long time, no blog

well, no better time than the now

I have a good tiedyer friend who passed on into the blue yonder just a while back, and have had the good fortune of having had a certain amount of his remains entrusted to me for enshrinement here in Japan, on the mountain out back. And this morning we took him up the mountain, my boys and i.

I told them about Michel on the way up, how he touched a lot of people through his posts on FB and through his tie dye even though he had never met so many of them in the flesh. I thought of his almost daily posts, mandalas, poems, rants, witty comments and observations, entreatments for a sale so he could buy Mt Dew and other necessities of life. He was a big part of my life, like a brother, and his sudden departure echoed across months, even now.

So we went up the mountain to a shrine almost at the top. There is a large outcropping of bedrock along the front face of the mountain, and one large boulder has broken loose and split in two. Legend has it that a certain earthquake split the rock over a hundred years back. Now, the space created under the two pieces is revered as a Shinto shrine, with deities and offerings. This was the first place that i had planned to enshrine my friend.

So i reached down and found an appropriate piece of wood which i used to scoop a small amount of the remains from the bag and then set them on a rock in front of the shrine. No sooner had i set this bit down, not a second after, a temple bell tolled somewhere from below, clearly, once. The timing could not have been better.

A temple bell, and it must have been a large one, because the tone was low and carried long. I do not even know of such a bell in the area, and i tend to know the temples which are around. I have never once heard such a bell from my house below, and i have been here for 12 years now.

I looked up, surprised, at my boys, who were staring back at me in disbelief. My younger boy let out a nervous laugh, and remarked it was scary. The japanese people are very superstitious , especially about things surrounding death. But I was happy to hear the bell. For me, it was loud and clear, purely an affirmation. Michel was where he should be.

After this, I moved away from the shrine somewhat to a cliff area, a lookout ridge that faces south over the expansive bowl of civilization, towns and buildings. It was where i had planned to leave my friend to rest, a place with a view, a look out spot, able to take flight in his astral journey through parallel planes and lands we can only dream of. And i placed the rest of him there.

It was out on a cliff, off the beaten path, and on our way back to the shrine from there, my boy exclaimed and poimnted at my feet. Down below there were feathers strewn across the pine needles, feathers adorned with blue and white stripes. The gift, the thank you, balancing out.

I picked up the feathers and put them in the package which used to carry my friends essence , and after saying a prayer, brought them back down, back down to a different realm, our realm. When you follow a path of karma, observing as you go, the affirmations come, and the gifts follow. : )


Workshop time in LA(Long Beach)!!!

It’s comin’ up on that time of year! That time that I look forward to, going on over to Glennis’ in California to teach together with her. Link below.Image

This year, we are teaching BOTH mandala shibori AND itajime techniques in a three-day course. Mandalas basically being circular patterns which display different magnitudes of symmetry. Itajime shibori is an ancient japanese technique, but I initially approached it for a different reason. For me, the initial attraction was the fact that it is also repeated mandalas, if you look at it that way. And also the fact that Japanese width fabric lends itself so perfectly to such a technique!Image

Today, I completed this panel which combines both techniques in one work. The central mandala is 6 points in the middle, doubling to 12 points partway thru. Anybody who knows me and my work knows I love and prefer 6 and variables thereof, like 12 and 24. Six is displayed in nature in crystals of ice, and elsewhere, and the 12-point mandala surrounded by six-pointers seen in the itajime pattern (hard to make out clearly with this one, too many colors) is a basic representation of the structure within certain energy flow models. Sacred geometry, baby!


Granted, our first pieces don’t have to go the full nine-yards like this one did. We will learn and practice on both silk and cotton, steadily and repetitively over the three days. You will certainly get  the practice needed to retain the technique, so you you can take it with you and make it your own! : ) Everybody should dye mandalas!! It’s too fun!We are still looking for more students, so if you think you are interested, get in touch! : )

There’s the link below.

Super Glennis~~~~~~~~~スッパアグレニス

OK, I have a new hero! International shibori master Glennis Dolce. Damn!!

She was in Nagoya with her man Phil and we got together and she blew my mind, what a wild woman, tie-dye wild woman!

When I get bigger, I wanna be like Glennis! Definitely, a lot for me to learn. Hard worker. Creative volcano.

Now the California at the far end of the tunnel looks a bit closer and clearer…



彼氏と名古屋に来て、会って完全にやられた!! 絞り大真央!ボくがおおきくなったらグレニスみたいになりたい!! 勉強になるわ〜〜〜!! よくがんばっとる!


Warm day to dye—染めにぴったり合うあったかい日

OK, back after disaster.. I was frozen for a while, but I’m back in action.
It’s a warm day. Spring is on it’s way. the wind is blowing from the south today, which is the summer pattern.
This is my dye table, after a much too cold winter. Lots of cups, too many. Winter being cold, dye liquid keeps for long. So I just can’t throw things away, so after a few months, it’s gotten to this. I need to do socks or something else to get rid of it.
That’s a hemp tee with a mandala sticking out to th side there in process. It’s starting out super-yellow. The owner has instructed me to make it not so yellow.
今日はあったかく、春が来るぞっ! 風が南から吹いている;春一番!

Bamboo socks with green tea and onion skin-緑茶玉ねぎ染めの明晩染めの竹靴下

Dyed up a bunch of bamboo (94%/spandex 6%) sock with green tea/iron mordant and onion skins/alum.

First shot after laundering, next I’ve put like with like. I’ll add a better photo eventually.



Hello world! ウィーッス

Yowza, a blog! If my head doesn’t pop, this should be fun…

ウィーッス! ブログ だ! ちょっと なれる まで じかん かかる かな?