Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Bojagi and Beyond" coming to Bay Area, works by Barbara Shapiro (June-Sep, San Francisco)

"Bojagi and Beyond," a traveling exhibition curated by Chunghie Lee that celebrates the traditional Korean wrapping cloth, will be coming to the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco this June. Local Bay Area artist Barbara Shapiro will be featured in the show with woven work and also indigo dyed wrapped baskets.

Bojagi and Beyond (working title)
June 16--September 18, 2011
51 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA 94103
Organized by internationally recognized artist, teacher, and writer, Chunghie Lee, who has studied traditional Korean wrapping cloth extensively, this exhibition is accompanied by a rich public program to include an international symposium, a workshop, a gallery tour, and numerous educational activities.

Bojagi (Bo-Jah-ki) were once used in formal ceremonies and daily activities in Korea. Similar to American patchwork, traditional Bojagi was made from simple pieced cloths or papers, which were elaborately embroidered together. Although this folkloric custom continues in the country, now the craft of Bojagi has had a great influence on contemporary artists from Korea and around the world. Bojagi and Beyond brings together contemporary artists from Korea, and ten other countries that are inspired by this Korean folk art. Unlike the traditional form, contemporary Bojagi varies in medium, size, and functions to create a new meaning that transcends borders. Bojagi and Beyond explores both traditional Bojagi, and its multiple reinterpretations in contemporary art.

More events where you can catch Barbara Shapiro:

July 16 & 17, 2011 "Greener Indigo" 2-day workshop with Barbara
Walnut Creek

July & August, 2011 "Greener Indigo" 4-week Saturday Studio Class with Barbara
San Francisco at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, SF State University
Be sure to read Barbara's article on Columbian textile artist Olga De Amaral featured in the current Spring 2011 issue of Fiberarts Magazine

Mame shibori explained (video)

(click image to redirect to video clip)

Mame ("beans") shibori is a classically Edo design, a pea-dot pattern most common for tenugui (hand towel).

Harisho, the only remaining itajime master continuing practice of this traditional Edo period technique, demonstrates on video how to fold fabric several times into very small strips then put in between carved wooden boards (for mame, the boards are grooved). Recently, Harisho collaborated with popular Japanese fashion brand SOU.SOU, providing fabrics for their contemporary tabi collection.

Mame fabric created by Harisho is available in Yoshiko's online shop.

Thanks for sharing, Barbara Shapiro!

Monday, March 21, 2011

SCARF exhibition by WSN-Australia + NZ photos!

Back in August we blogged about SCARF, a traveling exhibition featuring shaped resist dyed scarves and shawls created by members of WSN Australia and New Zealand. It's now made its way to Strathnairn Arts Association (thru April 3) where Barbara Schey gave a talk at the opening reception on March 11. I sneaked a peek* at a couple snapshots taken by our indefatigable Secretary General of WSN Australia, Joan James. Here are a few photos:

*thanks to good old Facebook

(top) Barbara Schey gives remarks at opening reception, Kevin Schamburg stands nearby;
(middle, bottom) pieces from SCARF exhibition at Straithnarn Arts Association.
All photos courtesy Joan James

Inspiring & humbling: a letter from Sendai, Japan

A bit of inspiration from the disaster in Japan. This is a personal account written by Anne Thomas, who lives in Sendai. Thanks to Masako for forwarding to us. (Originally published online at Ode magazine)

A Letter from Sendai

Anne Thomas 3/14/2011

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

It’s utterly amazingly that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,


Friday, March 18, 2011

Oscar de la Renta, Shabd gets in on shibori

Like Proenza Schouler, fashion heavyweight Oscar de la Renta gets shibori-tied with his Spring Summer 2011 collection. And Brooklyn-based newcomer Shabd bases her whole line on shibori, deftly using it to a wonderfully subtle watercolor effect. Dreamy...
(images: (top) Oscar de la Renta shibori chiffon caftan dress; (bottom) shabd blue marble geode dress)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Message from Yoshiko re: Japan & Fundraiser

A note from Yoshiko and information on a fundraiser, "Handmade for Japan".

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your emails of concern regarding Japan and our friends there. I caught the news of the earthquake while at the Delhi Airport waiting for my flight home from India.

I have spoken with some of our friends and family in Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture, Tokyo, even in Fukushima Prefecture and other parts of Japan and found them all fine and calm. But the pending nuclear disaster is the biggest concern for all.

Foods and gasoline have become scarce and some friends in the greater Tokyo area are trying to flee to the West. Our papermaker friend, Mr. Shio -- who accompanied me on my recent trip to India -- was in Tokyo at a tradeshow at a big convention center near the Tokyo Bay
when the earthquake struck. Having lived through a large earthquake that hit his hometown of Tottori several years back, Mr. Shio knew immediately what to do: he took off running to higher ground. Everyone started following him up to the roof. Thankfully, the tsunami didn't hit. After miles of walking, he found an open metro line to Haneda airport and flew back home to the Japan Sea Coast in the western part of Honshu Island (away from the affected area though there is another nuclear power plant in Shimane Prefecture not too far from them).

The upcoming SFS program in Japan in May/June, fortunately, does not include Miyagi, Iwate, or Fukushima Prefectures and the destinations are not affected by the devastation at the moment.

Let us pray that the worst will be avoided at the nuclear power plant.
Thank you all for your concerns.



A Japan fundraiser has been organized by ceramist Ayumi Horie and friends -- "HANDMADE FOR JAPAN" is an eBay art auction starting Thursday, 8p EST. All proceeds will go to Global Living. Learn more about the auction here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Reinvention of Silk (NYT, Mar 7 2011)

"The Reinvention of Silk," an article published in today's New York Times, discusses new, outside-the-box creations of this versatile filament. Since spider's can't spin enough of it, "some scientists are ... working on reinventing the one silk that is commonly available — that of silkworms. They are reconstituting it to make novel materials that have the potential to go far beyond the dream of bulletproof vests." Read full article here

(above) Silk creations by Tufts University researchers include a coilmade of silk substrate and gold that can help tell when food goes bad.

(above) Pure silk fibroin powder used to make solvent-based silk scaffolds that take a long time to degrade in the body.
Photo credits: Bryce Vickmark, for the NYT