kakishibu update

One of the pasted folkhouse pieces made it into the kakishibu (persimmon tannin) just to see what would happen. Kakishibu and paste can be tricky, because the paste softens when it gets wet and with kakishibu the idea is to wet the piece and let it dry in the sun multiple times. Each dunking and sunning leads to a darker rust-color, and only the side facing the sun takes on color.

Here’s with paste on, after being in the sun:

River washout:

Final result (though it needs a good pressing, sorry about that):

In some places, the paste cracked and left little lines of rust, giving it a bit of a batik crackle. I really like the darkness of the color and the imperfections of the kakishibu in relation to the stencil design.

I am looking forward to combining kakishibu with indigo and working with layers of dye and paste. Maybe offsetting the stencil? Maybe the use of different stencils directly over each other? There’s something to this process–and to katazome as a surface design technique–that I want to explore more fully. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to try it.

shibori double pleated

shibori runner: linen fabric


Technique: double-pleating

Step One: pleat by stitching with thread and pulling up, wrap around a flexible core and wrap with thread to hold, use strips of fabric wrapped around as resists; dye with indigo, remove from core

Step 2: wrap around core with the other side down, wrap with thread to hold, wrap with strips of fabric to act as sectional resists; dye with indigo, remove from core, remove all pleating and tying thread




how to stay at a ryokan

1. Find a traditional Japanese inn that accepts foreign guests. The Nunoya Ryokan in Matsumoto came highly recommended.image

2. Find your ryokan and check in. Mine was right on the cute shopping street. Pay in cash, like almost everywhere else in Japan. Ask about the curfew (11:30pm), and shower facilities (close at 11, open again from 6 to 9am).image

3. Discover your room has sliding doors with views over the city, fresh towels and yukata, a comfortable clean futon, and a pot of hot water and green tea waiting. Like a typical ryokan, the bathroom and shower facilities are shared. image

4. Explore the city! Matsumoto is quite beautiful and the downtown area is pedestrian friendly. In some ryokans, meals are included. This one didn’t offer meals so I headed out to a nearby (and very inexpensive) restaurant.


5. Spend a comfortable night! Check out the next day. If you’re lucky, the owner will let you keep your giant backpack there until your train leaves. This was my last night traveling before heading back to Fujino to stay at the farmhouse one night and collect my things. This was a great way to end my solo journey.