20 September 2018

Bibliomuse 2 : a new phase

My Bibliomuse series is a sub-series of KEEP: Modern Library where I look to Japanese boro textiles and imagery from withdrawn library books for visual inspiration, and use old European linen and cloth from the covers of withdrawn library books as my materials. The image-making processes used are stenciling, block printing, image transfers, and occasionally graphite directly on the fabric.

You can see some images from the original KEEP: Modern Library series here and here; and the first Bibliomuse sub-series here; and by visiting my art website here.

Essential from KEEP: Modern Library series

Currently, I'm working on a new phase of the Bibliomuse series where I am experimenting with color combinations and dying the base-cloth, playing with the scale of imagery, and transferring images of woven cloth from the withdrawn library books on the fabric.
With the first Bibliomuse series I used the sewing machine and densely repeated back and forth stitching to create a unique texture on the base-cloth. 

Hemingway and the Art of Awareness 1-5 from the first Bibliomuse

In this new phase of the Bibliomuse series I'm hand stitching only.

Enough explanation! Here are the new pieces: 

Title: Theory of Collective Behavior, No. 1

Base cloth is lightly dyed with walnut dye.

Below is the withdrawn library book that is the muse for this piece, also entitled: Theory of Collective Behavior.


Title: The Impact of the Social Sciences, No. 1

The base cloth of this piece is dyed with walnut and persimmon dye. The inspiration for this piece is the four dots that appear on the cover and the title page of the muse. I played around with blowing up the dots on the photocopier and then translating those images to block prints, stencils and image transfers.


Title: Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution, No. 3

I used this book as my muse in the first Bibliomuse series and have returned to it here playing with the scale of the imagery and printing and drawing on old linen that is stained with india ink.


I've resisted working with blue since my work is influenced by Japanese boro textiles: I want my work to reflect the lines, shapes, layering and textures of boro textiles but not look like boro textiles. However, after my trip to France this summer where I dyed old linen cloth in woad, I just couldn't resist working it into a new piece when I returned home.

Title: The Scandal of Silence, No. 1

Below is the muse. In addition to using the black bars as imagery in the piece I also referenced the faded squiggle mark on the cover of the book by making a stencil of the line and repeating it in the piece.

I'm currently working on making little fabric accordion books to match each of these pieces - things are getting really meta!

 While in France I acquired an old lab coat at a brocante and gave it a few dips in the woad vat while there and added imagery from The Scandal of Silence after returning to the studio. Maybe I'll make books and clothes to match each wall piece...

27 August 2018

Art of Textile Repair and Reuse Workshop, Summer 18

 I taught a new class recently at Cabrillo Arts. The name of the workshop is:
The Art of Repair and Reuse:
Looking at Mending and Re-purposing Traditions in Various Cultures as Inspiration for New Work.

 I did quite a bit of research for the course and showed students examples of repair and reuse traditions in the American South, Australia, Japan, India, China and France.

We also looked at the work of contemporary artists who create in the spirit of repair and reuse, and watched videos that exhibited different stitching techniques.

The students created samplers in the various traditions.

These samplers represented Gee's Bend and Wagga Wagga:

Of course, we made samplers inspired by Japanese Boro mending techniques - I always encourage students to vary from the indigo palette and rather focus on line, shape and texture:


 Samplers inspired by Kantha from India:

 When I was in France recently I saw some lovely mends on grain sacks that I shared with students - they interpreted those mends in the most creative way!:

 Chinese Ge Ba has been making the rounds on the internet and social media so we explored creating in that style, too:

 The workshop was only two days and would benefit from being a 3-5 day course where we could make the samplers at a more leisurely pace and then move on to personal projects.

 Some students just focused on the samplers but a few applied these techniques to garments that they brought into class and the results were creative, fun, whimsical and unexpected.

I'm hoping to teach this workshop again so look out for it in the new year!

18 August 2018

Summer 18 - Teaching Wrap Up - Mendocino - Ashland - France

Such a long overdue post - but I just can't let my summer adventures go undocumented.

I began my summer teaching adventure with a road trip to teach at the Mendocino Art Center where the surrounding natural beauty is almost too much to take in. I was completely enamored of the ocean's color, and the water towers that were scattered throughout the town.


While there I taught my Boro Aesthetic workshop (I taught the class as a 5-day workshop last summer at Arrowmont and will be returning there again next summer)where we look at the lines, shapes and textures achieved in Japanese boro textiles, make samplers to learn the language, and then apply those aesthetics to personal art projects. These are the samplers, in progress:

This was a three day workshop and students all created impressive finished projects.
On the road to Ashland, OR: Mount Shasta

Next, I taught at the Ashland Art Center in Ashland, Oregon. Sometimes I get so caught up in teaching that I don't take pictures - this was one of those times. But, I taught the Boro Books and Boro Bags Workshops and you can see examples of projects for those classes here, here, here and here. And, these are some of the yummy samples I brought for inspiration:

I drove home through some beautiful scenery...

...spent a week at home unpacking and re-packing and then I was off to France to join up with the French General Getaway!

After a night and two packed days in Paris I took a train to the south and met up with the wonderful group at this gorgeous chateau.

 with this gorgeous studio to teach out of:

with a view like this:

I taught the group about Japanese boro textiles and then guided then through the Boro Bags workshop over the course of two afternoons and a morning session so that we could go at a nice gentle pace. 

 The week was full of visits to numerous brocantes, villages, markets, and included lots of wine and cheese!

We visited Albi:

Saint Antonin:


and Cordes-sur-Ciel:

What an experience - each town was right out of a story book.

I also found great inspiration in the mending techniques I discovered on grain sacks and old linen sheets:

and I got to play along with Denise Lambert who came to the chateau on our last day and taught us about the history of woad dye (often referred to as the European indigo) and allowed us to dye our fabric and garments in her woad vats:

A fabulous week with a wonderful group of people.

Oh, France, I hope to return soon.

As always, I post way more pictures on Instagram so please follow me there if you'd like: my instagram account


Upcoming this Fall are only two workshops and they are both full! But it never hurts to get yourself on the waitlist - you never know.

 Here is the information about my two Fall 2018 workshops:

Boro Bags at French General - September 9th

Japanese Mending at A Verb for Keeping Warm - September 29th

The best way to get information about my workshops before they fill is to check the Workshops page on this blog, follow me on Instagram and/or like my Wishi Washi Studio page on Facebook.

Thanks for following along!

19 March 2018

MUSUBU - San Francisco

MUSUBU! The San Francisco version!

If you've been following along you will recall we first exhibited MUSUBU at the Urawa Art Museum in Japan.
Now it is traveling to the American Bookbinder's Museum in San Francisco. Same artists, and mostly the same work. A handful of artists have created new work for the San Francisco exhibit including Kenneth Wilkes, Howard Munson and myself who have made pieces inspired by our trip to Japan to see MUSUBU in Urawa.
If you need a refresher you can read about the inception of this exhibit here, and a report on my trip to Japan to see the exhibit here.
Additionally, you can see photos taken by r.r. jones at the MUSUBU exhibit at the Urawa Art Museum here (I was fortunate to have my photographer traveling with me!)
Many people have worked very hard on this exhibit so I hope that you can visit if you are in the area.
Here is exhibit information:
7 April - 19 May 2018
Opening Reception 7 April 2018, 5:00 - 8:00 with a
Curators' Talk at 6:30
(Hisako, Myself and Keiko Fujii will be speaking)
Hope to see you there!

02 January 2018

Spring Workshops 2018

Happy New Year to you all!

Mending on a large furoshiki found at a Tokyo Flea market

I was so fortunate that my art and teaching took me to so many interesting places where I met such wonderful people in 2017. Teaching took me to Arrowmont in Tennessee, and to the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. Both storied places where artists have been visiting and creating for years. My part in co-curating the MUSUBU exhibit took me to Tokyo where I made many new friends and became even more enamored of that alluring city.

Boro fragment from my personal collection - I take this example to every class

Now here we are in 2018 and I have a number of workshops coming up in the first half of the year that I want to share with you. Here is my teaching schedule through the end of June 2018:

One of my Boro Sampler Book pages

Boro Sampler Books
French General, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, February 18th, 2018, 10-4
(class is full - get on waitlist!)

Japanese Mending as Utility and Embellishment
Saturday, April 21st, 2018, 11-5

Mending on a large furoshiki found at a Tokyo flea

Boro Sampler Books
A Work of Heart, San Jose, CA
Sunday, May 6th, 2018, 10:00-5:00

The Boro Aesthetic: Creating Fiber Arts Pieces Inspired by Japanese Textiles
Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA
Friday-Sunday, June 1st-3rd, 2018

Boro Sampler Books and Boro Bags
Ashland Art Center, Ashland, Oregon
Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10th, 2018
10:00-4:00 each day

Boro Bags

At the end of June I will be traveling to France to join French General's France Getaway Retreat! I will be teaching in the afternoons after the morning outings and adventures. How can you NOT join us?

Exploring Craft, Textiles and Food
French General's France Getaway
June 22 - 29th, 2018 

detail from one of my teaching samplers

If none of these locales are near to you remember that my book The Boro Aesthetic: Books, Bags, Zakka and Zokin is available on Blurb and Amazon. It includes handouts from my workshops, text that covers what I discuss in class, color images and a glossary. It is a slim volume but it includes how-to information from three workshops.

I appreciate each and every time that any of you sign up and take a workshop with me and I hope to see you in 2018!