On Saturday, I was at the Richmond Art Center helping Yoshiko Wada with her Boro: A Dialogue with Material Patched, Pieced and Darned workshop. I had attended her lecture on boro earlier this year and was quite taken in. So when this opportunity came along, I was naturally excited.
Yoshiko brought rare textile books, vintage indigo dyed shibori and kantha fabrics for us to see. I particularly liked a Chinese knotting book that was on display. I honestly did not know there were so many ways to make knots!
A pristine mame (bean) shibori piece was also on display. Mame shibori is an old pattern, usually seen on towels. The name comes from the way the pattern looks and not because ‘beans’ are used in the process.This piece was brought in by a participant who until then, did not realize she was in possession of a unique and valuable piece of history! Later, I found this video that explains how mame shibori is made.
Several transformative techniques like de-gumming,fulling (not felting), stitching and natural indigo dyeing were discussed as a part of the workshop. Yoshiko also showed how to indigo dye yarn for ikat / weaving.I also got the chance to work with an all-natural indigo vat. Details about that, later in a separate post.
The intent of the workshop was not only learning about boro, mending and indigo dyeing but helping find one’s unique expression or voice in art. At the end of the workshop, a range of distinct styles emerged. I absolutely loved Youngmin Lee’s bojagi patchwork and have made a mental note to look it up further.
And finally, Yoshiko + the gang of gals 🙂