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Tsumami Kanzashi- How I got started

A friend was asking how I got started into making the Japanese hair ornaments as made famous by geisha. After dressing up a few times with a friend as faux-geisha in Kyoto & Tokyo, I wanted to buy *all* the hair ornaments, but they are terribly expensive. The reason why became apparent when I thought, “hey, I’ll just make them myself”. Some pootling around online for instructions was often disappointing (at the time there was not as much info/research available) and I disliked some of the “western” versions. Trying to use modern glues/hot glue gave so so results, and then I came across a link on youTube to series  documenting disappearing crafts in Japan.

I’ll add the link below, it’s quite long, but a good overall introduction/step by step, despite no English subtitles. For such a small item, there is much work, and therefore the price. It makes me sad that we often just don’t have the time to make things in traditional manners, and that cheap versions make us veer to the “easier/cheaper” solutions. When I have the time, I try to do in traditional manner. And yes, apart from doing a big dye batch ( I just dye small portions as I am not making so many of them I need metres of silk at a time), I do go through all the steps shown, plus making the rice glue from scratch. Partner was *not* impressed with that step, as releases a gas that can make breathing difficult/odd odor. So for yur pleasure, here’s a how I do it video of a Master Craftsman.  If anyone wants to be my patron and fund me going to Japan for 5 years to apprentice to him, let me know ;-) !

http://youtu.be/M5bYWOM1B_Y

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Projects- Flutterby Corset

Ah, the joys of matching brocade patterns on curved pieces. *tears out hair* I know of only one person who is able to do this perfectly, and it sure isn’t moi!

However, this is my attempt. Butterfly double weight silk brocade from Tai Pei,coutil, grosgrain and hemp silk. Straps are removable ( bra hook in front, tippet’ed lace through in back).

Spiral steels alternated with flat steels and busk from Vena Cava Corsetry suppliers.

(to find the Mistress of Corset perfection, look up https://www.facebook.com/MoruaDesigns )

Project Catch-up- Kindle Cover

Afternoon quickie, my sweetie gave me a Kindle, and of course I could in no way justify *buying* a cover when I had some leather and fabric lying around… Super easy, put in some thin dense foam under kindle, and really liked the calfskin leather as it grips/no slippy well. Tassel closure on elastic.

Project Catch-up- Glow in the dark snowboard jackets

So picked up an interesting commission for an advertisement/film for  Gigi Rüff & some othersnowboarders, needing glow in the dark board jackets. These I made(with much grumbling from my beleaguered Pfaff machine) with Energlo fabric. The challenge was trying to keep it relatively water/snow proof and have channels in arms/hood for some extra battery powered light ropes. Sadly I have no pics of them with the lightrope in yet, shan’t get until post production of night film. (Yes, it looks silly/ a bit big on me) The Energlo fabric retained glow for a good 10 hours at a time! This pic was taken after being stored in cupboard overnight after only a couple hours “charging” in sunlight.

Project catch-up- Kanzashi (Japanese hair ornaments)

More catching-up/recording of projects this year. Here are a batch of Kanzashi hair ornaments and hat clips.  Tsumami kanzashi is a traditional Japanese handcraft. Usually made from 1′ squares of habutai silk, though I used some organzas too, which folded like origami in one of 3 “accepted” folds to make petals. Then dipped in homemade rice glue, and set into place. I used hot glue for some as was in a hurry for a bring & buy sale, but the results are not as nice as the slow patient rice glue method.