Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Seven Weeks Near the Indigo Vat

Henri has returned to Finland and he has his presentation to his teachers and fellow students on what he accomplished in his seven weeks in Japan today. Helsinki time.

Henri's welcome party at Ukai with Aiko, Anneke and Mini.

I wanted him to get an understanding of how to make and maintain a hydro-sulphate indigo vat, dye with a Japanese fermentation vat, get a few shibori techniques under his belt, cut and use some katazome stencils, do some weaving with indigo-dyed thread on a Japanese loom, (Ridiculously small for a Scandinavian pirate.) make some Japanese bags, reel some cocoons, etc.

Some of his work:

Indigo experiment.

Carefully stitched sashiko on linen he stencil dyed.

His originally drawn and carved stencil on antique linen.

Delicate sample piece of white-shadow shibori on antique linen.

He brought some old linen thread form his grandfather's barn and dyed it indigo with kasuri and wove it on his weaving cards.

Stitched and bound shibori part two.

Rice paste resisting his stencil at the indigo katazome master's studio.

Sketching a stencil before carving.

I also wanted him to absorb a whole lot of Japanese culture. I think he went back with a full mind. I've been in Japan 25 years. That is a long time. A lot of books and experiences and work. I try to pass on as much as I can without being a bloody pain in the ass. 

I replied to someones inquiry on a previous post that if you are interested in coming to Japan for a few months to live in and study these techniques with me please drop a line, give me some background details and I will let you know what I expect, the costs, time I have open and possibilities.  Curiosity and good hygiene are the only real prerequisites.

Henri and Mini harvesting in the tea field. I missed Snoopy running through the rows this year but Henri and Mini filled the Snooperoo four-legged void with their four legs and their leafytails.

Henri,  we miss you and we all wish you the best with your textile future and all events in your life.
Love from Mini, Anneke, Hiro, Shuji, Momo and Geiger, Mukade, myself and everyone.


  1. Hey Bryan!

    I'm a textile artist from Minneapolis and would love to know more about the home stay and indigo study. I sent you a long email with more details and have been waiting to hear back from you. Please send me some workshop details when you get the chance--I would really love to participate.


    1. Hi Karin,
      I sent an email to a link I found on your blog. Hoping it reached you. I can be reached at japanesetextileworkshops@gmail.com

  2. And most biggest thanks to you guys for most intresting spring. Blue in my nails has almost faded away but memories won't. ps. I left those shoes behind on purpose.

  3. I found them. Thanks. I'll put them, on the wall as artwork and a reminder of The Henri.

  4. Ah, what lovely work, but I have to admit, the sashiko had me! Exquisite!