Musubu/むすぶ – to tie or wrap up

It feels like a good many things are being tied or wrapped up – not just gifts.  The year is winding down, nature seems mostly at rest (unless you’re in the south), things are being quickly drawn to a conclusion.  That also means, if there are plans for the year ahead, they are quickly being finalized.  At least, that seems to be the case for some things, and with me, to a degree.

Plans for workshops are being finalized, which means promise in the new year – something to look forward to.  The only thing “on paper” that I can mention at the moment is the “demo” or very mini-workshop offered as part of the NCMA book club discussion of Jenny Balfour-Paul’s book, Indigo.  It will give the participants a chance to not only experience the color but the dye – to see how it works, which (I hope) will explain the love for and mystique surrounding.  My “vats” will also participate.



In the kitchen:  Long ago, luck and good health were often at the top of things desired when looking into a new year.   They still are, and I’ve just recently learned that around or on the Winter Solstice, it’s recommended that one eat pumpkin, squash or a vegetable in that family (actually they may be a fruit…). It’s known as 冬至カボチャ/どうじかぼちゃ/douji kabocha or winter solstice squash. I made up an early pot of soup recently and savored the aroma and taste of herbs, apples and butternut squash.


In the Studio: Explorations with this gummed silk are moving slowly and deliberately.  This particular sample is in itajime and instead of dyeing it, it was put through a degumming process.  So, the exposed (“frosty”) areas drew up tightly creating a different texture and dynamic.

As I said earlier, the material is precious, so I’m taking my time with it.   I have so many more questions about this silk and its implications.

There’s no need to rush things and we’re in a “particular” season now!


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2 Responses to “Musubu/むすぶ – to tie or wrap up”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    i’ve been following the kabocha tradition wout knowing about it 🙂
    one thing i did know about was the gummed silk. i wove some scarves and then processed them .
    are you familiar w. the second wada book?

    • Susan Says:

      It looks like good luck and health is in the forecast for you!
      About that 2nd Wada book, yes, I have it and have been studying those
      images and reading their descriptions with great interest.

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