Monday, September 20, 2010

Misao Iwamura

On Thursday afternoon, September 23, Chisako, Diana and I spent a couple of hours at the weaving studio of the lovely and very talented Misao Iwamura.  She lives in the higher altitudes of Kyoto in the northeast part of the city where her weaving studio is conveniently located right next door to her home. As Misao explained to us, she is a designer first, a weaver second. She has several looms in her very efficiently-organized studio, two of which are put to use regularly by a couple of neighbourhood women who weave for her two days a week. Chisako is very fortunate to be a member of a small group of weavers who meet regularly with Misao to work through design concepts in weaving.

Misao started as a designer in the textile industry and  30 years ago decided she wanted to weave her own designs. She ventured out on her own and sold her work out of her studio for several years. From there, she gradually moved in the direction of selling her work in galleries and now sells exclusively in solo exhibitions of her work 3 - 4 times a year. Her work is in high demand and she is in the enviable position of having a very dedicated following of buyers and collectors who wait eagerly, and pay dearly,  for her newest handwovens. Typically, she will work in one style of design for 1 - 2 years before moving on to another design concept. I was especially drawn to some small, pleated and textured scarves woven out of silk and stainless steel as well as a couple of larger, double-weave shawls woven out of very delicious cashmere. Yummmmmmy!

She is the author of a book on plain weave and was featured in an article in VavMagasinet (2008, Vol. 3) which I enjoyed reading. She is also a guest lecturer and teacher at the Kawashima Textile School.

Visit her website for some beautiful photos of her work

A work in progress

Me, Misao-San, and Chisao in her studio

This perfect afernoon ended with a visit from my daughter's friend Liz -- and five of her friends -- who were on leave from teaching English in S. Korea and spending some time in Kyoto and environs. We found a Thai restaurant where we had a delicious meal and had fun telling stories about our various adventures. I ended the evening with a walk along the west side of Imperial Palace Park -- a lovely night with a full moon.

No comments:

Post a Comment