Friday, July 9, 2010

Japanese Craft;

Have you ever had something hit your eye and heart with an overwhelming pow? Moonstruck, the Italians would say. Here are a few pictures of the book Boro; Rags and Tatters from the Far North of Japan. When I found it on line (as you may remember ;) I hesitated, then kinda snuck up on myself and nabbed it. I just did a search for it and came up with a hit here. It is one of those books that will appear and disappear elusively. If you want it bad, real bad, I suggest you quickly hop on it when you find it.

Here are a couple of pictures below. 





There are more picutres here  at Spirit Cloth along with some very excellent words.

Here is a link to some great pictures of boro cloth from SRI Threads. There is something so magical about these cloths. They tell me a story.

It is cold in Northern Japan, I see  a woman picking through a basket of carefully gathered and saved rags bent over with precious needle and thread. She is dressed in boro (literally "rags"). I can picture her hands, chilled and careful, stitching these rags, rebuilding them into useful and necessary objects. She is thinking "Here is a weak spot I will cover it with this thin bit of fabric. Here, there is a hole. I will layer this heavy fabric piece underneath." I picture her family wearing and using these artworks, born of necessity in their small impoverished home. 

What would she think if she knew that her boro had entranced me a century later? Would she be humiliated by her poverty? I hope not, but believe that she would be. There is a certain discomfort when I look at the pictures in this book. And that, my friends, is art. Communication of thoughts and feelings through objects.

8 comments:

Marilyn said...

What a beautiful book - and a beautiful post - I can visualise the woman in northern Japan working skilfully and producing beauty from small remnants.

Seth said...

Looks like there is inspiration on every page. Thanks for the introduction to this book.

Cassie Shella said...

You have me hooked, I feel a need to find out more, thanks for sharing it.

Diana said...

Fabulous book - I'd love to find it at a good price, it's so expensive here in the UK as well.

Jane LaFazio said...

oh oh oh. that so speaks to me. I've seen quilts done in that method and they really contain magic memories....

Wendy said...

You should check out Victoria's blog:

http://thesillyboodilly.blogspot.com

She's been doing Boro for a little while now. She's even featured in an article in the latest "Quilting Arts" (Jun/Jul) magazine.
=-)

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to over 100 examples of Japanese boro futon cover textiles:

http://www.kimonoboy.com

jude said...

yes, i have been passing this book around to friends. i found it on the internet direct from japan, quite cheap.