The rainy season that I used to dread as a mother of 4 wild children and a huge dog because they had to stay indoors and be entertained and kept occupied while burning off their inexhaustible energies. It was cold and dark and the humidity palpable.
But here it is again and I now look at it from a different vantage point. With grown children who happily entertain themselves, it is a time when flowers rejoice in their daily showers and bloom with gay abandon. The queen of them all in June and July is the glorious hydrangea. How can there be so many shades of blue! It may be Blue & White’s favorite, though we admit to having many. But its range of blues and purples and nearly blacks, its variations of whites and pinks even challenge any artist to match their colorful splendor.
They come in many shapes and sizes as well. There is even an Otafuku Ajisai, fluffy with round cheeks. Perfect reflection of Blue & White’s own chubby Goddess of Joy.
Hydrangeas, or Ajisai in Japanese are the perfect foil to our speciality blue and white pots by Yu Kobayashi above. And our own signature Tenugui.
TENUGUI, 90 centimeter- 27 inch lengths of hand dyed cotton used as hand towels to mop the brow, tie around the head as a sweat band, wipe the slate clean, or just as a table runner or a dish cloth or a towel to wipe your hands. They are quick spontaneous shouts of color and design, and the dyer has just sent us a delicious array of fresh–from-the-dye-pots blue and white Tenugui.
A quaint old Mt. Fuji image – the shape that used to be the classic form of the sacred mountain, was among some old tenugui I found at a flea market years ago and took to the stencil maker to have him replicate it. Its stylized clouds may show a moment of clearing during the rainy season.
This charming spotted tenugui is another flea market find. It is a probably a 19th century child’s yukata that once again we had a new stencil cut for. Never quite as rough and heart filled as the old ones, but still a far cry from the designer computer engineered spots that are so in vogue.
Checks, spots, stripes, the ever lasting Karakusa pattern, or endless vine, and a beautiful rising sun tenugui – one of my all time favorites taken from an old boys’ day banner. Bringing the old and new together. Finding the ultimate modern in the old and infusing it into the new, giving it a depth and a meaning that are somehow missing in today’s empty designs, that is one of the challenges of Blue & White. That and trying to capture these brilliant blue and white moments that nature blesses us with, especially beautiful during rainy season.