11 August 2016

Three Days Are Better Than One - Japanese Boro Textiles

I recently taught a three day workshop at Cabrillo Extension entitled: Boro Textiles: Books, Bags, Zokin and Zakka.

One of the students brought in this stunning Boro specimen

I won't go into too much detail here since one of my students, Gayle, wrote a great blogpost with much better pictures than I was able to take. And, a student's perspective is always different than the teacher's! Here is a link to her blog: Gayleygirl

Some of my books brought in for inspiration

For almost two years now I have been teaching the Boro Sampler Book Workshop (see previous posts here and here) and just this last year I developed and taught the Boro Bags workshop (previous post here). They have been very popular and students have done such wonderful work that I wanted to give them three days in a row so that they could really immerse themselves in the subject.

Student sampler pages before binding

On the first day we made sampler books to learn what I call the vocabulary of Boro so that students had the language of the stitching and mending techniques in their hands.

Student sampler pages before binding

On the second day we were able to dive right into the bags since they already had the language down. This allowed them to explore different iterations of the stitching techniques as well as incorporate some surface design techniques into their bags. And, of course, many of the students brought their own gorgeous textiles like this eco-printed fabric:

Student work - on its way to being a bag/tsunobukuro

Day three was a free day where students were allowed to revisit anything previously taught or to dive into something new like a garment, zakka items or an art piece! To my surprise many students wanted to continue on their bags which was just fine and that resulted in some stunningly detailed work. 

This student made a boro-bunny-bear in addition to her sampler book and bag:

 This fabric was on its way to becoming a vest:


The workshop filled so quickly that we immediately planned a second date at Cabrillo Extension and that is coming up in September 2016: information here.

It looks like there may be some longer versions of the class in the works and coming up at a couple of out-of-state venues in 2017 and I'll announce those as soon as things are confirmed and posted.

Next blogpost will be a Fall 2016 teaching round up so you are sure to know where I'll be teaching in the coming months. (And, I'm working on creating a central place where you can go to see where I'm teaching and what is coming up - possibly on the "workshops" page of this blog - makes sense, right? Working on it!)



  1. i've enjoyed reading both perspectives, yours and your students'. it looks like a terrific workshop.

  2. I enjoyed the post by Gayle Ortiz very much and your own. I loved the dress you made, do you have a pattern for it or did you copy the older one?

    1. It is an amalgamation of a few things and I've gotten quite a bit of interest in the pattern so I may do a future blog post on it.