My mom and I have been giving Japanese Indigo-dyed or shibori-sculpted textiles and Chiyogami-made little things to non-Japanese friends since the early 60's; they have been received variously as cheap Japanese junk, Asian curiosities, and precious gifts, depending on the thinking and the fashion of the day.

I don't have objections to Japanese textiles, particularly Indigo-related antiques, being in vogue at the moment, nor to some of you expressing passion for them. But you do understand if I don't share the love? I mean, they've always been around forever, these items, and I like some, not so much others. I feel dubious about the psychology and nature of "fashion" in general, and this one in particular, and am finding it excruciatingly difficult to put forth what I got out of Yoshiko Wada's workshop without appearing a big fat ingrate.

Not that I'll shy away from the challenge...


Cate Rose said...

I take it you didn't like the workshop!

Sunny -- aka Matriarch said...

Meg, I sort of cringe when I see people gushing about 'boro' and how they have found the truth of boro. Then today I saw a craft magazine article (or maybe it was a blog, I honestly can't remember which) with instructions for making 'boro' ... things. They were little round puffs made of scraps of cloth, several layers all rough cut and stitched so the outer edges would ravel, stuffed with stuffing and decorated with various rough stitching. They were bright colors and really cute and offered up as something that would would look really neat piled in a bowl for decoration. So am I wrong? Is that really ... respectful, and does it bother you?

That said, if you ever want to, feel free to send me a Japanese indigo shibori anything. I'm a scarf hound and would immediately sew any piece of pretty textile to something else and make a scarf. ;)

Meg said...

Connie, it wasn't that simple. I got a lot of things out of Yoshiko's brain and some new/renewed interests, but structure of the workshop was non-existent or chaotic, and many aspects of the workshop and some people, I round uncomfortable, upsetting, or bizarre.

Sunny, I can tell you Yoshiko would cringe, but then like anything else, ("pashmina" comes to mind), the name gets a life of its own and starts to live a life independent of the thing it used to be attached to, doesn't it.

Velma Bolyard said...

meg, thank you for this honesty. whatever our own textile tradition, we are connected to it in ways both overt and subtle. mine is appalacian "make do" and when i have a tattered quilt that has served well, it is retired into recycling somehow or the compost, also recycling. boro photographs well and is evocative, but isn't the most warm (functional) on a below zero day of working hauling lumber. or whatever.

Meg said...

"boro photographs well and is evocative, but isn't the most warm (functional) on a below zero day of working hauling lumber. or whatever."

Right on, Velma. In their case, windy snowing fishing villages, many of them. And they were not intentional pieces, they were "make do" pieces. This is one area I'm having trouble understanding how Yoshiko interpreted beauty vs intention.