The Silk Sense

Bryan’s house is more akin to a shrine than a house. This was my third year in a row to visit my friend Bryan, to gain more insight into Japanese textiles, and dyeing methods. These visits leave me with enough to stew over for well over a year. I am always awestruck at his current and past projects, he generously gives me peeks into his work.

For any textile fanatic, craftsperson, or indigo-blooded human this house/village is a place of worship. There is so much to revere and to stir a million new ideas. The scenery, the indigo bubbling in their vats, the silk worms munching on mulberry leaves; it all culminates into an inspirational soup. Rather addictive stuff as this time he had numerous guests from all walks of life, eager to find inspiration from the mixture.

Interiors say a lot about a person. From artifacts to pottery, you can get a general sense for someones travels and tastes. Being the first to rise, I took my morning leisurely walk around the village. I am sure as he reads this he is grumbling something about me taking pictures before he had a chance get something or other into order. He is a fastidious individual…

So many ideas have been found and discovered in these mountains and rivers. The inspiration for a pattern: a fallen leaf, or the enchanting sound of the river running over rocks. Nature is speaking to the person willing to listen. The curves in the road are transitions to majestic views, every turn a beautiful panorama. I can never get enough of the precariously placed tea terraces.

We really got a treat this time, reeling silk the traditional way. Bryan describes poetically the history of the techniques and the methods, there is no need to bother with note taking. It is like memorizing a favorite song. As the beautiful silk unraveled from their cocoons we all shared our own stories and experiences. Reeling in inspiration I cannot thank my host enough.

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