21 June 2014

Shakerag: learning

It will be hard to say good-bye to Shakerag. What a magical place.

my morning walk at Shakerag

Just completed my week of learning and being in the roll of student at Shakerag taking Yoshiko Wada's Boro Transformed workshop.

It was interesting transitioning from a teacher to a student over the weekend. The volunteers and staff here were so kind making sure I was included in meals and field trips as they were preparing for the next week of students and faculty. I got to go to the Piggly Wiggly and a flea market - what else could I ask for?

I also got some nice front porch time with my stitching project and the dogs of Shakerag.

dog day at Shakerag

Yoshiko's workshop was wonderful. Packed full of information and new experiences. She brought some beautiful examples from her personal collection of old authentic boro pieces:

Boro piece from Yoshiko Wada's collection

as well as this contemporary piece created in a boro-like style - this is a shirt created in the Nui Project - a stitching and embroidery workshop for developmentally disabled adults in Japan:

stitched shirt from the Nui Project in Japan

A brand new experience for me was indigo dying - even though it is not a color I usually use in my artwork, or wear, it was interesting to learn the process and the language: waking up the vat, putting it to sleep, feeding it, was it tired or happy? I think the language may have been my favorite part.

this is a happy vat!

I started on a piece I had been thinking about for a while but couldn't quite get started on. Yoshiko gave me some inspiring advice to distress my piece with what I found around Shakerag. So I distressed it with rocks, stained it with Shakerag dirt and threw it in the lake at once point!

my stitched piece in "the res" with leaf...

Much of my week was spent stitching and examining boro for patching and mending ideas. 

my project in progress

detail - so much stitching!

I still have a lot of work to do on the piece but I made substantial progress on it.

I also finished the sample book I started last week, made a bag called a tsuno bukuro, and learned to make a sashiko thimble.

Another fantastic week all around. It is hard to leave but comforting to know that I will be back next year again as a student. Yes, I will!

See my previous two posts to see more about the place and my experience teaching there.

Thank you Shakerag...


  1. that last photo is brilliant, you'll be back there for sure!
    thank you for sharing your insights and processes in this workshop

  2. marvelous post, i have wondered about shakerag-but to work with yoshiko must have been wonderful. i love the glimpses of your project.

  3. Just lovely. Thanks for this post. Makes me want to stitch and stitch.