What to Do When It’s Hot and Smokey

Introduction
This is the first time in months that I missed a post every other day. When I had the post ready on the regular night, Monday, my tech guy said the photos could be much better. Today, Wednesday, he gave me a good lesson in “post processing” the photos. Here are the much-improved photos.

A big surprise was to see the fog coming in! Hooray for cool, clean air.


The fog coming in begins to hide the City. I got lucky catching the gull, fisherman casting, and people in the shot as well.


The theme of the post is how beautiful it can be when the fog comes in at the Golden Gate Bridge and over the Marin hills. And seeing it through sailboat masts.


Caught sight of a sea lion poking its nose up then diving down again.


Pineapple Plants to Cloth: Part Three—Warping

Here is the warping reel. The woman sits in the middle and reaches out to the pegs on either side. In the middle are the pegs for the cross. Children grow up with these processes so it’s in their bones.


Two threads are taken as one on the warping reel. You can barely see them against the man’s blue shirt.


The threads come from the “pancakes” that came from the bowls from the knot-tying people.


Two pancakes sit in the box. What looks like kitty litter is sprinkled on top to weight down the pancakes so the threads can be drawn off without tangling. This idea could be used by other weavers, I think.


Here is a photo of me wearing a gorgeous pina cloth dyed in indigo. This is the photo we used the photo for my blog—a rare good picture. I can’t remember who the other woman was but I remember the lovely evening vividly.


Here is what I did with the cloth when I got home. I have bars on my bedroom walls for hanging textiles. I love looking at that piece.


Pineapple Plants to Cloth: Part Two: Making Threads

Pineapple fibers are too short to be threads for weaving. They are joined with a specific knot to make the long threads needed.


This group of people are knotting the fibers to make long threads.


This woman has been tying for a long time.


This young girl is showing the joined fibers she has knotted together.


The threads fall into a bowl as they are tied. Later they are draw out of the bowls for warp threads in this studio—without any snarls!


This “pancake” came from one of the bowls. The threads will be drawn from it for warping. I brought one home just because it was beautiful and fascinated me. The end of the top thread was marked so one knows where to start.


From Pineapple Plants to Cloth: Part One

The first step is cutting the leaves in the field. Here you can see the length of the leaves and that they all seem to be the same length.


Inside, the process begins. The set-up is on the floor.


The leaves are stripped.


Then they are scraped. The scraper was a broken plate.


Finally the leaves are stripped down to the fibers. Next time, how the fibers of a certain length turn into long threads for warps and wefts.


More Embroidery on Pina Cloth

I’ve been looking at my photos from my trip to the Philippines in February of 2016 for more embroidery because the last post’s embroidery really moved me. This is on a gorgeous pina (pronounced pin-ya) cloth (made of pineapple fiber). This blue cloth may look familiar. I think both the warp and weft are the pina.


Here is a blouse I bought and was told it was for “pure” girls to wear! I have worn to the opera on occasion. It may not be pina because I only paid $50 if I remember correctly. But look at the embroidery.


This is the back of the blouse. Coming or going it is impressive.


Off Again: to Japan


Here are all the places we plan to visit together. I am going again with my friend Cathy Cerny. She has done all the planning just like in many previous trips. I counted 9 hotels in 21 days so we’ll be moving right along. I hope I can do a post every day! – Click photos to enlarge –

Our first trip is a flight to Amami Island to the town of Oshima. (it is way south and off my map.) We want to see a particular type of ikat called orijimi. The resist is done on a loom forming a mat with the ikat warps or wefts to be woven in. Then the mat is unwoven to reveal the resisted places (dots) where the warps on the original weaving resisted the dye. The dye is also a special mud dye from the area. Oshima fabrics are expensive and have been imitated. We will look at the selvedges to see the tiny white dots to be sure we are getting the true orijimi technique. A friend and expert sent me this precious fragment so we would know what to look for.

I’m going to China with Yoshiko Wada from Slow Fiber Studios


Here is one of the lovely towns we’ll visit before the symposium. There are three parts of the trip and I am going on all three–one before the symposium (Shanghai and ancient villages nearby), one in Hangzhou during the BoND Symposium on Natural Dyes (where my piece will be in the exhibition),  and the third after the symposium. On the first part we’ll visit Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang with traditional highligts at Jin Ze Arts Centre.

The tour after the symposium will explore first-hand heritage provinces of minority group Yi in Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Yi Minority Aautonomous Prefecture. This area is most interesting and not so easily visited. These groups are ethnically different from the main Chinese people.

Another exhotic scene.

More from the last part.


 


Here is the website for Slow Fiber Studios China tour. Yoshiko’s trips are fantastic. She knows so many people and we visit textile people, not just tourist sites. 

I Got Accepted into the China Show!!


The Chinese National silk Museum is in a huge and beautiful building.

Here is one of the exhibition spaces. I wonder if our show will be there.

Now I have my business cards made–It is beginning to feel like it is really going to be.

I am going with my very favorite tour guide, Yoshiko Wada, with Slow Fiber Studios. There are two tours with her plus going to the BoND Symposium. The tour before is around the area of Shanghai and the tour after is to the Yi Minority Autonomous Region in Southwest Cina. Yoshiko’s trips are THE BEST. If you’ve folled my blog you know. I think registration is still open. Contact Slow Fiber Studios.

“Colorful World: Overview of Natural Dyes” The First Biennale of Natural Dyes 
The advent of synthetic dyes in the 19th century has brought a steep decline in the centuries-old productions of natural dyes around the world. The beginning of the 21st century, however, saw a revival of interest in natural dyes as more people turn to nature for solace and harmonious living. Now, many international communities are advocating the use of natural dyes in modern practices and promoting researches on ancient dyeing techniques. In recognition for these artistic and scientific endeavors, the China National Silk Museum (CNSM) organizes the first biennale of natural dyes, with an aim to embrace the beauty of nature, as well as to explore the ancient wisdom and knowledge embodied in the traditional craft of dyeing.

Jacket to be shared!


Here’s the jacket–Cathy Cerny and I are sharing it. I have the summer when I go to Japan and Cathy has the fall when her exhibition opens in the fall. After that we’ll dicide how the sharing will go. Neither one of us could bear to part with it.

Here’s a map of where I’ll be for the 11th International Shibori Symposium. I’ll begin around June 23rd or so. Bye for now! 

Japan Tour 2018 – I’ve Arrived


Travel Day/1. The airport in Tokyo was mobbed because it was the end of Golden Week a big holiday week. This was the line waiting for buses into Tokyo. We were thrilled that our friends met us and drove us to our hotel. Than goodness for GPS!

Travel Day 2. Our hotel. We have stayed here many times. Seem so comfortable being in Japan again.

Travel Day/3. We knew we were here when we saw this in our hotel room.

Travel Day/4. Here were the instructions for the toilet. However it flushed automatically. Often I couldn’t find how to flush on previous trips.

Off to Japan Again!


I leave on May 5 and return May 30! The map shows where we’ll be travelling which is all new territory for Cathy Cerny and me. We’ll be more in the countryside (I think) this time. We fly into Tokyo at Narita Airport and soon take off to the north for Nagaoka after one day to visit our most favorite places and regroup. I marked our locations on the map with black spots. You will notice that there will be a lot of area to cover in 3 1/2 weeks. We’ll be staying in 10 hotels including our two times in Tokyo. At the end we have 5 nights in Tokyo for some time to revisit places and a flea market. We’ll be joined by two friends of Cathy for about a week or so and that will help a lot with translating and company. Otherwise it will be just Cathy and me. She did all the research for textile workshops, studios, shops and museums along the way. 

I am almost packed to leave in the morning. We can ship our big suitcases ahead to the next town and they will be waiting at our next hotel! This makes travelling in Japan really easy. We only have our carry-on bags with us on the train or when we have a hotel for just one night. 

I hope you can keep up with us (and that I can, too)!

My Travel Vest


After each trip I seem to need to patch worn places and last time, a 3-corner tear. (I learned the name for that kind of tear in 4-H as a kid). When we took this photo, I realized that I’d sewn one of the pockets shut!! Another job to do before the next trip. Here is the current version after the trip to Japan in May. It felt so good when I put it on for the photos–nice and clean. At the end of a trip it is limp from sweat and constant wearing every day! I love it because of the pockets: for my camera, purse, train tickets, hotel key pad and pen. This is a Safekeeper vest made by Marion Gartler in Seattle. She brought them to Berkeley for a trunk show a few years ago.