This week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY we had Takayuki Ishii of Awonoyoh. Takayuki Ishii is an indigo dye artisan who was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He currently owns a workshop in the mountainous area of Kanagawa Prefecture, where he runs an indigo dyeing company using traditional techniques and materials.
Takayuki talked about the tradition of sukumo in Japan and the Japanese textile techniques born out of the creative exploration with his indigo dyeing. Being one of the last remaining producers of indigo in Japan, he shared his process and why it is so important to preserve this expertise.
Watch the video here.
Takayuki of Awonoyoh began studying indigo dyeing through a workshop in Tokyo. From there, he continued to travel all across Japan to participate in indigo dye workshops. He has since acquired a wealth of knowledge and techniques surrounding indigo dyeing, and has mastered all the processes within traditional Japanese textile dyeing, including spinning yarn, making fabric, katazome, shibori, tsutsugaki, and batik.
Currently, there are only six artisans who produce raw material for indigo dye (sukumo) in Japan. The ageing of the Japanese population, which has become a major social problem in Japan, has made it more difficult to obtain sukumo every year. Takayuki grows the indigo plants and produces sukumo by himself to preserve the traditional method of indigo dyeing. He passes on his knowledge to many people and works hard to preserve the traditional way of Japanese textile dyeing.
You can learn more about him on the Awonoyoh website.
PRE-ORDER The Way of Indigo by Takayuki Ishii here.
NEXT WEEK! Join us August 27th, 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern for a live Zoom FEEDBACK FRIDAY with natural dyer and artist Lotta Helleberg. Lotta will talk about her artistic journey, specifically how and why botanical printing, and natural dye processes have become the main focus of her art practice. She will also discuss the roles of her local flora and the plants in her dye garden (including weeds and less desirable inhabitants). She will also present her most resent work involving a vintage, badly damaged quilt, which has regained new life with the help of natural dyes and patient repair work.
If you are not familiar with FEEDBACK FRIDAY, every week, we speak with dyers, artists, scientists and scholars about our favorite topic, natural dyeing and color. Curated by Amy DuFault, Botanical Colors’ Sustainability Director and presented by Botanical Colors’ Founder Kathy Hattori.
We even have our own theme song thanks to musician Jimmie Snider!