Wednesday, February 23, 2011

learning matsuo kozo

so this is what i did in toronto. a bamboo basket, with red lacquer paint. 
matsuo kozo, 1/2 sheet
ready to spin
i stayed in the place where my book becomes a journal for many others' thoughts.
my dear friend wendy and i had lovely conversations.
laughter, and caring.
i leave her grateful, challenged, and celebrated for being just myself. 
this is the amazing gift that mature friendship brings.
i worked with hiroko karuno to understand and expand my shifu education. 
i have far to go, but i must say that getting to this place was a huge victory for me. 
can you see the tiny arches formed between each "string"?
this step proved to be most difficult for me. 
my awkward hands fumbled as i sought to understand the work necessary to prepare 
kozo for spinning. eventually certain things "clicked".
i love that concrete blocks are just fine for this!
one half sheet (two quarters) of matsuo kozo, prepared for spinning.
this elegant wheel is perfect for the job. 
it has a wonderful flexibility in the "maidens" which are made from corded bamboo sheaths. 
(and i suspect also in the wheel adjustments for the drive band)
hiroko sent me home with my two small skeins wrapped around 
a plastic covered bobbin, still damp, 
with instructions to wind off while still a tiny bit damp. 
i forgot to photograph them in their damp state, i was so eager to skein them!
so at 10:30, after my train and car trips, 
i eagerly began to wind off my skeins.
89 yards.
i am ridiculously delighted with this spinning, this handwork, 
this almost meditation of making.
i honor hiroko, her kind husband, my dear wendy, and her husband.
i thank toronto, a city i'm learning to love.
i was made to feel very welcome, for this most exciting step in my textile education. 
when i prepare to make shifu, 
it seems like all the parts of my making are coming together.

20 comments:

iNdi@na said...

the making of shifu seems to be a special kind of magic

Lynn said...

Wonderful. Both the process and the result.

mjc said...

Beautiful shifu, lovely thoughts. Looking forward to seeing how it all evolves...

Valerianna said...

Magical alchemy.... beautiful.

aimee said...

oh, velma! SO HAPPY for you and your learning! the arches!!! you did it!! that IS the hardest part, i think, the rolling part (which is the part i could never figure out and always tried to work my way around). i love that you always keep learning and keep going towards what you love, like plants to sun. and though i know wendy loved having you, i also know wendy is very happy to have you back. the travel makes HOME all the more precious.

Velma said...

you are so right, aimee.

the experience was all i could have wished for, and more. except the part about me dropping my roll of paper in a puddle...

onesmallstitch said...

oh,oh, I'm speechless. wonderful arches and shifu thread. We used concrete blocks at Kawashima but I use the back of carpet samples now as I was worried that the concrete was too harsh. I'll have to give it another try. I always wanted to bring a Japanese wheel home but couldn't fit it in my luggage.

Velma said...

i thought you might know the arches!!! i want a japanese spinning wheel, too.

Lisa said...

what a creatively spiritual experience!

ronnie said...

I love that wheel! - I am trying to imagine what all the strange terms and techniques are leading toward..... but enjoying the story even in my ignorance

kaite said...

such perfection...k.

Fiona Dempster said...

What a wonderful exploration, experience and success! It all loos so mesmerising and enticing, fragile delicate and strong. I love the ongoing learning process and that gentle sense of mastery. Continue to explore and enjoy F

Barry said...

V - an amazing painstaking art - requires too much patience for me but I so admire it and you. B

jude said...

that wheel...

Velma said...

and it's really *just* spinning...requires presence. and strength, surprisingly.
the wheel is a tool perfectly crafted for its use. the differences between it and, say my louet s10, are not so different yet subtly precise for the intention.

neki desu said...

japanese tools are simple beauty and oh so effective!it's the difference between good,but not perfect as sensei would say and perfection

deb g said...

I'm fascinated by that wheel too. This is such a great post...

Velma said...

yes, the wheel was exactly the right tool. good, butnot perfect, and perfection. i like that.

anastasia said...

incredible! you've experienced something i yearn to do; learn shifu from hiroko karuno. i was able to touch a woven piece along with some skeins of hers while in kyoto last november, so light! the delicacy and fragility of the work, yet so strong!
if i was spinning then, i would have tried to bring a wheel home along with all of the weaving tools i managed to carry through the airport. if you're desperate for a japanese wheel, check out this website for a kyoto weaving store: http://english.inagakikiryou.com/kudamaki.html it's listed as a bobbin winder.

anastasia said...

edit: this one's the spinning wheel link...http://english.inagakikiryou.com/s_tumugi.html