Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yuzen Dyeing Card

"Yuzen dyeing is one of the traditional extreme art forms in Japan from the 17th century. Yuzen dyeing is named after Miyazaki Yuzensai who was famous for his beautiful fan creations in Kyoto. By the end of the 19th century, a vast range of colorful chemical dyes came into use, and a method of stencil dyeing was developed." This blurb is from the brochure for Kyo-yuzen Workshop Marumasu Nishimuraya in Kyoto. The set up of the studio is very similar to the paint your own pottery places in the U.S. 

During our trip to Japan this summer we spent one very hot afternoon in Kyoto in this delightfully cool (both literally and figuratively) studio trying our hand at this Japanese art form. The afternoon was a testimony to the power of art to bridge cultural and language barriers as the master craftsman, Yoshio Nishimura, and his assistants oversaw our projects. 

Okay, yes, there were cheat sheets in English, but the art on the walls and the demonstration by the artist who worked with us motivated each of us to create a unique and personal souvenir. Actually it might have been the Japanese onomatopoeia our assistant used for a circular brush motion that started our creative juices flowing. 

 Homage to our time in Kyoto. I embossed the fan with a brass stencil and colored it with ink using a small dauber in a circular motion (burraburraburraburra).

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