Posts Tagged ‘NC Japan Center’

bloomin’ colors

May 14, 2015

The afternoon at the NC Japan Center has been in the works for some time.


Finally, on Saturday, it came into fruition and what fun! It was for the kids, but parents were in tow. Both kids & parents seemed fully engaged – couldn’t ask for more.


The adults watched the sky. Clouds hovered and threatened, but rain didn’t move in until I was leaving. It was a delightful day, needless to say.

a vase full and more

a vase full and more

Then, Mothers Day and so many flowers…what a treat. I spent some of my time planting them.


This coming week, Shibori in Bloomin’ Colors is on the horizon (Pullen Arts Center), so Roy G. Biv comes to mind.


late summer haze

September 4, 2014

As my writings seem to be settling into a  Thursday to Thursday pattern, the week begins on Friday. Rather than a week ending, it’s a beginning. This week began with the opening reception of Matsuri/祭り at the NC Japan Center, where Yoshiko Sumikawa’s gentle but joyful watercolors illustrate aspects of the diverse matsuri (festivals) that take place in Japan throughout the seasons.



Typically, though, they are summertime high energy events full of color, music, dancing, food and fireworks. They’re also a reflection of tradition – something I am always attracted to.


low hanging “kaki’ – tempting the deer?

The rest of the week? It feels like we’re in the dog days and I’ve been looking at what is surviving in these days of high heat and humidity.

the Argentine Sage is abundant

the Argentine Sage is abundant

The delivery date for the upcoming Threads exhibit (see the Events page) is coming soon, so focus has continued to be on the stitch.

it goes where & how it wants

the thread goes where & how it wants

Still enjoying it and the textures it creates.



Some threaded guidelines are disappearing as I complete the above. It’s nearly complete – a few more rows – perhaps today. I look forward to seeing it in the gallery.

花の宴・Hana no En

April 18, 2014

A phrase that keeps coming to mind, from my usual resource (for haiku and similar), is 「春高楼の花の宴」・はるこうろうの はなの えん・haru kourou no hana no en. In researching its meaning, reference to a song appeared repeatedly and finally found that it is the first line to Kōjō no Tsuki – “Moon over the Ruined Castle”. It seems to allude to Cherry blossom viewing parties (in the castle tower?) and the abundance or “feast of flowers” – something like that.


blooms at the NC Japan Center


In any event, the phrase hana no en (feast of flowers) seems appropriate to our current season and nature’s abundant response to this past winter. That sense spilled over onto the last weekend’s events – Slow Art Day and the current exhibit at the NC Japan Center.


Wild North Carolina Wisteria

Junko Yamada - Harie

Junko Yamada – Harie

Slow Art Day must have taken everyone outdoors (the weather was superb!) as numbers of visitors to the Gregg was “meager”, but still the quality of the visits and experience made it worth the effort and time – engaging conversations and good food! Later I moved on to the Japan Center and Junko Yamada’s Harie.

Her collages are a unique approach to working with paper (extremely meticulous). She lends a deeply personal perspective as she explores hidden treasures in what seem to be “old Japan” as well as speaking of home, the environment and the ephemeral.

Summer Garden

Summer Garden

My personal favorite was her latest, Summer Garden. It feels so familiar.

catching up

April 14, 2013


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Yesterday felt more like a Sunday than what it was (a Saturday). It may have had to do with having spent the latter half of the day at the Japan Center. I think it had to do with stopping – slowing down – breathing – and taking time to focus on the surroundings – conversations and the watercolors on exhibit indoors. it was a refreshing afternoon.

The pine pollen has arrived with the warm weather, but so far it hasn’t been a discouragement from yard work. The garden beckons these days – there’s much to be done there. I did manage to plant a few seeds (we’ll see what happens), pull weeds and that kind of thing.

Warm weather also means time to rev up the organic vat. It seems to be coming along.


There are also projects/pieces in the making. It takes time and patience, but finally the warm weather.

I’ve got a few experiments in mind, things I’ve been thinking about since fall at least or even last summer. So once the studio is in order (it truly will happen) I can begin to approach those ideas and I can’t wait!

Winter exhibit at the NC Japan Center

January 12, 2013

The reception is this afternoon.  Just thought I’d mention it.

winter show 12-13

Vat work

September 7, 2012

the vat
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I could also say that I’m like that nearly empty vat (exhausted), but fortunately not. However, it is the largest vat I’ve worked with to date – 20 gallons and it fits the bill for what I’m working with at the moment. It offers a lot of flexibility, so I’m likely to use it a lot and maybe make another one, same size or half the size of another kind. It’s simply time to expand.

At any rate, it has been a full week of dyeing “stuff” (can’t say what at this point – under “constraints”) and a challenge. As I mentioned before, it’s given me a good deal to think about while working in and out of the unpredictable stormy weather.

I’ve got a few more weeks to go from my calculations, or it could be a little less. Today and tomorrow though, I’m taking time to focus on the brief workshop at the Japan Center. I’m enjoying the break.

藍染T-シャツ 子供クラス – Indigo Dyeing for Children

August 31, 2012

A recent post from the NC Japan Center and  thought I’d translate (with a little help) & pass it along (I also need the language practice).  It’s true though, I’m teaching a very short “intro to indigo” class to the younger generation in roughly a week.

藍染T-シャツ 子供クラス

Aizome T-Shatsu      Kodomo kurasu

Indigo Dyed T-shirt Children’s Class


Jibun dake no aizome no T shatsu o tsukutte mimsen ka?

Would you like to make you’re own indigo dyed T-shirt?

Susan O.Fennell 先生が丁寧におしえてくださります。
Susan Fennell sensei ga teinei ni oshiete kudasarimasu.

Susan O. Fennell sensei is teaching the class.

日時:9月8日 (土曜日)

Jikan: Kugatsu Youka (Doyoubi)

Date: Sept. 8 (Saturday)

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Zairyohi:  Jyuu doru

Materials fee:  $10.00

T-shatsu wa zairyohi ni fukumaremasen no de, toujitsu omochikudasai.

T-shirt is not included in the materials fee, so please bring your own.

705 Barbour Dr. Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone(919) 515-3450

Tanabata /’Bon

July 9, 2012

hanging tanabata wishes

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Officially it was 102 sweltering degrees on Saturday, but I know that those temps can vary from spot to spot. In the shade it was bearable and it helped to begin the evening with a bowl of shaved ice topped with matcha, red beans & sweetened condensed milk – dessert first.

Later, I moved onto a serving of chirashizushi for sustenance. Even later, that was topped off with dango (generously covered in a sweet soy sauce) and chilled mugicha.

Yukata were the traditional garb of the evening but a friend later told me that she opted out for western clothing as wearing an obi was too much for such a hot day. I can’t say that I blame her. I’m glad some did, though, as that’s one of my favorite things to see at a matsuri. They may not be truly cooling, but their colors and patterns do lift the spirit (at least mine!).

Another favorite is the ‘Bon Odori – folk dancing specific to the Obon festival – danced in a large circle. Then there’s the music – minyo – traditional folk – Tanko Bushi, Tokyo Ondo and one from Kagoshima (was that just happenstance?). In spite of that dreadful heat, 楽しかった・tanoshikatta! It was fun.

Coming up at the Japan Center: Yuya Chiba

June 8, 2012

The reception is coming up very soon, this coming Sunday (Fathers Day).

I definitely don’t want to miss this one.

Spring exhibit at the NC Japan Center

April 9, 2012

Something I don’t want to miss – planning to attend.

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