Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Akihiko Izukura

My interest in dyeing yarns, painting warps and learning ikat techniques, led me to join the Surface Design Association . Their magazine appears at Barnes and Noble and Borders, perhaps at other bookstores as well. But to get their newsletter, one has to be a member. And it is the newsletter which I have found most rewarding.

I just received the summer issue of the newsletter. Included in it was a discussion of the classification of acid dyes by Karren K Brito . She is not a weaver, but she has amazing dyeing skills and willingly shares what she knows with others.

Another article was about the Japanese Dyeing Ceremony as performed by Akihiko Izukura. But not only is Akihiko and master dyer, he is also a master weaver. So I looked him up on the internet and found some of the one-of-a-kind garments he has created. He has his own website where you can look at some of these. Clicking on the blue link should take you there.

He has two collections I was particularly interested in. One is called the Signature Collection. The garments here are black and white. I find them inspiring in their simplicity, simplicity which I am sure is deceptive. The other collection I liked is called the ReLuxe Collection. Here he uses color. Sometimes the colors are quite bright. But, bright or not, color is always used in a most elegant fashion, again a simplicity which is surely deceptive.

Akihiko's weaving is quite different from mine. His goal seems to be an elegant simplicity. My goal is one of much greater complexity. Not complexity of structure but complexity of color. That is why I like crackle so much: crackle allows me to explore, seemingly endlessly, complex color arrangements.

I wonder if someday this exploration in complexity will lead to a greater simplicity? I have found in the past with individual designs that as I work on the designing, the ideas become more and more complex, and then at some point it all just becomes too complex and I start simplifying. Perhaps I must struggle with complexity in order to move through it into a simplicity that is not really simple at all.

No, I will never be the kind of weaver Akihiko is. But I think that he is a good model for me.


Karren K. Brito said...

I am a weaver. It is just that shibori took over the studio which is too small for both. I have a 45" AVL loom and 4 others, they are waiting for me to retire.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Karren, thank you for letting me know about your weaving.