Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 5 and Half of Day 6

We got up a respectable hour and Ben left for work super early because of a client request he knew about from last year. This holiday, we didn't do much; didn't even pick berries. Ben wanted to go out a few times, but I wanted to stay home cocooned. Didn't attempt much of the house-tidying list, either. We started to get up later and later, and staying up later; we took naps and read, and watched films.

Major problem on the loom; I came up with an 8-step recovery plan this morning but I'm going to sit on it to make sure it's the right move before I act on it.

I've been trying to work on the Sketchbook Project sketchbook, but don't feel terribly keen. I prepped a few pages badly yesterday. I don't know why I enjoy postcard collage so much but not the sketchbook; it's hard work and I never know when to stop. Remind me if I even hint at wanting to sign up again. I made one postcard, and printed and packaged Mom's new address labels and "I've moved" postcards while supposedly working on the sketchbook.
On Saturday I woke up to a horrible dream that is funny in retrospect. Sister, Ben and I are upstairs at the parents' place trying to pack what Mom's keeping, and pick out anything we want from the rest. Mom had clearly gone through the stuff and everything is in two groups but Sister and I can't tell which lot she wants, and Brother and Mom have gone AWAL. We need to hurry as the girls' room/weaving room this is only the first we're working in, and I know Brother is going to be not happy with our progress. Among the pile of stuff found were gazillion Chinese Tea sets, which in real life Mom doesn't have. Cute, delicate, but at least a dozen sets! Oh, gee. Sister sanely decided she's not taking anything home, but I have to pick up everything

After a day, though, this got me thinking. From what I know, Chinese tea sets have smaller cups, a matching porcelain teapot, sometimes on a matching porcelain tray. Japanese tea sets are cups only; saucers, teapots and teapot potholder all come from different places, and it's in the matching of different material and sources that show off one's aesthetics. Ditto with the kimono "outfit" as a whole. It takes more skill to match less expensive or varied-value items nicely than to clash expensive items, naturally. But first and foremost one must aim to highlight the attractive/endearing parts of the season at all times.

I think it was in the 80's matching dish sets and kimono outfits, (kimono and accessories,) came out, but they never took off as they appear "wrong" or "ugly" by Japanese aesthetics. So we buy Western-style dishes in sets sometimes, and color-coordinate our Western-style clothes in the, well, Western way as we understand it, but Japanese dishes and cups are collected in bits and pieces and even "sets" come in pairs or five, (not six,) in the same style/shape but in different colors/motifs.

If you have a Japanese kitchen, you have gazillion little dishes and cups, and learn by observation, for e.g. never to use glass dishes/bowls except in summer, or to use earthenware for Japanese brown teas and porcelain for green teas unless the constituents of the gathering dictate otherwise.

I got this far. I'm not sure what this means in my weaving, except it appears I don't really have "my" colors any more, and I'm more open to all kinds of styles and colors now. Or to paraphrase, I see merits in a wider variety of work. But I'm not sure if these things are connected, or it's something else altogether...


  1. Meg, that was an interesting insight on Japanese life.
    I have 2 sets of lovely different blue bowls and wondered why there were only 5 in each set. Now I know :-)

  2. Oh, yes, you do, Margreet. Come to think of it, you can buy things in one, pairs, threes, even fours, but sets are usually fives. I have seen some Japanese sets in sixes, but they are rare, and usually not exactly beautiful things targeting the international audience. Pencils come in dozens, though. I wonder why!


I love comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one. But do be sure to leave your real or blog name.