We are delighted to invited the California based Japanese artist Maki Aizawa to run her Nuitsugi Mending Workshop (using Boro and Sashiko techiniques) on 22nd October. Maki’s parents used to run a Kimono sewing school in Sendai, Japan. She grew up with hundreds of kimono sewing students around her, as they all lived and studied with her family. Her passion and knowledge extends not only to creating new kimonos, but to mending and restoring vintage and antique kimonos as well. Using Boro and Sashiko techniques to reinforce worn and torn fabric, she creates beauty from the damage, it’s similar to the art of Kintsugi mending. These were traditionally techniques used by people who couldn’t afford to replace their clothes but have become incredibly fashionable as people have become more environmentally conscious, and the zero-waste movement has emerged. Why not learn these traditional techniques to create your own zero-waste textiles with Maki! Places are limited, so please book your space using this link.
Boro is considered an antique treasure now, and you can find it at the V&A Museum in London, as well as featured in exhibitions around the globe. Boro was created in Japan’s Tohoku area (which includes Maki’s hometown of Sendai). They use pieces of indigo fabric to patch old kimonos, bedlinens or other textiles as the area gets a lot of snowfall, as the farmers didn’t work as much during the winter and needed to stay warm! It’s an art created by modest living, to patch clothing that is passed down through the generations. The beauty of these pieces comes from necessity rather than being intentionally created. This is linked to the Mingei movement as well. I saw a beautiful Boro piece when I visited Gallery Kei in Kyoto. I recommend visiting to see their wonderful collection, and maybe purchase a piece for yourself.
Sashiko also originated in the Tohoku area in 16th century. It is a type of embroidery that also strengthens the fabric, which makes it great for old or delicate fabrics.
Maki taught us both Sashiko and Boro techniques to mend your favourite clothes! It was such great fun to mend and create new beauty with her.
I am also delighted to let you know that we’ve received a collection of beautiful Kyusu (Japanese tea pots) from Tokoname! Tokoname is region famous for creating the best teapots in Japan! Tea pots are not easy to make as they must be beautiful as well as functional. Ours are all handmade by artisans and work wonderfully with the loose teas from our collection. As you might know, many teabags contain the remnants and dust from first grade loose leaf tea. I know they are convenient to use, but why not spend an extra few minutes to make a far better cup of tea with a Kyusu tea pot! If you’d like to see the Tokoname collection in person, please contact me via email and I can welcome you to my tea studio.