Have you ever thought about how important the lowly coaster can be? Not only is it the go-between between table and glass or cup, but the humble coaster is also micro universe, nano cosmos unto itself.
And coasters of all kinds came flying into Blue & White to decorate our architectural Christmas tree of leftover bamboo from the magnificent green bamboo yard in our neighborhood. I often do my shopping there ! The tree was constructed by 2 young and resourceful architect friends, Shuetsu Udono and Kumiko Nishihara out of cut up pieces of bamboo leftovers and rice straw. Buckminster Fuller would have been astounded. Envious even. On its own, the tree was a beauty, but the gradual addition of colorful and inventive coasters made by all our friends and makers and students created a wonderful panoply of expressions of thread on cloth.
The arrival of thirty intense and colorful coasters of Tamagawa Sagyosho, a special abilities craft training center in Tokyo’s Setagaya was a windfall of coaster energy. Our display of their mini masterpieces in the window of the Hotel Okura was widely admired, though difficult to photograph in all its splendor. The touching spirit of a handmade Christmas from the heart.
Our display of their mini masterpieces in the Hotel Okra window was widely admired, though difficult to photograph in all its splendor. The touching spirit of a handmade Christmas from the heart.
Much to my delight our very first coaster entry was Otafuku, made by Susanna Wellenberg of Munich out of the leftover cut ends of rolls of tenugui material. Such radiating joy and resourcefulness!
Susanna, an incredibly gifted seamstress, designer, origami folder, computer whiz, linguist, humanitarian friend from Germany, was first with scraps she picked up at Blue & White. She comes to Japan each fall and quietly parades her spectacular sashiko clothing in all shades of indigo, but in these playful creations, she shows what can be done with scraps and a boundless imagination.
The Rising Sun in leftover tenugui scraps.
A blue and white universe of threads by Susanna Wellenberg.
Front or back, both have a strong message. Chaos or order. Freedom or discipline.
At the same time as the arrival of our Christmas coasters, Blue & White celebrated its 41st birthday in delicious style with contributions from family and friends, starring the wonderful creations of Takako Nishikawa who flew in from Ishikawa Prefecture just for the occasion!
Coaster close ups
Mosaics on cloth
Our handsome bamboo tree changed with the times. From coasters for Chrismas, and our 41st birthday celebration, to displays of the elegant Shime Kazari New Year’s decorations by our talented clothing designer, (and chef) Takako Nishikawa (who also cooked and brought most of the delicious and beautiful birthday dishes from Ishikawa Prefecture!) and finally to this simple New Year’s display with nandina and pine. Sadly our last window display in the old Blue & White. Kazuko Yoshiura’s magnificent Sashiko Universe stitched on indigo hangs in the background.
Today, unbelievably, will be the last day of The Old Blue & White after 41 years of joys, discoveries, creations, friendships, to say nothing of surprises. You can see it is time for a face lift. And we will have more than just that!
The NEW BLUE & WHITE will open soon – date yet to be decided – in a bright new space on the 2nd floor of the next door market, Aeon. We will keep you posted when it will happen. Young and exciting and bringing you new blue & white discoveries, Blue & White will undergo not just a Face Lift, but a total Rejuvenation!
You will be dazzled!
Good things are coming in 2017! A Happy New Year to you all!