Am I making progress?

Am I making any progress?

Well it’s a few weeks since I last blogged and I need to reflect on what I’ve been doing and what I’ve achieved.  My sketchbook and other bits and pieces are there and ready but something is preventing me getting down to the assignment work.

So… what have I been doing?  My life seems to have been dominated by textiles: ordering books; buying fabrics, yarns, papers and all things crafty or textile-based; researching and dreaming about techniques; googling textile artists; visiting galleries, going to exhibitions; markets and even sigining up for a weeks workshop in the South of France next September (more about that at a later date) – all with Textiles as a focus.  It seems that by signing up for this course, a whole new World has opened up in front of me and I am standing on the edge, dying to jump in but scared to take that step, so delaying the moment of taking the plunge.  To tell the truth I am feeling overwhelmed by this creative urge that is beginning to take over and I am holding back, fearful that I will neglect all my other roles in life if I give in to it!

So now I am sitting here trying to make sense of it all, put some order into my chaotic  thinking and try to put together some kind of plan as to where I go from here.

What I have done, what do I need to do now and what do I need to do in the next week seems a good place to start!

What I have done:

I have ordered all the keys texts plus a number of other textile-related books which interested me (have to be bought as living in Japan so no library access)

I have bought or gathered together a variety of mark-making tools and materials

I have set up my studio space and storage

I have started collecting fabrics and yarns plus all manner of recycled items which inspire me

I have started organizing my photos into albums related to the headings given in the course notes (see previous posts)

I have visited a number of exhibitions/galleries/museums in Tokyo and on a 3-day Tour I have just returned from:  Setagaya Boro Ichi Market, Tokyo International Great Quilt Fair, Mother’s Hand Exhibtion in Kita-Kamakura; Kamakura Museum, Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum, Samarai and Geisha districts of Kanazawa (including a number of Samarai houses), Kutaniyaki Art Museum, Eiheiji Temple, Kinakuji Golden Pavilion Kyoto, Seijanji Temple and Ikebana demonstration.  At all these visits I collected brochures, postcards etc and took photos, which I thought may inspire textile work later on down the line. I also took rough notes and a few sketches.

I subscribed to both the Print and the Digital editions of Selvedge Magazine and have spent a lot of time reading through past editions and have printed pdf copies of anything which relates to Japanese textiles, particularly Boro, Shibori and Indigo dyeing.

I completed the first two mark-making exercises in my A3 sketchbook and played with a variety of papers and mediums.

What I need to do now:

 Write up my notes and download photos from all these places on my learning blog.  This is going to take considerable time but the information is very useful and I want to make the most of the privilege I have in living in Japan for the next few years as I am sure the material I am collecting will be useful for many years to come.

What I need to do in the next few weeks

 Although I have a few more visits planned which I am very excited about, I must allow some studio time to get on with exercises for Assignment 1.  I intend to use some of my photos as inspiration and a starting point for some sketching.  When the weather gets a bit warmer I would like to do some sketching at the Imperial Palace.

I need to complete my learning log regulalry

I need to start cataloguing my growing collection of books and reflect on some of the reading I have been doing (I do make the occasional rough notes but nobody but me will be able to read them!)

Right, having got all that off my chest – I feel so much better as it seems I have not been completely idle – in fact I feel quite exhausted recapping what I have been doing since ‘signing up’!

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