Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The spirit of a true artisanーYuzen atelier "You"

He is an experienced Yuzen kimono artisan,Mr.Yamada.
He also runs Yuzen kimono shop which I already mentioned in my blog before.
I'd like to show you their work scene, more precisely than before.
(This is chinese legendaly general.)

What is he doing?
He is not drawing a picture. This is not a pen.
He is tracing the outline of the sketch by this tool (tube).
Actually, he is squeezing a paste out of this extra-fine tube! 
He is surrounding the outline by the paste. And this paste serves as a breakwater,as a protective wall.
This protective wall (made by paste) is necessary for him to prevent each color from blurring.
As you know,he needs to distinguish flower color from background color by using different colors.
If dyestuff blurs,run,spread, it spoils his work.
To prevent blurring is one of the most important work when they dye kimono.
We call this work (tracing the outline by paste using a tube) " Itomeoki".(糸目置き)
(This is kind of technical term.)
And please look at this picture.
This is interesting. What do you think he is doing?
He is covering the flowers,the leaves,the branches by wax,to prevent being blurred when he dyes.
He needs to hide these flower parts because he needs to dye background color first.
After background is dyed successfully,he wash this wax away.
Yamada said it needs extra high skill,because it is very difficult and delicate work.

And now another artisan is dyeing background color.
Now that he covered the flower parts beforehand,
he doesn't need to worry about being blurred by the dyestuff.
And their specialties are different.
They each took responsibility for one aspect of the work.
for example,coloring the background color,covering the flower part,etc...
And last,another artisan is coloring the flower parts.
It also needs high skill,
but he doesn't need to worry about being blurred,
because background color is already dyed perfectly.

This is how his beautiful Yuzen kimono is created.
Yuzen has a long history of 400 years,
Originally it started as a design of a folding fan,
but as time passed,people orderd these kind of designs for their kimono,
and fascinate many people even now.
I'm happy If I can tell you tips of Yuzen and experienced artisans.

Please take subway (Karasuma line) from JR Kyoto,
and get off at "Gojo" station. (210yen / one-way)
This atelier is located near Gojo station,
it takes you about 3 minutes to go to this atelier.

Open daily except Monday,Tuesday and Sunday,
from am 9:30 to pm 5:00.
TEL 075-344-5067

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