Japanese aesthetic philosophy inspires us all the way from the Far East to the Folk School. Radically different from Western design, Japanese design principles mesh especially well with the Folk School due to an emphasis on simplicity, unobtrusive beauty, function, irregularity, weathered textures, nature, and tranquility. Cultivate a bonsai, write a haiku, try Ikebana flower arranging, learn about traditional Shibori dyeing, demystify Asian spices, create raku vessels for a Japanese tea ceremony and much more at the Folk School. Embrace Wabi-Sabi and Zen philosophy with these 2015 offerings focusing on Japanese design and techniques:
with Judy Walker • February 1-6
Learn to do kumihimo – the beautiful Japanese braiding technique – with beads! Use a braiding disk for consistent results, starting with the easiest cords. Progress to more intricate designs and discuss the various results achieved with different materials and with the traditional marudai stand.
Haiku Poetry Writing Workshop
with Redenta Soprano • February 6-8 Weekend
Haiku is a traditional Japanese poem, consisting of 3 lines and 17 syllables. It is easy and fun to write, as well as an expedient, creative way to capture life’s special moments. Try your hand at it, using the winter beauty of the mountains as inspiration. Bring your powers of observation and depart with a:
Small book of haiku
At the end of the weekend
To take home with you!
with Tony Pisconeri • February 8-14
Explore exotic food ingredients, recipes, cooking techniques, and presentations of cuisine from around Asia – China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, and Vietnam. Demystify Asian ingredients, cooking tools, and kitchen techniques to create authentic and delicious dishes, along with a five-spice dry rub to take home.
Beautiful Papers – Marbling, Paste, Suminagashi, Batik & Katazome
with Rajeania Snider • February 8-14
Using both Eastern and Western techniques, we will turn plain paper into virtual kaleidoscopes of color and design. You’ll make a good assortment of one-of-a-kind papers, ready to use for a variety of purposes – and if time permits, we’ll make a few simple projects in class.
with Tim Ryan • April 19-25 Earth Week
In this introduction to a gentle art, learn techniques of nursery-grown bonsai. Root pruning, top pruning, soils, containers, wiring, and daily care will be covered. Create a bonsai each day in various styles and get an introduction to the philosophy surrounding this ancient art.
See also: Bonsai – Introduction to an Expressive Art with Tim Ryan • August 21-23 (Weekend)
Kasuri – Japanese Ikat
with Beth Ross Johnson • May 24-30
Tie, dye, shift, and weave. This week will focus on Japanese warp and weft ikat weaving, in which the threads are dyed in blocks and shifted during the warping and weaving process. Work will be done with cotton dyed with indigo and cold-water dyes. We will have time to experiment with shibori and sakiori (rag weaving), along with finishing the weaving into completed pieces.
A Hands-on Exploration of Three Japanese Art Forms
with Marcy Chapman • August 2-8
Immerse yourself in beauty and nature through three Japanese disciplines: Sumi-e ink painting, Haiku poetry, and Ikebana flower arranging. Master the traditional brush strokes of sumi to create compositions that express the emotion of your subjects. Then use sumi to illustrate your haiku, lyrical poetry of 17 syllables in three lines. As you experience Ikebana flower arranging, natural materials become your medium.
Boro: “Tattered Rags”
with Karen Swing • July 19-25
Boro is a traditional Japanese method of mending and extending the life of everyday textiles, now honored as an art form. Traditionally, the fabrics were indigo-dyed, and the patched items became a wonderful mosaic of blues, covered with beautiful sashiko hand stitching. Start with your own denim scraps and, as the technique is learned, create a sample book and bag – perhaps to carry future Boro projects!
Raku, Salku, and the Potter’s Wheel
with Rick Berman • July 19-25
Focus on making objects used in the Japanese tea ceremony such as tea bowls, fresh flower containers, serving trays, and water jars. We will make black bamboo and deer-tail brushes for decorating. Work will be fired in two fiber-drum raku kilns, and the class will also build and fire a salku kiln.
Making Slow Shibori in an Express World
with Judith Jetson • July 31-August 2
Shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique dating from the 8th century, produces delicately patterned, “slow” cloth using hand stitching, folding, tying, and dyeing. Learn several shibori techniques including arashi (pole wrapping), mokume (stitching & scrunching), itajimi (folding & binding), kumo (wrapping around stones), and more. Working with both silk and cotton, we will paint and dip-dye brilliantly colored scarves, cloth, and shirts and marvel at the results.
Origami Ribbonwork for Cockades & Hatbands
with Jan Wutkowski • August 21-23
Ribbon origami is a method of working with ribbon that involves folding and pleating to create striking ribbon cockades, cocardes, and hatbands that resemble Japanese origami. Take the mystery out of these remarkable trims by learning at least 6 ways of transforming ribbon lengths into embellishments for hats, clothing, gifts, and home decor items.
Japanese Temari Balls
with Barbara Suess • September 27-October 2
Temari is a folk craft born in ancient Japan from the desire to entertain children with an embroidered toy thread ball. Today, the lovely thread-wrapped, embroidered temari balls are given as tokens of good luck. The home craft is now an art form. This class allows students to start from the beginning, and patterns will also be available for intermediate stitchers to tackle.
How to Register
Click on any of the class names above to find out more course information and to register online.
If you’re registering from our printed course catalog, or just want to talk to a live person, give us a call Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm, EST, Toll-free: 800-365-5724 or: 828-837-2775
Cory Marie Podielski is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and writer for the John C. Campbell Folk School. She has been writing for the Folk School Blog since 2012 and enjoys interviewing artists, musicians, and craftspeople. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the banjo, dancing, printmaking, playing in clay, and assisting in Folk School bread baking classes. podielski.com