This post is about one of the most memorable and amazing days of the whole tour, almost a religious experience, the day we went to visit the Indigo Master.
My Indigo Sister, Blandina has written beautifully about our visit to Noguchi san on the Japanese Textile Study Tour here and our Sensei, Bryan has posted here. Bryan is currently exploring the origins of katazome dyeing on his blog. In those posts you will find a lot of detail, technique and explanation whereas I feel my post is about to become very emotional and subjective.
Our learning about katazome, about persimmon paper and stencil cutting began late one night after a visit to the onsen and then a great pizza meal cooked especially for us by Tohei. It was probably the last thing I wanted to do (my bed was calling) but Bryan was determined that we should have some understanding of the process before our visit to Noguchi san's katazome studio the following day. We also needed to prepare stencilled fabric to dye.
They then dried in the sunshine.
We were all incredibly privileged to be allowed to use the wonderful stencil to print a whole kimono length as we'd seen Kaz do (well, in a similar but far less skilful and confident way) and it was shared out so that we could dye our own piece.
A kimono would be placed on "tenterhooks" to hold each section separate from the next while it was in the indigo vat. Noguchi san showed us some wonderful examples of his work. He prints the kimono lengths on both sides, the pattern matched up perfectly. The resulting yukata (summer kimono) sell in the best department stores for very high prices.
From Bryan's blog:
So this picture just about sums up my feelings in launching this workshop and inviting you to look inside. It was taken during the spring workshop as I was explaining the complexities of Noguchi san's indigo unique fermentation technique.
The lid is open. What is inside is very valuable and interesting and has great potential for all the indigo sisters. (No indigo brothers last time.) It was up to me to explain it as simply and clearly as I could. With a deep breath, enthusiasm and hope, I ask you to take a look at the Autumn 2012 brochure. file:///Users/bryanwhitehead/Desktop/docs.google.com:.webloc