December 1, 2011

Ivonne Sigler part 2

(part 1 here)

Kawashima Textile School, an amazing one-kind school.

In June, I visited the Kawashima Industry Museum. I was marveled with the quality and the persistence to achieve perfection on textiles.

Three months ago I had come to Japan and I already had had an approach to Japanese traditional crafts, but seeing a place in the industrial process which had maintained high quality standards was impressive!

Indeed, Japanese people have genes for liking textile's excellence.
In this visit, I discovered that Kawashima Company has a Textile School. My wish to attend to this school came true with the support of Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Between August to September, I had the opportunity to attend the Chuya Ori Workshop with Keiko Yoshida Sensei; the Natural Dye Workshop with Masaru Hori Sensei; and finally, the Nassen Gasuri Workshop with Kozue Yamamoto Sensei.

In the Chuya Ori Workshop I learnt the importance of small details. For example, tying a proper knot is an action that usually goes unnoticed, but is very important. Keiko Yoshida helped me a lot to introduce me to the school and teachers with her fluent English.

With Hori-Sensei, I discovered the beautiful natural dyeing colors that the Japanese people have produced for centuries. Hori-Sensei's dyeing technique with two rods or metal 'hashi" was new for me.

As a Spanish speaker this was the most difficult class, because of its many vocabularies in Japanese. But Hori-Sensei and my team encouraged me in doing the exercises and supported me with the translation of concepts in English.

Yamamoto Sensei's Workshop was interesting. It was my first time I dyed on the loom with the stencil technique. This course taught me the importance of concentration and to know your own rhythm for working.

In these three workshops, the teachers and students showed me a part of Japanese culture: the significance of small details, the importance teamwork, to be patience and perseverant to achieve your own goals.

Kawashima Textile School is different from others. It doesn’t matter how old are you or what your profession is, only if you are really interested in learning about textiles.

Not only the workshops are high quality programs, all the teachers and people that I met in KTS were high qualified. I’m so grateful with their advise, otherwise I couldn’t have approached other textile artists, artisans and designers to complete my JICA's research.

Thank you so much to KTS for everything! I hope the School continues supporting textile lovers!