Sunday, 12 June 2016

Dylan's Best Opening Lines.

I was just reading an article about the ten best opening lines to Bob Dylan songs.

I just saw him a  month back. Third row centre. The  performance was so bad it was impossible to even applaud. The first ten rows were occupied by the die-hard Dylan fans and we even found it hard to even grunt at his dismal show.

I groaned out loud in bed last night..... the whole night to the early morning. Every sinew and joint and muscle in my body ached. The past three months have been great but tough. The workshops have been fulfilling. It was a sort of out-of-body-experience. I was in 'impart mode'. The last students waved goodbye and took the train to Tokyo yesterday.

It was Rudolf Steiner who said something along the lines, " You give away in your 40s what you learned in your 20's and 30's so you are empty in your 50s to prepare for your 60s."

There still are some dregs at the bottom and I am doing my best to empty them in my 50s to move onto another stage in life. Textile dregs...Japanese cultural dregs....

The Otis College of Design alumni were wonderful. We met at the hotel and as we walked out to the street we witnessed a big black crow pulling apart a hapless pigeon on the sidewalk. I booted the crow and in group horror we realised the pigeon was still alive.

Tim sketched it on the spot.

The poor bloody bird got boxed up and driven to my place in the mountains. A few days later we realised it's leg was I took the sharpest pair of Hiro's ikebana scissors and amputated its' leg.  Aghhhhhh... But a week later, 'Sidewalk' is fine. Today, on his daily hop around the yard he played a while and then 'flew!!!!!' back to his makeshift cage made from six stainless bar-be-que grills wired together.

On the same day 'Sidewalk' came, a poison  pit viper who was terrorizing the pond's endangered tree frogs and their eggs and tadpoles met his maker (in the campfire) with human help and a 15 centimetre horrible centipede terrorized the students in the living room was unceremoniously chopped in two with my best sushi knife. (video grab)

Safe from the viper tree frog. Sidewalk in his cage. Kittens pose.

Crazy few days.

On the tenderer side of life... the kittens are growing and playing and keeping us awake with scampers on the second floor. What a kitten heaven with dozens of boxes and looms and places to hide.

I wake up every morning with the silkworm trays white with hungry silkworms....I go the mulberry fields in the mountains and cut mulberry in solitude  as the sun rises.

Fresh dew wet mulberry....

They will cocoon tomorrow and I spent a few hours today cutting bamboo and making these wonderful things for them to spin in.

and they all look like this with all the cocoons in them in a few days time:

And for the majority of the cocoons the cardboard version is waiting. Sidewalk is in the cage behind us.

Yesterday the Otis group posed with Sidewalk and the doggies for a sayonara picture...

Now if I had the energy to pick up my guitar and compose I am sure I would have a few Dylanesque song lyrics from the chaos of life these days.

But the doggies are unfazed today.

Top Ten Dylan opening lines:

1)  Someone’s got it in for me, they’re posting stories in the press.

2)  They’re selling postcards of the hanging

3) If your memory serves you well, we were going to meet again and wait

4) Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?

5) The river whispers in my ear, I’ve hardly a penny to my name

6) My love she speaks like silence.

7) You got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend

8) ‘There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief.

9) Nobody feels any pain

10)  Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Musings in June.

Korinna and Truus did not get their due honour of having their wonderful hand stitched jackets pictures posted.

Both of these jackets took extra time to get the 'horse riding slits' and the lining to sit and hang just right.

Korinna's work was clean and tidy. I was impressed with her stitching neatness even late at night when it was time to be asleep. The jacket is gorgeous. The motif on the back is deceivingly simple and complex.

Truss went her own way and made a soot and soy milk dyed jacket with just a hint of indigo blue painted on instead of dipped on.

I have eleven alumni of The Otis College of Design at the farmhouse for a week. We spent our first three days together in Tokyo.  We visited the Issey Miyake exhibition at the National New Museum, The Edo Museum and The Boro Museum in Asakusa and the Nezu Museum in Aoyama. Bright students who were/are absorbing information as they breath. Twelve sets of designer eyes taking in an entire city and old textile culture. I am in heaven with these smarties!

Then we went shopping at the Kapital stores and a painting supply store and drifted in and out of all the cool shops as we roamed along trying to thread together some Japanese design elements through the centuries.

It was heaven to be back in the mountains with the silkworms and the kittens and doggies and Hiro's home cooking.  Six more days together. Trying to pack in as much as possible.

The spring workshops are almost over. They were great. 'Two General Introductions to Indigo and Japanese Textile courses'. A two-week jacket making course and now the Otis students. All has been pretty good.

If all goes well I will be in Finland and then Russia in ten days time. Anna's friend is the "Keeper of the Russian Textile Collection" at the Hermitage in St Petersburg. I am so looking forward  to getting behind the scenes there and looking at the old textile collection there.

Places we visited:

Edo Museum:
Nezu Museum:
The Boro Amuse Museum:
Issey Miyakeissey miyake exhibition: