Creating kimonos by hand, day one

I’ve spent a couple of years deconstructing kimonos. I wondered what it would be like to make a kimono. I found the perfect class at the Workshop Residence in San Francisco. These photos are from the first day of the four day workshop.

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Tsuyo Onodera has devoted fifty years of her life to the art of kimono making in Japan, having trained hundreds of students to become licensed kimono makers during five year long apprenticeships at her school in Sendai, Japan. She serves as the president of Miyagi Kimono Association, and in 1982 invented Mai Yamato, a pre-tied kimono and obi system.

Collaborating in Onodera’s Workshop Residence project is her daughter, Sonoma based artist Maki Aizawa. Maki grew up in her mother’s kimono making school surrounded by creativity, studying floral arranging, calligraphy and studying the musical instrument the Koto.

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Light and honor the dark season with artmaking

 Light and honor the dark season with artmaking

Forest books mushroom

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Image @ T. Folkerts

Instead of going into landfill, why not take once loved books and make them into walls?
The decaying pages make homes for mushrooms and insects and moss. Who knows, maybe mice and birds may enjoy the material too. Read more about this art installation by clicking here.

Interactive public art for kids

I’m always looking for innovative public art, especially the kind that is interactive. Just this week two caught my eye in my Facebook stream.

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© Masaki Koizumi

Artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam created a crocheted gallery sized installation that kids couldn’t help but  interact with. Next thing you know, she and her husband Charles MacAdam established Interplay Design and Manufacturing in Nova Scotia, Canada, to develop the concept of play ‘sculptures’ on a commercial scale. Check out more here: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/artist-crochets-playgrounds-children.html

Then my friend, artist, and professor Wendy Maruyama shared work of her UC San Diego former students Lanie Gannon and Rob Oglivie. Here is a video of their wonderful interactive mechanical art installed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN.

Interestingly enough both installations are low tech and are great examples of ways that artists really catered to the spirit of children.

Art in the moment

There is something about temporary art installations that touch my heart.  Maybe because they are constantly changing. Maybe because they are only here for moments. I love these beautiful vanishing carpets that must have taken hours to create. You can see how they did it here and see some more images.

They brought to mind the chalk labyrinth I drew out back at SOMArts Cultural Center this year for the AAWAA (Asian American Women’s Artist Association) Place of her Own exhibition. I didn’t necessarily want it to be temporary. It had to be that way due to circumstances of the gallery. I kept coming back to touch up the drawing. One day, a woman who walked the labyrinth said she loved the ephemeral nature of it, that it was constantly fading.

Her comment changed my whole relationship to my piece. After a rainy night I decided to live with the fact that my piece was not going to be there in the morning. It was a beautiful meditative journey for myself and those who walked it….only for the moment.