The Shibusa Way: A Masterclass with India Flint

  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L 3M3 Canada

With India Flint

$1500 [Includes $75 lab fee] class limit 16. May 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2017 (2 x Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri 10am-4pm).

India Flint returns this year for a special 10-day workshop designed especially for Maiwa. In her own words...

Shibusa is a quality of making, a philosophy of being that is ingrained in traditional Japanese culture. The seven elements of shibusa are simplicity, implicity, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection. 

The elements of shibusa are embodied in the slow hand-making of clothes that I have practised for most of my life. Shibusa also represents what I cherish from my Lativan heritage (except that the Latvians never thought to devise a name for it; or if they have, I have not been told it). We will apply the shibusa approach as we begin our journey toward a sustainably made, richly textured, sumptuous felted coat.  

We begin with felt, created firstly as small prefelts and then pieced together using stitch before the final fulling. This type of construction permits us to use up all the tiny shreds of cloth left over from cutting other clothes—a way of saving morsels of beloved items we have become emotionally attached to, especially the cloth gathered as souvenirs over years of ecoprint bundle dyeing.

During our two weeks together, we will devise a paper pattern for the coat (based in the use of string as measuring tool), cut a fine silk lining from that pattern, and gradually stitch the prefelts to it. We will practise leaf printing on felt and learn additional techniques to pattern the coat. The class will make good progress and learn much; however, students should not expect to entirely complete their shubusa coat during the workshop.

From time to time we shall be taking walks to gather leaves and thoughts, and to harvest local textures and marks from which we shall develop stitches and surface treatments for our coats. There will be the occasional writing of poetry, and each day will begin with a creative notebook exercise to help us step out of the world of the studio and into the realm of shibusa.

India joins us from Australia.

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About India Flint

In 2008, with the publication of her first book, Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles, India Flint brought a fresh new perspective to an ancient practice and rethought the entire dye process. Her book eloquently champions ecologically sustainable plant-based printing processes to give colour to cloth. When it first arrived on the scene, Eco Colour was both an eye-opener and a game-changer. Since then India has published Second Skin: Choosing and Caring for Textiles and Clothing and five additional titles exploring the connection between dyeing, wandering, cloth, and writing. India’s textiles have been exhibited internationally.