wares" sustainable fashion & more (Sept 20, SF)

The Musuem of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco (MOCFA)
presents a 1-day event

- Sustainable fashions and housewares -
Sunday, Sept 20
Fort Mason Center, San Francisco Fleet Room, Bldg D

Members only shop: 9a-10a
Public event: 10a-4p
*12-2p: demo-talk by author Katye Terry
$10 public, Free for MOCFA members

click image for a list of featured "style-setters"

"Blue Divide" by Frank Connet (Sep-Oct, Chicago)

Chicago textile friends,

Check out Frank Connet's show this month, his third solo exhibition at the Douglas Dawson Gallery. On now til October 10.

Frank Connet

"Blue Divide: New Work In Indigo"
September 11-October 10, 2009

Douglas Dawson Gallery
400 North Morgan
Chicago, IL 60642

See more work at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Workshop: "A Greener Indigo" w/ B. Shapiro (14 Nov, San Francisco)

"A Greener Indigo" workshop
led by Barbara Shapiro
November 14, 2009
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
San Francisco State University

Barbara's recent explorations into a "greener indigo" was inspired by information she learned from natural dye expert, Michel Garcia, during his workshop at the WSN's recent shibori symposium (7th ISS08) in France last year.

Capacity: 12 students
Open to: Textile Arts Council members only. Join today.
Cost: $100, including materials
To register: TAC office 415 750-3627 or

Also in November, Barbara will be presenting a related talk for TAC at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, entitled "The Magic of Indigo." Details to be posted on our blog closer to date of event.

Workshop description:
Explore the magic mystery of indigo, one of the oldest and most influential dyes, in a hands-on\ workshop. Barbara will set up an indigo dye bath using a simple ecological formula suitable for studio use. She will introduce basic indigo dyeing procedures and resist techniques for your samples. You will prepare cloth for dyeing and experiment with resist dyeing and printing or painting with thickened indigo. By the end of the day you will have a set of dyed and printed indigo samples and the knowledge to go on using this magic dye with a non-toxic “green” formula suitable for the home studio. Alternate recipes will be discussed. The “new” green formula is based on research by French natural dye expert Michel Garcia, presented during the World Shibori (and Natural Dye) Symposium in October 2008. Barbara has been experimenting with this rediscovered formula since then and feels it is important to share this safer, non-toxic, fume-free, inexpensive, and easily disposed of formula widely used during the 18th century. The formula can also be thickened and used to paint or print with indigo.

More about Barbara Shapiro

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grants: Watson Fellowship, College Srs

For those college students out there starting their senior year...

Thomas J Watson Fellowship

A one year grant for independent study and travel outside the United States awarded to graduating college seniors nominated by participating institutions. The stipend for the fellowship year is $25,000 ($35,000 for fellows accompanied by a spouse or dependent child).

The mission of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program is to offer college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States in order to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.

Awards will be announced by March 15.

Click for more info about TJW Fellowship and to find out if you are eligible:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Safekeeper Vest Trunk Show at Yoshiko's (09/11+12, Berkeley CA)

Safekeeper Vest Trunk Show
at the home of Yoshiko Wada
Sept 11 Fri & Sat 12
noon-5p trunk
5-6p YIW talk on Slow Fiber

696 Hilldale Ave
Berkeley CA 94708
*directions below

Beautiful one-of-a kind vests designed by Marion Gartler. Unique ethnic textiles with hidden, zippered pockets inside. Great for traveling and everyday purse-free living. *From 5-6p, Yoshiko will talk about upcoming Slow Fiber Studio tour programs to Japan and India.

*Directions to Yoshiko's: from I-80 Buchanan/Albany exit (Buchanan becomes Marin); East (towards hills) on Marin past fountain roundabout; continue past Euclid Ave; L on Hilldale. House on left behind number 698. Street parking only.

Slow Fiber Studio Tours

Wanted to bring special attention to a new program we are offering, something really exceptional in terms of personal + cultural + artistic learning experience. Borne of the same values as WSN, we think of it as an extension of the world shibori network though it is a movement in its own right. Read on about Slow Fiber...

Slow Fiber Studio Tours are collaborative workshop
programs created with traditional artisan communities and small studios to explore local practices, knowledge, techniques, production, and commerce in specific regions of the world.

Get up close & personal with local artisans
. SFS tours offer an inside view of textile traditions on a local level. Learn new skills & build a greater understanding of the world of fiber arts. Programs are led by experienced traditional artisans and art professionals, such as Michel Garcia for Provençal natural dye printing, Tsuyoshi Kuno & Hiroshi Murase for Arimatsu shibori, and Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada. Capacity very limited to provide an intimate cultural experience and learning atmosphere. ** Current WSN members enjoy priority registration and $50.00 discount. **

Upcoming tours:
South India (Jan 2010), Nagoya, Japan (May 2010), Pugalia, Italy (June 2010) and China (2011)

Slow Fiber, a term we adapted from the popularized Slow Food movement, is a platform where we articulate similar concerns and philosophies as they apply specifically to cloth, fiber, and the craft of making — from awareness and knowledge to production, tradition, practice, commerce. Slow Fiber Studio (SFS) is an extension of the principles and practices we celebrate through WSN. SFS promotes sustainable practices that are culturally and socially responsible. Find out more about Slow Fiber

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book: "Tintes Naturales Mexicanos"

"TINTES NATURALES MEXICANOS: su aplicación en algodón, henequén y lana" has just been published by Leticia Arroyo and is now available in bookstores ($30 a copy plus S/H).

Translated as "Natural Colors of Mexico: applications in cotton, agave and wool," the book is the result of numerous years of investigation and experimentation of natural colors with plant and animal-based fibers. Published jointly CONABIO and the UNAM.

From Leticia Arroyo
arroyole [AT]
Me complace informarles que ya está a la venta mi libro "TINTES NATURALES MEXICANOS: su aplicación en algodón, henequén y lana" coeditado por CONABIO y la UNAM. Este libro es el resultado de varios años de investigación y experimentación sobre los tintes naturales con plantas y animales. El libro ya está disponible en librerías EDUCAL, Ghandi y librerías de la UNAM en México. Costo estimado en dólares $30 más envío.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Australia Naturally review

Barometer Gallery's "Australia Naturally" exhibition got scooped! Pics, a blog post, and a short video clip from the fun folks at

"We never realised there was so many colours that you could make from tea!!!! ...but apparently that's the lost art of shibori ..."

I won't post them here so you better check out the videos and pics on - a fun, casual blog about art openings around australia.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Grants: Jerome Grants for MN artists

The Textile Center of MN announces their JEROME GRANTS
Apply Now!

This program is designed to expand opportunities for emerging fiber artists in Minnesota, supporting the artists as they undertake specific artistic projects. Three $4000 grants will be awarded to support a wide range of project activities - from purchasing equipment, devoting time to studio work, to travel and study with established artist.
view full details here

Information Session: September 2, 7pm
Application deadline: October 16, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Eiji Miyamoto textile designer

Eiji Miyamoto is a Japanese textile designer (born in Japan, 1948) who works independently and also in collaboration with notable designers, such as Yohji Yamamoto and for several decades Issey Miyake. Inspired by his culture's traditions as well as the possibilities of new technology, Miyamoto's woven fabrics are inspired design, to say the least.

Perhaps you might have seen his work in the MoMA exhibition, "Structure and Surface" (1998), or maybe at the V&A Museum. Maybe you read about him in the book, "Basho to Spun Steel: Contemporary Japanese Textile Design"or in a 2001 article when W magazine scooped his scarves, aligning his name with the likes of premiere innovator, Swiss mill Jakob Schlaepfer. Or maybe you've never heard of Eiji Miyamoto. Doesn't matter. Because now you know.

What inspired this post? Well, for those lucky WSN web members out there, I just uploaded to the restricted members-only page a new post: Notes on Fabric Creation & Concept, by Eiji Miyamoto. ENJOY!

(L) photo & caption from the V&A Museum website : Seaweed Scarf’ is made of triple weave fabric. The inner layer has an elastic weft that catches the sheer fabric of the outer layers at intervals to create the pleats and shirring. The dramatically textured surface and evocative colours give the impression of seaweed undulating in water.

(Top) photo: Join Check scarf, carried by MoMA museum shop

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Event: Artist Reception, "Australia Naturally" (Sydney, 08/22)

Just a reminder to those of you in Sydney, Australia.

Saturday, 22 Aug @ 2pm
Opening Reception for "Australia Naturally"
With special host, artist Barbara Schey
See complete details in previous post

"Australia Naturally" (19-28 August)
Barometer Gallery
13 Gurner Street, Paddington, NSW
10am – 4pm, Wed – Sun

Next venue: Hirshfield-Mack Gallery, Geelong, Victoria (27 Sep- 3 Oct)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New People & J-Pop Summit (SF, 08-15)

Get your Japanese on.

This weekend's J-Pop Summit & NEW PEOPLE Grand Opening

Check it out: Our friends at SOU.SOU* are part of the fashion dept in the New People building, 2F *(you know, the good people who are donating %age of sales to WSN). And don't forget to stop by STORE (booth4) at the Summit street festival.

ABOUT. The J-Pop Summit, a pop culture-themed street fair that covers Post Street, from Webster to Buchanan to the Peace Plaza of Japantown, San Francisco. This year's Summit is hosted by NEW PEOPLE and centered around the NEW PEOPLE Grand Opening - a 4-story building in the historic Japantown that "shares Japanese cinema, retail and art, all under one roof. NEW PEOPLE will attract those eager explore new cultural inspirations or who would like a crash course in Japanese popular culture."

STORE at J-Pop Summit (San Francisco, 08-15)

The Japanese husband-wife owned STORE - a moveable, on-the-spot collaborative design shop will be in San Francisco's Japantown this weekend for the 1-day J-Pop Summit. Makoto and Saori Kunitoki travel to various locations and set up a pop-up booth, making things for their passerby customers and selling their own designs (t shirts, dresses, etc). On August 15, they'll be in San Francisco. Come visit them on Saturday and walk away with your own stylish, original piece.

STORE at J-Pop Summit Street Fair

Booth #4

15 August 2009
San Francisco Japantown
event info
*see map below


STORE in Tokyo - recent performance & trunk show

167-0042 東京都杉並区西荻北5-7-19
T/F 03-3397-1791

Monday, August 10, 2009

Michele Ratté's "Confluence Series" (Martha's Vineyard)

Artist Michele Ratté is having an exhibition,"Confluence," a beautiful series of eight new works using precious metals (gold, platinum) on Gunma Silk. Open for one more week at The Gallery at PIKNIK. Check it out!

CONFLUENCE by Michele Ratté
The Gallery at PIKNIK

99 Dukes County Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA, Martha's Vineyard
T: 508.693.1366
- Open daily -

detail of AMBROTOS (ascending), 23k gold, platinum, hand-loomed Gunma silk, stones, plaster, stainless steel cable. 2009. Photo by Ron Hall Photography

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Conference: Textile Society of America (Oct 2010)

For those of you who like to plan ahead and/or are interested in submitting a teaching proposal, start thinking now:

2010 Textile Society of America Symposium
Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space

October 6-9, 2010
Lincoln, Nebraska


The 2010 TSA Symposium will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska (Home of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Textiles, Clothing & Design, the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum).

Keynote speaker for the symposium will be Sheila Kennedy, an architect, whose Portable Light project creates new ways to provide renewable power in solar textiles that can be adapted to meet the needs of people in different cultures and global regions. The Portable Light uses a thin-film photovoltaic textile and LEDs to harvest electrical energy and provide a completely self-contained source of renewable power and light.

The 2010 Symposium will be housed at the recently remodeled Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in downtown Lincoln.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

American Crafts Council Show (SF, 8.14-16)

Reminders all around, literally passing before my eyes...

AUGUST 14-16 2009

New artists, alternative work, and a Green Craft component will be on display at The American Craft Council Show in San Francisco at Fort Mason Center, August 14-16, 2009. Celebrating its 34th year in the Bay Area, this much-anticipated event delivers the nation's leading 250 artists and their latest designer jewelry, furniture, clothing, home decor and more to the public. Guests can indulge in wine tastings from top vineyards and be part of entertaining and informative demonstrations throughout the weekend.

*SAVE by purchasing tickets in advance:
$2 off advance ticket purchase online

Full event details here:

Special Friday Night Event: Join the American Craft Council and director/author Faythe Levine for a special screening of her film "Handmade Nation," documenting the rise of the handmade craft movement throughout the U.S.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CRAFT COUNCIL. The American Craft Council is a national, nonprofit public educational organization founded in 1943 by Aileen Osborn Webb. The mission of the Council is to promote the understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft. Programs include the bimonthly magazine AMERICAN CRAFT, annual juried craft shows presenting artists and their work, the Aileen Osborn Webb Awards honoring excellence, a specialized library, workshops and seminars.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Random finding: Jacqueline Rush Lee

Wanted to share my discovery with you, dear readers.

Happened upon the beautiful work of Jacqueline Rush Lee, an artist from Hawaii who is "drawn to the intimate, tactile, and symbolic qualities of used books" and transforms them in ways not dissimilar to the effects of shibori on plain fabric.

"As an artist I am inspired by the materials, colors and forms that I find in my everyday environment. I am particularly drawn to objects that record physical processes or bear the imperfections and scars of life. Intuitively chosen, these objects suggest layered metaphors of knowledge and corporeality as an embodiment of the transitory nature of the body, thoughts, memories, or one’s life experiences."

Check her out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sou.Sou donates %age to WSN

The Japanese company, SOU.SOU, is not only an impressive design brand but charitable as well. CEO Mr. T. Wakabayashi has generously agreed to donate 10% of all sales made by WSN friends & supporters in their shops or on their website. Proof that SOU.SOU is a forward-thinking brand on all fronts.

So go out there and buy those preciously hip tabi shoes you've been eyeing all this time! Just remember to mention "WSN" or "Yoshiko Wada" during checkout. One final step: Mr. Wakabayashi has requested you send a follow-up email to request a WSN contribution.

Email wakabayashi [AT] and cc to info [AT], subject line: WSN sale contribution
- your name
- date of your purchase
- location (which sou.sou store/city, or website)
- amount
- cash or credit card (in japanese, but pictures and prices are universal, right?)
maps & directions to their shops in kyoto (english & japanese)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

News about "Design Shibori" students exhibition


Like so many other institutions stung by the recession, our friends at the Colorado State University (CSU) have had to endure some budget cuts resulting in their decision to cancel the installation of "Design Shibori" at their university gallery.

Design Shibori was first hosted in Paris (Nov 08) and organized by ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) for the ISS'08 - Paris. After, it toured to UK. A selection of works then traveled to Japan. *See all previous blog posts about DS here

If you were an exhibiting artist in the Paris or UK exhibition and you have not yet had your works returned to you, please contact: Gisèle Belliot / gisele.belliot AT

Artists shown in Arimatsu (see list of exhibitors below) should have received their works by now. If not, please comment on this post and leave your email address.


Arimatsu Event Details:
Exhibition Title: "Design Shibori: Juried International Students Exhibition"  

Date: Jan 10 - Feb 28, 2009 期日 : 2009年1月10日から2月28日
Originally organized in November 2008 in Paris by ENSAD (l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) and the World Shibori Network for the International Shibori Symposium 2008 France. 
Selected works from the original exhibition in Paris traveled to Arimatsu, Japan, in celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Arimatsu Village in 1608. 国立装飾芸術学院(パリ)とインターナショナル絞りネットワーク(バークレイ)共催、第七回国際絞りシンポジウム併催イヴェント Venue: Arimatstu Shibori Museum (Shibori Kaikan) in Arimatsu, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
会場 : 有松絞り会館資料室
Supported by : Aichi Prefecture Shibori Industry Association and the Committee for 400 Anniversary Celebration for Founding of Arimatsu Village
主催 : 愛知県絞り工業組合、有松設村400年記念事業委員会

Exhibiting Artists in "Design Shibori" Arimatsu, Japan:
Sally Blake (University of New Sotuh Wales, Australia); Anna Bramhall (Univ for Creative Arts "UCA", Royaume-Uni); Chiayi Cheng (Tainan National University of the Arts); Sarah Pearson Cooke (Bath Spa University Royaume-Uni); Rebecca Cross (Kent State University, USA); Alice Egler & Sonia Dupont-Caye (ENSAD); Haruko Goto (Joshibi University of Art & Design); Roughui Guo & Guoxiang Yuan (Hong Kong Polytechnic University); Marie-Charlotte Hebert (ENSAD); Maud Jarnoux (ENSAD); Sarah King (Univ for Creative Arts "UCA", Royaume-Uni); Mustafa Kula (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey); Estelle Machineau (ENSAD); Janica Marcovitch (Univ of New South Wales, Australia); Firdos Samar (National Institute of Design, India); Kim Tattersall (Univ for Creative Arts "UCA", Royaume-Uni); Saito Tomoka (Tama Art University); Josefine Wiel Freden (School of Design & Crafts "HDK", Sweden); Becky Williams (Cardiff School of Art & Design Toyaume-Uni)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Australia Naturally" (Aug 19, Paddington NSW)

"Australia Naturally" just left Brisbane and continues its tour across the country, this time arriving in Paddington, NSW, at the BAROMETER GALLERY (19-28 August '09). Stop by and visit this new gallery whose focus is entirely on textile arts. Lucky you! (Next venue: Geelong Grammar School,Victoria (27 Sept - 3 Oct).

"Australia Naturally"
19th August – 28th August 2009
*Opening Reception: 22 August (Sat) @ 2pm, with special host international shibori artist Barbara Schey

Barometer Gallery
13 Gurner Street
Paddington, NSW
10am – 4pm (Open Wednesday – Sunday)

A glorious exhibition of small shibori works, created exclusively by World Shibori Network Australia members as a showcasing of their use of natural and synthetic dyes. These works have recently been on exhibition in Paris as part of the 7th International Shibori Symposium at the Musee Quai Branly. Curated by Joan James.

Barometer is a newly established gallery focusing on textile arts. It is operated by a very familiar friend and supporter of WSN, artist Barbara Rogers.

Thanks to Joan James, Secretary General for WSN-Australia, for sending this note

Friday, July 10, 2009

S!X presents Sculpted Packages (16-18 July)

read about it in our previous post here
*click image to enlarge*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Conference: State of Design (15-25 Jul '09 Melbourne, AUS)

In looking through the State of Design conference happening next month in Melbourne (see previous post), I saw some really great public events. I've only been to Australia but once yet I have to say, my impression of Melbourne was far better and more impressive than Sydney (sorry, Sydney, but you get plenty of love as it is). Melbourne is a creative, vibrant, blossoming place seemingly full of people doing and making and thinking surprising things. So if you're in the area in July, stop by and check it out (and report back here!)

Here's one event of many I thought would intrigue you, dear readers, and is all the more interesting because it aligns with our own philosophy & encouragement of Slow Fiber ™.

The World of Small Things:
An Exhibition of Craft

Presented by Craft Unbound
click here for event details

19 June - 25 July
(open Mon 12p-5p, Tu-Sat 10a-5p)

Craft Victoria, 31 Flinders Lane

The world is changing. Countries that previously were the storehouse of traditional crafts are now developing their own design capacities to serve their expanding internal markets. Consumers read labels more closely to ensure that their purchase does some good in the world. Questions about the course of globalisation prompt a return to the tangibility of objects.

This exhibition will include products, art works and background information about what has emerged from recent craft-design collaborations. These collaborations involve application of traditional craft techniques in new forms or with new materials. As well as these fascinating stories of product design, the exhibition will also focus on the growing trend of ‘ethical consumerism’. This trend is placed in the context of climate change and the fresh dialogues between first and third worlds about the reduction of carbon emissions. How can we sustain and grow the market for world craft? What are its sources of vulnerability and how can we overcome them?

The World of Small Things is an exhibition designed to explore the variety of dialogues between cultures that are currently being practiced in the craft field.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Exhibition: "Scupltured Packages RESHAPED" (16-18 Jul 09, Melbourne)

Our Melbourne friends, Denise & Peter of S!X, wrote in to say they are re-staging "Sculptured Packages," an exhibition they originally curated in Paris (at the stunning L'Eclaireur, Cabinet de Curiosite) as part of the ISS'08 symposium. This upcoming installation will show works by a new roster of artists and is being held as part of Victoria's Design Festival, "State of Design," held in the wonderful city of Melbourne.

"Sculptured Packages - RESHAPED"
Presented by S!X, assisted by Leah Muddle, Milly Sleeping

16-18 July (12 noon - 6p)
Von Haus (upstairs), 1A Crossley Street
- FREE -

Contemporary practitioners working in architecture, textiles
and fashion experiment with traditional Japanese shibori
techniques to produce a series of packages newly arrived in
the post, torn open, and scattered about the space.
Closing Saturday 18 July, 3pm, all welcome.

What is boro?

Here's a great video clip (~17min) of Yoshiko and Kim Schuefftan* discussing, identifying and showing examples of different boro. There's a lot of great information to learn here. It's also fun to watch Yoshiko and Kim banter about with one another.
*Kim, who has been living in Japan for 40+ years, has had a long career as editor of some of the most monumental books on Japanese culture, including Yoshiko's seminal first book on shibori (yes, they've been friends for over 30 years).

Click here for video clip

You can see the full segment and learn other great information on shibori and textiles on the DVD, "Arimatsu Narumi Shibori" ($34.95, shipping included) available here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

LECTURE: Barbara Shapiro in Seattle, Salt Lake City

In Seattle or Salt Lake City this summer?
Check out these great events that textile artist and WSN member Barbara Shapiro will be doing!

Lecture: "Change is Good"
Contemporary Quilt Art Assoc. (@Seattle Pacific University)
June 13 2009

Lecture & 3-day Workshop
On dyeing with acid dyes and "a greener indigo"*
Salt Lake City Surface Design Group
July 8 2009

*this "greener indigo" was a formula Barbara started using after her ISS08 trip where she had the distinct opportunity & privilege to study with Michel Garcia!!

You can see some of Barbara's coiled and plaited baskets at the shop of the Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Special Book: Hagire no Bunkashi

Yoshiko's mother recently returned from Japan and brought back with her a few copies (only 8!) of a very special and hard-to-get book, Hagire no Bunkashi*, a beautifully formatted image catalogue of boro pieces and other pieced garments published by Fukushima Prefectural Art Museum. ($55 USD)

Check out the SHOP for details or to purchase

* roughly translates to "A Chronicle of Fabric Pieces: the power of cloth to connect time and space"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Announcement: May 28 "Shibori Recycle" with AnaLisa Hedstrom at Vagadu (San Francisco)

VAGADU by Joui Turandot is holding an open studio celebration featuring various recycled/ reclaimed fashions. The evening will include a special appearance by textile artist Ana Lisa Hedstrom with pieces from her Shibori Re-Cycle line. Come check it out!

Thursday, May 28th
7-10 pm
375 Alabama St. #490 at 16th St*
San Francisco, CA

*within walking distance of 16th street BART; ring buzzer for Giselle Shepatin

Evening highlights: Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Suzy Furrer of Apparel Arts in attendance; live musical performance (8p) with classical singer Julia Hathaway and Villalobos' Bachianas Brasilieras; preview of VAGADU's 2009 collection, "Varda's Women," a collaboration between Joui Turandot and Ana Lisa Hedstrom; clothing by Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Vagadu and Giselle Shepatin available for purchase

Light snacks and drinks will be offered.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Announcement: "Innovative Cloths - Junichi Arai" (Hong Kong)

"Innovative Cloth- Junichi Arai"
Originally uploaded by World Shibori Network

Currently installed at the Institute of Textiles & Clothing (ITC) Gallery Resource Centre, Hong Kong Polytechnic University:

"Innovative Cloths — Junichi Arai"
5 May - 11 June 2009

Here are some photos* to wet your appetite! If you're anywhere near there, be sure to check it out. Junichi Arai's work is some of the very best around.

*Thanks go out to Dr. Konor Jiang

Monday, May 11, 2009

Announcement: Gunma Silks in stock!

Hi friends. For those of you who are familiar with Gunma Silks, a whole bunch of new stock has just arrived! Check out Yoshiko's online retail outlet for pics and details. Discounts given for larger volumes. Visit

Monday, May 4, 2009

PROFILE: Dosa's Christina Kim, eco & "green"

The LA Times recently published an article about Christina Kim of dosa and her "eco-friendly" line. Personally, I have my own issues with the label / category of "green" and "eco-friendly" but save that for another day. To the author's credit, the article finds proper place to talk about Christina's philosophy of doing business and creating products -- something that, for dosa, existed long before (and surpasses) any neatly packaged marketing labels. photo (c) Jay L Clendenin / LA Times

"Christina Kim: every piece is precious"

Clothing designer Christina Kim weaves recycled materials as well as the work of artisans the world over into her eco-friendly, human-friendly Dosa fashions.

"Kim believes that supporting these artisans, and having regular contact with them in good times and bad, builds long-term, trusting relationships. It also fits within her broader philosophy of encouraging people to consume less but cherish more the things they buy and wear, including the sweat equity and consummate craftsmanship of the people who made them." FULL ARTICLE HERE


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review: The Essential Art of African Textiles (Oct'08, NYC)

Sometimes you don't get around to seeing or hearing about things until it's too late. Such is the case with the exhibition, "The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End," held last October 2008 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

You can read a review of it in the New York Times and see a slideshow of some exhibited pieces. This image at top is one of my faves. "Between Earth and Heaven" by Mr. Anatsui

Monday, April 20, 2009

Conference: SDA "Off the Grid" (May/June 2009, Missouri USA)

Surface Design Association presents its
2009 International Textile Conference:


Conference: May 28th – May 31st , 2009
Pre-Conference Workshops: May 23 – May 27th , 2009
Post-Conference Workshops: June 1st – June 5th , 2009

Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Kansas City Art Institute and Marriott Country Club Plaza

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Announcement: Mandy Greer at Museum of Contemporary Craft (til May 31)

If we were in Portland, we'd be going to see this:

Mandy Greer
Dare alla Luce

January 22 – May 31, 2009

Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland, OR

Translated from Italian, “dare alla luce” is an idiomatic expression for giving birth: “to give to the light.” Excerpted from website:

Through countless small gestures of her craft, Greer employs humble handicraft processes and materials, executing her work through crochet, braiding, sewing and beading processes that use yarn, beads, shells, feathers and more. Merging the mythical and the mundane, Greer collapses the language and materials of the ordinary with the spectacular and the epic. The resulting work intertwines objects and space, resulting in an exuberant, sensual and visceral installation.

For more information, read here

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: Vive le Shibori! in FiberArts (Apr/May'09)

Vive le Shibori!

So proclaims Barbara Shapiro in her report of the goings-on at the 7th ISS08 in France (FiberArts, Apr/May 2009). View article here

It's a nicely edited, tight article synopsizing the symposium's program offerings. Special mentions were given to particular artists and extracurricular events, including the juried student exhibition, "Design Shibori". Barbara gives a nod to the parallels drawn between techniques practiced on far away continents and closes with a nice wrap-up of the various presentations & workshops that enforced the symposium's theme of nature, sustainability and responsibility -- from Garcia's cool water dye baths (responsible industrial practices) to Urbanek's natural dye techniques (social responsibility) to label Sou.Sou's rejuvenation of traditional Japanese garb for the youth market (sustaining shibori artisans).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Workshop: Yoshiko at HATCH- Apr 16 (Asheville, NC)

Yoshiko will be teaching two 2-hr workshops in Asheville at the H A T C H festival (which I posted about in an earlier entry here)

"Boro transformed: patching, piecing, and stitching"
April 16 @ 10a-12p ; 1-3p
$30 material fee

This workshop is inspired by a group of Japanese folk textile and clothing from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, such as padded sleeping mattresses and comforters, fishermans coats, lumberjacks vests, and other everyday wear. These were dyed in indigo and extensively patched and darned as necessary, utilizing regional resources to the limit.

Participants will learn about traditional Japanese common textiles made with boro (rags and fabric scraps) and will reinterpret this folk tradition by creating a fabric collage using layering, piecing, sewing and darning. Participants will also explore the use of water-soluble sheets to create open, lace-like structures in collage. Scrap fabrics will be provided by dosa inc. of Los Angeles (, and participants are also welcome to bring their own recycled, used, stained scraps or moth-eaten woolens to incorporate into their project.

A note from Yoshiko:
In my forthcoming book, I am using the Japanese term boro to define a new aesthetic and to bring new meaning to an alternative creative process, e.g., darning = healing, meditative action = marking time, reuse/repair = recording history. "Boro" represents the transformation of inconsequential material to something precious and valuable. Ordinarily, these tattered, castaway rags and the articles pieced together from them would be considered of little to no value. Boro, on the other hand, are viewed as beautiful in a way that defies convention. This type of imperfect beauty possesses a power that resonates with people almost like an emotional barometer. It points to an alternative value of "beauty" slowly coming to surface in our social consciousness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Miao embroidery: a photo log

Jenne P, who pens the blog lixo-lux, recently wrote a post on a class she took with Tomoko Torimaru back in 2006 at the de Young. I found the post only because she pinged back to (which I manage alongside this one and a few others. Aah, the connectedness of the internetz!)

Her post, "Almost impossible, yet possible," is replete with beautiful close-up pictures of Miao embroidery -- so go check it out. It was great to read her side of the class experience.
See the post here

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kyokechi w/Jay Rich (Aug'09, Tilburg)

Workshop announcement for those of you in/near Tilburg, Netherlands

"Carved Board Clamp Resist Dyeing"
Instructor: Jay Rich (USA)

August 26 – 30, 2009
Hosted by Karina van Vught for Studio Zijdelings
Tilburg, Netherlands

Inspired by Jay's kyokechi lecture at Quai Branly during the ISS08, Karina has organized a workshop at her lovely studio in the Netherlands. "Carved Board Clamp Resist Dyeing" will focus on this very old method of clamping and its use in combination with several dyes: Procion MX, Indigo, Persimmon and Safflower.

For more information or to enroll, please visit Zijdelings

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Report: ISS08 symposium & tour, Textile Forum (1/09)

Seems there's a lot in this month's TF magazine for this blog to talk about.

Two more well-informed articles in the current issue of TextileForum (Jan '09) but this time on our event -- the 7th International Shibori Symposium - France, Nov '08 (ISS08)

click here to read scans of both reports

The ISS conference report, written by Veronika Moos-Brochhagen, is a great summary of all the events and presentations comprising the ISS'08 held in 3 locations: Provence, Lyon and Paris. As an attendee, the author was able to surmise the strengths of the program, its shortcomings, as well as contextualize what the experience offered her as a European artist.
"[A] lively exchange with the local textile cultural scene occurred when the programme moved to Lyon, with exhibitions and talks at the Lumiere university."
Karina van Vught contributed the article summarizing the ISS tour offerings from Nimes to Paris. As her piece illustrates, it was a packed program. She concludes,
"For me, the tour was an unforgettable experience in a very special environment: the food, the wine.... We enjoyed it all and were thoroughly pampered. Moreover, all the visits and lectures were highly informative."

Our thanks to Veronika ( and Karina van Vught (Zijdelings) for their insightful articles on the ISS tour programme. We appreciate your active involvement and leadership in the shibori community of Europe.

We value the viewpoints offered in the article, especially those that critiqued -- from space planning for the bazaar to insufficient time for follow-up. These are all good things we will consider for the next symposium. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Report: "Inspired Design: Jacquard & Entrepreneurial Textile Conference" (1/09)

Check out the Jan'09 issue of TextileForum (publication of ETN) for a report of the recent

"Inspired Design: Jacquard & Entrepreneurial Textile Conference"
Hendersonville, NC
Jan 7-10, 2009

or read the scanned article here

The issue holds two great articles on the jacquard event: an informative report of the Inspired Design conference and a review of the exhibition of the same name.

The conference's keynote speakers were: Joan Morris, Textile design, "The Lion King"; Grace Bonney, founder, Design*Sponge; Michele Frick, Kansas City Art Institute. The show involved 19 artists from 8 countries, with work presented in five sections: 1) Smart Textiles; 2) Performance and Interactive Textiles; 3) Boutique Clothing Textiles; 4) Exclusive Interior Textiles; and 5) Public and Private Textile Commissions.

"The organisers...were inspired by the activities undertaken by [the new jacquard production site] ‘The Oriole Mill".... It was probably visiting the mill which put the conference participants in the optimistic mood we experienced."

"Everyone knew that they were sharing an extraordinary moment in the recent history of jacquard weaving. For myself, I felt that we were witnessing the emergence of a true movement in digitised jacquard technology of the highest standard."

- conference report excerpt, Beatrijs Sterk

The exhibition review, written by Veronika Moos-Brochhagen, noted in particular some works by young artists such as Kari Merete Paulsen (Norway), Ismini Samanidou (Greece), Tim Parry-Williams (UK), Christy Matsons (USA) and Sara Clugage (USA) and also praised the surprising exhibits by well-accomplished artists Pauline Verbeek-Cowar (Netherlands/USA) and Catharine Ellis (USA).

The event was organized by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD, an outfit of the University of North Carolina)

Announcing: 15th ETN Conference, Haslach/Austria 21-24 July

We are great supporters of the ETN and encourage textile enthusiasts and professionals to attend this exciting event they will be hosting in July in Europe.

The European Textile Network (ETN) - together with Textile Kultur Haslach & Linz Art University, will host their 15th conference in Haslach/Upper Austria.

15th ETN Conference
"Cultural Revival of Old Textile Centres – New educational challenges"
21 - 24 July 2009
pre- & post-programme 19th-31st July

This year's event is marked by the near completion of a ten-year endeavour by the municipality of Haslach to revive an old factory complex. A new textile centre will now stand in the former Vonwiller weaving mill which once employed more than 2,000 people. The future cultural centre will include a textile museum, a wool processing workshop, and will also house Textile Kultur Haslach, an association that organises major textile gatherings annually, offering courses, exhibitions, symposia, and a weavers’ market. Situated in the Austrian/Czech/German border triangle, the Centre will have a far-reaching impact on all those countries. Its staff hopes to help create an active network of European textile centres that will support creative, educational, conservation and tourist activities by means of joint ventures, and effectively strengthen structures in the respective textile regions.

Visit the website for programme details and application forms.

ETN is a non-profit organisation with its seat in Strasbourg and a secretariat in Hannover. Informally the Network was set up in 1991 in Erfurt and founded as an International Association after Alsacian law in 1993 under the auspices of the Council of Europe as the Carrier Networ

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Upcoming shibori events in Austria, Germany

Some upcoming events for our European friends and those who might find themselves in Austria and Germany/Netherlands (Nettetal) area in the upcoming months:

Textilkultur Haslach in Austria, summer 09:
  • "Experimental Shibori" 5-day workshop, supervised by Veronika Moos-Brochhagen. Other four participating artists include: Stephanie Siepmann, Deutschland; Ysabel de Maisonneuve, Frankreich; Ulrike von Kutzleben-Hausen, Deutschland; Anne-Mie Boonen, Belgien
Founded in 1991, the society TEXTILE KULTUR HASLACH has chosen the fostering of textile art and culture as its main objective with its intention being the fusion of traditional and modern, art and technology, crafts and industry, investigation and teachings, experiments and practical. Located at the river Mühl in the upper Mühlviertel, Haslach village and its surroundings have represented an important centre of the linen industry for centuries. (website is in German, English, Czech)

"DIE SCHEUNE" textilmuseum, Nettetal

  • 26 April - 21 July 09: introduction of Shibori on the basis of Veronika's work
  • 03 May 09, 11:00am: shibori workshop

Thanks for the news, Veronika!

Veronika Moos-Brochhagen is a textile artist from Germany and an active WSN community member. Her work was shown at the Musee qu quai Branly in Paris as part of the 7th ISS'08. - -

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shibori DVD review (Library Journal, Feb 09)

Library Journal's Arts & Humanities video section (February issue) features a glowing review of the Arimatsu Narumi shibori DVD which was produced by Studio Galli and narrated by Yoshiko I Wada. An excerpt:
This exceptionally well-made and informative documentary is essential for textile or arts and crafts collections. Very highly recommended.
To read, enlarge the image by clicking on it
To purchase, go here

Thanks to Tom Budlong of Atlanta, Library Journal and Studio Galli

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

dosa yagul reception & Judith Belzer installation (15 March, Los Angeles)

dosa yagul 2009

opening reception
installation by judith belzer
"trees inside out" oil on canvas, plywood, spruce pine fir

march 15, 2009
1pm to 4pm

818 south broadway 12th floor
los angeles, ca 90014
213 489 2801

"Design Shibori" in Japan. Next stop: USA

Back in Japan...
One of the highlights of our recent shibori symposium in France was "Design Shibori," the juried international students exhibition hosted by ENSAD in Paris. This exhibition traveled most recently to Arimatsu in Nagoya, Japan, where it was installed at the Shibori Kaikan museum until 28 February (pics to come soon on flickr). more blog posts on Design Shibori here

On to Colorado...
At the moment, the Colorado State University is reassessing the exhibition proposal in light of a reduced budget. IF YOUR WORK WAS INCLUDED IN THIS EXHIBITION AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE DETAILS OR TO FOLLOW THE STATUS of the exhibition schedule, please check our NEWS page on

Catharine Ellis: "Naturally" (Sydney, Apr 6-26)

BAROMETER GALLERY (Sydney, Australia)
"Naturally" by Catharine Ellis
6-26 April 2009

Catharine Ellis, an American weaver and shibori artist, is currently working on a body of work for her upcoming solo exhibition at Barometer, a gallery in Sydney owned by artist Barbara Rogers. "Naturally" will feature woven shibori textiles that explore Jacquard design and industrial weaving and are dyed using only natural colorants. The fabrics are all cotton, woven at The Oriole Mill in NC. Catharine comments on "Naturally":
"My dyeing is based on the information we got in France from Mr. Michel Garcia [formerly of the Association Couleur Garance] in Lauris. I have done a few comparative tests: more traditional cotton mordanting vs. Garcia's process and the result of the Garcia method is giving me significantly more color. I'd love to communicate with anyone else working in this way. It would be good to compare notes."

So if any of our readers work similarly in this way with natural colorants, please contact Catharine || ellisc[at] ||

Catharine teaches woven shibori and held a workshop at the ISS08 in Paris. Barbara Rogers of Sydney, Australia, exhibited in the ISS08 show, "No Limits: shibori," held at the Artefact Gallery, Lyon. Both participated in the full ISS08 France program.