Friday, November 21, 2014

What happens when the cup was already full and you try to add more?

Ayako Yoshizumi in front of the paper windows her students made that cover the glass windows of a lovely lunch room. She has had a remarkable career of teaching washi to elementary school children. I saw her a few hours after I got off the plane, escorted by another woman who did remarkable translations.
This classroom is way more amazing and well equipped than most colleges/grad schools I've seen. Can you imagine having this in elementary school?!?!
Chestnuts that are used to dip into colored pulp for fun. I got a pulp dipped one to take home. Prickly!
Kozo grows directly outside the classroom. We didn't get to see it until after dark but there was some light from the windows.
I'm not sure how I'm still upright at this point, while these two are so energetic! Yuriko RAN to get an express train on the way and I could barely keep up. In fact, I was not really keeping up, but thank goodness the doors did not close on me.
That sign says something about a class going on for many years. I just like the photo because Yoshizumi-san is in the mirror.
Who's who?
The kids make their own diploma paper in 6th grade to graduate and learn to make paper from kozo directly in 4th grade. They even have decorated the bathrooms (see the boy and girl above?) with washi on all the different floors.
150-year-old gingko wood drying boards from Ichibei-san, the Japanese beloved national treasure. His brushes, too. He signed and gifted them to Yoshizumi-san. Precious.
Today I went to visit Sind and meet Ryoko and Richard. This piece of his is outrageously gorgeous, an old saw on paper. 
Emiko Nakano also joined us. This is one of her pieces, made from pages of old account books.
She got this while antiquing, an old futon cover with cotton warp. She could see it was shifu from the slubs.
A very famous shifu book written by a shifu master who passed away. He came from a samurai family. I saw pictures. Impressive!
The itajime on this paper is ridiculously beautiful.
The entire sheet is so huge you can't even see where it ends. Richard made it.
I almost passed out when I saw this gorgeous dress with fabric that Ryoko had designed. The dress and paper use the same wood blocks to print/dye.
Emiko used 2mm washi to make this huge piece of shifu, cotton warp. She is still unwilling to cut it.
She brought these samples to show me.
Richard's new studio space above where they live (which is above the shop). He tore and pasted indigo-dyed washi onto the ceiling. He spends part of the week here and part of the week at his studio w/the paper mill a ways away. How sad am I that I don't get to visit that one?
That's what you see from out the door of the studio.
An old Korean lacquered paper amazement.
Guess who has stayed up WAY TOO LATE? But has finally finished transcribing three days worth of field notes from two countries? Let's hope I am functional tomorrow morning for two more interviews, a shop visit, and another meeting with a washi contemporary.


Anonymous said...

amazing, overwhelming, such beauty. thank you for sharing.

Velma Bolyard said...

OH MY GOD!!!!! i am completely overwhelmed. in heaven.

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed by all that you are doing, experiencing and taking the time to share with us! All I can say is WOW!

Therese said...

uh huh...everyone's said it all for me. geez, Aimee ~ what a yummy time you are having !!!!! tonight i'll dream of shifu.

mjc said...

Yes, definitely, heavenly, every little bit!