So here I sit in a lovely cafe in Nikko, sipping hot sake, on my last day here, reflecting on the great visit to Tokyo. On the first morning, I had the good fortune of being greeted by two pre-eminent Tokyo quilters, Miwako and Sachiko, whom I was encouraged to get in touch with by SuSan Rydiel of the La Conner Quilt Museum's Quilt Festival. They graciously took me to the Edo Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum, and when I get home I will post photos that are currently on my DSLR camera.
They gave me directions so that on my solo tour the next day, I was able to navigate the Metro and make my way to more fibre art locales: the antiques market where I picked up some really interesting and colourful silk remnants, the Blue & White Store, where I picked up some sashiko threads and interesting white fabric upon which to embroider, and the Modern Art Museum.
Then we boarded the train to Nikko, a town I would say is very much like Banff, Alberta. As luck would have it, we arrived during a huge cherry blossom festival.
So we have been exploring shrines, sipping sake in wi-fi cafes, and enjoying our stay in a traditional ryokan. This has meant sleeping on futons on the floor, soaking in the hot springs pool "au natural", removing shoes and wearing yukata robes.
Will some of these sights and experiences make their way into upcoming pieces? I think that would be fun.
As soon as I return to Canada, though, I have many pieces to make in short order: a second workshop piece for Taiwan, a response to the Viewpoints 9 Vivaldi challenge, a paintstiks workshop piece for an Ottawa class, and another portrait for Martha Sielman's next book. So my impressions of Japan will have to percolate awhile.
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