Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nagoya Class 3

After breakfast we left for the Nagoya workshop.  The first two pictures are just fun street things, one is utility cover and the other is a cross walk button.

There were only 6 women in this class, which made is a nice quiet class.

After class we took the bullet train to Kyoto. After checking-in we went to a favorite place of mine. A wonderful fabric store called Nomura Tailor.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nagoya sightseeing day

My first day in Nagoya was a sightseeing one. Mrs. Takeda picked me up in the morning. Our first stop was Nagoya castle. I had visited here four years ago. They have done an amazing amount of reconstruction since then. We were greeted by two young men in period costumes. 

At the entrance you can see a large metal building on the left. Under this temporary building they are reconstructing the original palace from scratch by traditional methods. The silk screens and wood craftsmanship is gorgeous.

After the castle we visited one my favorite shops, the 100 yen store.  Our dollar store equivalent but much of the merchandise is a better than ours.

After the 100 yen store we went to two fabulous exhibits. 

The first one was an exhibition of a selection of works by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) an ukiyo-e (a genre of woodblock prints and paintings) artist active in the late Edo period, from the world-famous collection of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts(MFA), Boston.

The second was an exhibition of some 140 works spanning the four-decade career of one of Japan’s most well-known embroidery artists, Shizuka Kusano. 

Being a lover of all the needle arts, I could have spent all day just looking at this beautiful exhibit.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tokyo Class 2

 My second workshop day in Tokyo followed the first. After breakfast with my host, we took a taxi to the workshop because it was further away than the first one.

There was 21 students, some I recognized from my first trip in 2010. One of the younger tatters spoke very good English, she had been born in the US when her parents lived in San Diego and later returned to receive her Master’s degree from Sacramento State.

Trophies were awarded to the tatted pendants (some in #160 size thread) and to the beautiful collar and flower pin. After class many of the ladies came all the way to the train station to wish me a save trip as my host and left on the Shinkansen for Nagoya.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tokyo Class 1

My first workshop was in Tokyo. Mrs. Nagai picked me up and took me to the workshop. While we were waiting she gave me a beautiful handmade wood shuttle that she had ordered for me a year ago.
There were 18 tatters in this workshop. My interpreter was Mrs. Hori. She had spent time in Chicago, St. Louis and New York city while her husband worked in the US. All went smoothly and the ladies seemed to like my new butterfly pattern. I will publish it after my class in Montana. 

For those that have considered visiting Japan, I would encourage it. Japanese people are the most considerate people in the world; they are courteous, helpful and generous. Public transportation is abundant and easy to use.

As you can see by the examples displayed, the Japanese tatters are very good and have very creative ideas. Trophies for this class went to the beaded owls and to the two purses. I hope to have pictures of the tatters soon. The beautiful beaded purse was presented to me as a gift after class. The pattern is from a 2014 book by Tomoko Morimoto.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

8 days in Japan

This time I have only 4 classes, 2 in Tokyo, 1 in Nagoya and 1 in Kyoto. On my off days I am taken sightseeing by my host or one of his helpers. It all goes by very fast.

The classes are 10 am to 3 pm. In the mornings we stop at a local store to pick up a drink and box lunch on the way to class. The first thing I do is set up a display table with examples and variations of the class pattern. I also bring tatting shuttles and samples of other things I enjoy tatting.

The class begins with a short introduction with the help of my interpreter. Then the students are given the instructions that have been translated in to Japanese. When they reach a technique that some may not have done before, I will demonstrate for them. Advanced tatters are paired with new tatters to help them and occasionally I will sit with them also.  We have lunch 12-12:30, after lunch I talk about my display. Around 2:00 I take down my display and take class pictures. Then the class members display things they have tatted during the year and I’m asked to choose two to receive trophies. This is definitely the hardest thing I have to do because most them are very accomplished tatters.

Japanese tatters are the same as tatters everywhere. Fast or slow, young or old, they chat, laugh and enjoy tatting together.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Japan return trip

My special blessing in life is being invited back to Japan for a second time to teach a tatting class.

I left on a Wednesday night and arrived in Tokyo on Thursday night after a 10 hour flight. Mr. Shokoin met me at the airport and took me to a nearby hotel. 
In the morning we moved my things to a more central Tokyo hotel where I was met my Mrs. Mutsumi Wataru.
I know no Japanese nor did she know any English but between our two dictionaries, we communicated very well. We first went to the Mikimoto store in the Ginza district to see a hooked embroidery exhibit that was unfortunately closed (but the pearls were gorgeous).  From there we went to the Emperor’s palace. We walked around the beautiful outside gardens unfortunately the inside gardens were closed because of a visiting dignitary. I managed to snap a few pictures of the unknown dignitary getting a ride around the palace in a horse drawn carriage, which I was told was a very unusual event. 

Besides lunch and a little shopping it was fun seeing the famous Kabukiza Theater and Tokyo Station. 
Thanks for a great day Mutsumi.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A new year

Happy New Year to all. I haven't blogged in a long time, but the tatting never stops, especially those last couple of months before Christmas. This year I did a few Christmas bulbs like last year and lots of snowflakes, because I finally ordered Jon's books and had to try all those beautiful patterns. Thought you would like to see the picture I took for my Holiday greeting cards.

Made in America

American shuttle makers shown:
Jimmy Allison,    Jack Coen,
Kermit Molde,   Georgia Seitz,
Diana Andra,                                                 Randy Houtz,
Dennis Hand,    Chris Hinton,
Karen Bovard,    Sherry Pence.

Snowflake patterns by Jon Yusoff