Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

It’s still spring….

April 20, 2017


At the moment, I don’t know where or how to begin.  It would be an understatement though no matter how I described how this season has gone (so far) and what’s to be anticipated in the near future.  There is so much to look forward to.

To step back, a little, I have finally completed the yukata that was a huge preoccupation since last summer.  I’m happy and honored that it’s part of an exhibit, “Filaments of the Imagination”, at the Durham Arts Council.  And there are so many delightful treasures to explore in this exhibit.  If you happen to be in the area, please drop by and see it.  “We” (my Threads group) are exhibiting through May 11 (we are disassembling on the 12th).

Upcoming, (see the Workshops page & link), one month from now, is a 2 day workshop in shibori and indigo dyeing at the NC museum of art.  Needless to say, I’m looking forward to teaching this in a new studio situation.  So, join us.  We’ll have fun!

Yes, the sun does still come out, my siblings and I share stories and laugh.  There is sadness, we miss her.  It was complex.  But she gave and taught us much.  We have yet to celebrate her life as a family and that is also upcoming in late spring.

Mom never saw my yukata, but I did describe it to her and we talked about the imagery.  It was one of my last conversations with her.  The imagery is a mix, but universal, as it talks about summer universally, but some aspects of summer that I experience (always) and loved from my years in Japan, North Carolina and visiting my sister’s home in Wisconsin (up on Lake Superior).

I’m amazed it’s still spring and there’s more and more coming.  I haven’t even mentioned the garden – so much work to do and now we have an abundance of fearless rabbits, it seems.  Things are ongoing.


late greeting…still…

January 26, 2016

Of course, I was going to ‘catch’ this event before the pod burst, as I didn’t want milkweed seeds floating around my house.


               milkweed pod with seeds.

I’d brought in the pot to protect it from the cold and to encourage more growth and development,  also to ‘catch’ some seeds – it worked.


Ice on Mahonia – from the recent ice storm – it melted quickly.

January has had to be a respite and I may just be getting started with the idea. It’s not a bad thing. I’ve been reading, researching, re-thinking my approaches to some aspects of my work, to name a few…. I’ve been enjoying the relative quiet.


detail from a noren – hiragana so in shibori & indigo.

Things will continue to be made, as that kind of activity feeds me. It’s the same for workshops – they will continue to be offered. It’s just going to be a different year compared to the recent past. I suspect the focus will be more on making – continuing dialogues with fiber, dye, and threads – of course, indigo and shibori.


a taste…shibori & indigo on a line.

On that note, as mentioned previously, and listed on my ‘Workshops’ page, there is an upcoming workshop at Pullen Arts Center (Raleigh). The weekly evening classes begin in late February and go through mid-March. I look forward to that opportunity.

And one more thing:
Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
In this (new) year also, I hope for your favor.

Shinnen omedetougozaimasu.
Happy New Year!

silly, fun, but open doors to possibility….

November 12, 2015

The sun’s out after more rain, and the weather is so fine – mild, breezy (a front’s moving in) – a perfect autumn day. A late monarch even paused on one of my milkweed blossoms – too brief to photo, but long enough to note the variations in their reds and oranges.

milkweed pods - slow progress, but progress nevertheless

milkweed pods – slow progress, but progress nevertheless

This week brought to completion my workshop on creating texture. I will miss this class and their quiet explorations. They simply continued to reinforce why I teach – their questing, discovering considering, thinking – they challenge.  In the days that follow each class, I also ponder and wonder.

student work - exploration in texture & landscape

student work – exploration in texture & landscape

We don’t always find the answers, but the journey is…quite the thing. So, even though classes were over a 5 week period, it feels like we were just getting started and it is a slow process.


lamb – why do I enjoy the piece so much?

Imagery was fun, fanciful, sometimes silly…but definitely open doors to possibility. I think we all had fun with it. So, I’m really looking forward to more exploring coming in late February (listed on the “Upcoming Workshops” page).

the light has shifted

October 9, 2015

The sun is out finally and even in a week’s time the light has shifted. My small raised beds are mostly in shade now. Still, the seeds I planted in the spring are finally beginning to bloom, so I hope they will yet produce some seed.

Milkweed finally beginning to blossom in the autumnal morning light

Milkweed finally beginning to blossom in the autumnal morning light

If protected from frost, there might be a chance for further development along that line. The early cold snaps, in general, don’t always last in this area.

“texture” study

Another “texture” piece – water, fins…it touches on themes in my upcoming class.  It was an experiment and  wonder if I’d chosen a different cloth or perhaps if the vat was a little more “energetic” how different would the results be? The fish was more complicated than anticipated.

Elements of the Season - detail

Elements of the Season – detail

Today, the stitching is complete – one element of the piece recalls the unusual rains we had recently. The stitches made me think of raindrops as I worked.

editing, and re-editing because I couldn't

editing, and re-editing because I couldn’t “save” it – frustration city.

I’m between computers at the moment, making another transition before this old one suddenly crashes. Last night, I was beginning a relearning of GIMP – I haven’t used it for years. It’s sophisticated and challenging. My mind feels a bit rusty.

fixed on the weather

March 5, 2015

I admit, I’m fixed on the weather – the temps and whatever else it brings. It has a large affect on how my days go, particularly when dyeing is involved. That’s the situation today.



It’s been over a week though, since my foray to Florida to join some of my far-flung siblings and cousins for an auspicious family event. My mother turned 90, so we celebrated – had a grand time.

The ice was heavy on tree limbs

The ice was heavy on tree limbs

On my return though, I was greeted with another snow/ice storm which took out our power for most of a day. We’ve had worse, but it was still a reminder that we are not well prepared for these things in our area.

snow on sweetgum tree

snow on Sweetgum tree

Still I don’t like to miss the opportunity of catching nature when it brings us to a stand-still.

yesterday, in the 70s

yesterday, in the 70s

Yesterday, though, an abrupt change, a spike to 75 °, a chance to catch up on some work.  But today….rain with a good chance of sleet and ice. Nature and the weather….

By the way, my workshops page has been updated – that April workshop at the museum…well, ready for your consideration. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


seeking “sekka”

February 12, 2015

Sometimes, you have to create your own if Mother Nature isn’t going to accommodate.  Last Saturday and Sunday, certain adventurous women made that work. Their wintery explorations went far beyond what I could have imagined – they were full of the amazing.


Asanoha – hemp leaf pattern in “itajime”


understated perfection

I cannot thank my wonderful students enough for attending, participating and engaging with “the stuff.” It was delightful in so many ways.


a small class, but more room for play

Pullen Arts Center also provided a comfortable, wide open space and other aspects of a studio needed for a dye studio – huge steel sinks and a space for clotheslines. My gratitude to them also for hosting my workshops.

While on the topic, my next workshop will be April 25th and 26th at the NC Museum of Art. More specifics will be upcoming. Currently, information is in the museum’s Preview magazine, it will be available online in the near future.

I suppose the question might be, did we inspire “that” goddess? It remains to be seen, I suppose. I keep seeing hints that winter isn’t quite over for us in the Triangle.  Regardless, 雪花 (yukibana) happened here.

some considerations

January 23, 2015

Back to it after some gloomy, damp winter weather and a bit of a respite. This week, for a few days, the weather turned spring like with welcome sunshine and milder temperatures. The idea of not dipping seemed like a missed opportunity. The vats had a bit of “revamping” with sunbeams to boot.

January dipping

January dipping

Truth be told, I’m preparing for an early February workshop celebrating wintery motifs – an emphasis on sekka/snowflakes and itajime/board clamping. More information can be found here but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.



This month I’ve needed a break, a breather. I’ve taken that point of view as I was “ordered” to do so after giving myself a mild concussion a few weeks back. It has seemed prudent to take things at a more measured pace. However, I’ve returned to old habits – too easy to do. Generally, it’s made me aware that some things need to change.


a crop from a larger photo – early days in Kagoshima. I love the dress and am impressed that she’s wearing a hat!

Another thing occupying my thoughts and activities is a project centering on my mother who celebrates her 90th year in roughly a month. It has involved looking at old photos of her and what surfaces, on one level, is her sense of style. That aspect has carried through her long life.  She always presents herself well.

Over the holidays I read Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and enjoyed it thoroughly. Between the two, I’ve had many thoughts about my own clothing influences as well as simply considering my mother’s style in the context of her times and the culture in which she immersed herself. Sometimes I wonder “Who was she? What was she thinking?” The stories that come to mind…!

stitch variations

October 30, 2014

Apart from getting together with friends in different contexts and meeting the “demands” of what I consider work, which I enjoy tremendously, my mind and body have been in a quiet (mostly mental) rebellion all week. Things did eventually settle and maybe garden work was the cure.

a piece in Peg's studio

a piece in Peg’s studio

My class in stitched shibori is ongoing, and to prepare for it, I’m making a collection of small samples.

One day, they may become a book (textile/fiber type).


definitely shaped shibori


bold orinui and it’s autumnal

The class is going swimmingly as far as I can tell. There was much more activity in the vats, so more pieces on the line. I like their explorations, their thinking.

7446A 7447A

Last week’s “assignment” was variations in the straight stitch. There were, of course other experiments going on…to be expected and fun to see.

All in tune

June 26, 2014

A dripping June sets all in tune. (proverb)
Ame no ooi roku gatsu wa, sakubutsu o teichaku saseru. (kotowaza)

Over last weekend we officially stepped into the next season. The cicadas say so with their loud mi—mi—miii– and so far, the persimmons are growing plumper by the week. They are not quite golf ball size yet.

Kaki Canopy

Kaki Canopy

Most of the previous week went into preparing for a much anticipated workshop at the NC Museum of Art as well as continued over dyeing on a length of linen. The piece is still on pause at the moment, but the workshop took place over the weekend.

in the studio

in the studio

Needless to say, it was a delight and that was due to the very game participants who were eager to “swim” or immerse in the blue. I told my mother they were “up to their elbows.” That’s almost no exaggeration.


early in the process, so things look pretty neat

My goal was to give them as full an overview of the subject matter as time allowed. They had 2 full days to manipulate cloth pieces by binding, clamping, stitching and pole wrapping. By the second day, each student, it seems, found favorite areas of focus and pursued those approaches.


arashi was a winner


While this was a ‘full experience’ with students being given a variety of tools (never enough) to at least suggest the variety of possibilities in this kind of pattern making, my thoughts run to simplifying things. How to do more with less? Or simply with less and accomplish the same?  Summer has more challenges ahead.


In my last entry I mentioned an exercise or sample piece in process. It was finally completed in class and dyed, but had to dry it at home. It’s a thing that wanted trying – good for the fingers, the brain, simply good practice – makiage (stitched & bound) shibori.  From start to finish, it took a week to take it this far. The next step is a mystery.

the workshop – reflections

May 22, 2014

This last weekend, Janine LeBlanc and I presented the “Tradition on Tradition” textile workshop for the Gregg Museum of Art and Design. Since it was being presented during the exhibition time of REMNANTS Of THE FLOATING WORLD, it seemed appropriate to reference imagery found in that collection (both in prints and objects).




detail from wedding kimono

The write up for the class says, “participants will create patterning on cloth using a traditional form of Japanese textile craft, shiborizome, using stitch resist and indigo dyeing.” After it was over, I asked myself, did we accomplish that?



"Asa no Ha"  pattern

“Asa no Ha” pattern

I think we did. We looked at images from the collection in class and some had visited the exhibit before that time. So there was time to consider the imagery.


“nui” explorations


explorations in “nui”

However things went, I felt like the work accomplished was an authentic reflection of the spirit of that exhibit. I couldn’t ask for more in that regard. It was also a delightful experience, meeting and working with the high level of enthusiasm and engagement of our participants (and many thanks!).

the Class

almost the whole class

In the same “breath” I also need to mention next month’s workshop which is also listed on my Upcoming Workshops page. I hope (dear reader) you will take note and follow the appropriate links (and please join us for another dip in that “blew” stuff!).

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