Monday, 25 March 2013

Two Month Live in Apprentice: Mini chan

I get requests for long-term live-in apprentices. I want to teach young designers about indigo and silk and Japanese textiles in depth. It occurred to me that it would take at least several years of full time working with a student to impart a decent amount of knowledge. What am I going to do with it? Take it with me at the end of my life? I've refused quite a few eager beavers but finally accepted Mini-chan from Singapore. Just by the tone of her emails I felt she really wanted to study. She wanted a longer apprenticeship but I felt that two months was enough for me to see if we get along. The farmhouse is in the mountains and there is no alternative place to stay except in the guest rooms on the third floor.  So I have  stranger living in the house with me for several months....
I took the chance and it looks like no problem with Mini.
I have a second young designer coming from Finland soon. I might just enjoy this. The farmhouse is ramshackle but cool. I have interesting people coming through from all over the world. Life is pretty good. Those five guest rooms upstairs were a good idea.

Mini is starting off with how to make and maintain a hydro sulphate indigo vat. She indigo dyes something every day. Shibori and katazome and thread. I try to give her a reasonable idea of how a design studio based around indigo might work in her future. Her original design sensibilities are very different from my own. Her portfolio is full of gauzy ultra-feminine draped designs in contrast to my chunky rough indigo and persimmon dyed work. She follows me to the knit studio and I put her to work doing something new every day. She had a full on course on silk cocoon reeling. A complete overload of information but she takes it all in. I'll keep posting on her progress over the next few months.


  1. --yes, pass on the knowledge, it is the only way to keep textiles alive. the upstairs bedrooms may have been a good idea but the indoor plumbing was essential!!

  2. It is a challenge and daring but I think you captured an apprentice. She's open!

  3. it saddens me when i see some people aspiring to be the wisest in the cemetery