June 13, 2017

New Shower Room!

One of the shared baths at our dormitory has been totally remodeled and changed into a shower room (4 stalls equipped). This clean and comfortable room is already very popular among our students. The shared dressing room of the other bath has also been remodeled. Please refresh yourself in the renewed baths! (For females only)

March 23, 2017

Course Cancellation Notice

We will be canceling the following courses this autumn: Beginners Course, Applied Kasuri Courses I, II, and III. We plan to resume the courses in 2018, and the schedule will be announced in late July. Thank you for your understanding.

March 7, 2017

Amie Andrews

Natural dyeing in the Beginners course

It was likely inevitable that I would grow to love and appreciate textiles in the way I do now—given the eclectic mix and plentiful supply of fabrics which surrounded me from a very young age—as my mother pieced and appliquéd unique and beautiful patchwork quilts at home. This passion for textiles passed from mother to daughter and ultimately led me to pursue studies with a focus on the arts, in the field of fine arts and thereafter textile design and printing.

Whilst absorbed in the study of textiles I came across the remarkable work of Sheila Hicks and Annie Albers and it left me eager to learn more of the art and craft of weaving.

I began weaving on the most basic of pin looms and it’s simplicity had me hooked in an instant. I wove simply with myriad threads and found the process no matter it’s method magic. What followed? A brief introduction to table loom weaving and an enduring passion and obsession for tapestry weaving thereafter.

Having chanced upon a reference to the Kawashima Textile School in VÄV magazine—a terrific resource—my curiosity got the better of me and with the encouragement and support of family and friends I applied. One year later and I could hardly believe I was travelling to the wondrous Japan.

I had never travelled before and to do so on my own, well, the experience was overwhelming in the best way imaginable. I was the foreigner (Gaijin) who talked too loudly, laughed often, dropped anything and everything and blew my nose—regularly—in the company of others. I understood very little of the Japanese language but it did not prevent me, nor local students, staff and the wider public from conversing, albeit with a cheeky grin and much laughter.

We were a group of seven women undertaking the international beginners course in the Spring of 2016 and we were in excellent company with teachers (sensei), staff and fellow students alike all incredibly warm, welcoming and good humoured. To learn the art and craft of weaving in the company of such wonderful creatives made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Learning was well paced with great emphasis placed on comprehension of the fundamentals and encouragement from the outset to strive for one’s best. Weaving would require a great deal of patience and concentration and we were gently cautioned that a mistake at any stage, when preparing for and when weaving, will inevitably cause a fair amount of grief later on. Suffice to say the process of dyeing and weaving appeared straightforward in the hands of our competent teachers and yet took a fair amount of due diligence to get right. Mistakes were made but overcome with the help and assistance of patient and forgiving teachers (sensei) and aides.

I feel immensely grateful to have been able to have attended the Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto and truly fortunate to have been able to learn the fundamentals of dyeing and weaving under the expert tutorship of the dedicated craftswomen and craftsmen of the Kawashima Textile School. The work done here is beyond measure.

Experiences—both solitary and shared—friendships forged and recollections of my time in Japan will remain with me for a lifetime and will be remembered with great fondness.

Dormitory and cafeteria
A choir of frogs outside my dormitory window were keen for me to rise early each morning but I would have done so regardless given how eager I was to start each day. Little time was spent in my dormitory room as I was either too busy weaving, eating delicious food in the cafeteria, making a fool of myself with students and staff alike or exploring Ichihara and further afield.

To stay within the dormitory in the company of the students and staff was a wonderful experience and one I would have been sorry to have missed. Sampling treats and snacks of all varieties and playing card games with the good humored students—it was great fun!

Daiyokujou
I was keen to experience the traditional bath or "daiyokujou" on day one of my stay but only managed to submerge one foot, which turned a shade of crimson instantaneously, before thinking better of it, for the first night at least. My second attempt saw me knee deep—that’s both knees—but only for a matter of seconds. Third time worked a charm and I was in up to my neck and frightfully still, if not a little numb. I emerged from the steaming onsen red and white all over with a grin from ear to ear. I looked forward to the onsen thereafter and I am longing for it now I am back at home.

Amie Andrews (Australia)

---

Amie studied in the Beginners Course in spring 2016.

February 21, 2017

Nanny Rådenman



My fascination with textiles started as a young girl growing up in a small mountain village in the north part of Sweden. My mother, who is a seamstress and weaver, always had different textile projects in the making and I loved watching her create. After primary school I studied clothing design and pattern design for three years. A few years later, I applied to HV Skola and entered a new world of textile. For three years I learned weaving and embroidery and fell in love with the craftsmanship. I graduated from HV Skola in the spring of 2015 and was granted a scholarship to go to Kawashima Textile School.

My arrival in Japan was something I had dreamed of. Just walking down an ordinary street was something totally different from anything I had experienced. The architecture, the colors, and the close feeling to nature gave me so much joy and creative energy.

At Kawashima I had the pleasure of meeting fantastic teachers as well as students that made my stay very joyful. It was very interesting to learn the Japanese way of weaving and work with kasuri. Kasuri was for me a new way of working and I am so happy to have that with me. The differences between the way I learned weaving at HV school to the way at Kawashima was mostly in the little things. Learning a new way of doing something that you are so used to was harder than I thought. After my stay at Kawashima, I find myself combining the HV style and Kawashima style of weaving, figuring out my own way.

When I look back at my stay, it is filled with love. All the amazing people I met, the Japanese culture that I am so happy I got to be a part of for a few months, and of course all the fantastic textiles I saw in the journey. So much inspiration to take back to Sweden and continue working at my loom.



Days Spent
In this piece I wanted to capture the time that I spent in Japan. My memories from traveling around the country are all strong and filled with colors. During my time at Kawashima Textile School, I really loved working with kasuri and especially fell for the simplicity that kasuri can convey. That simplicity suits me, making it look easier then it actually is.

Nanny Rådenman (Sweden)

---

Nanny was an exchange student from HV Skola (Sweden) and studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in autumn 2015, as an exchange student from HV Skola.

February 13, 2017

Workshops in 2017

This year we have two workshops that are open to non-Japanese speakers:

Paper Yarn Making-spinning yarn from washi
Natural Dyeing "Autumn Colors in Kyoto"-dyeing using local natural materials

For more information on these workshops and how to apply, please visit our Workshop page.

February 1, 2017

Graduate Exhibition 2016



This year's Graduate Exhibition will be held from March 1 (Wed) to 5 (Sun) 2017 at the Annex of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. We will be exhibiting pieces by our first, second and third year students, technical study course students, and international students (Finland, France, Portugal, Sweden).

Kawashima Textile School Graduate Exhibition
2017.3.1 (Wed.) -5 (Sun.) 9:00 - 17:00
Annex of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Kyoto-shi Bijutsukan BEKKAN)
Access Information
Admission Free

June 8, 2016

Tiffany Loy



I studied industrial design in Singapore, and was always interested in machines, the process of making things, and how things work. My interest in textiles began 3 years ago, when I started exploring the design of soft goods. I wanted to learn how to weave because I believe it’s the best way to understand textile as a material - to experience making it myself. As I searched for courses online, I kept in mind what I wanted to learn - not just the techniques related to weaving, but also to understand the design sensibilities in the field of textile design, in another part of the world. I liked the graduation works presented on KTS’s website, and was curious to learn more about the Japanese sense of aesthetics. It’s also a good chance for me to learn and practise a new language!


Beginners Course

In the 3 months I spent at KTS, it felt like I was developing a sort of relationship with the process of dyeing, yarn preparation, and weaving. A familiarity was built over time, and I began to understand how intuition can be developed, project after project. Different types of yarn behaved so differently, and the same colour could appear more interesting if the selection of yarn is appropriate. Going through the courses progressively, I was exposed to techniques of varying complexity, in a very organised and structured manner. In the last 3 weeks, I attempted my first coursework and created a large piece of tapestry under the guidance of 2 senseis. I enjoyed our discussions on yarn choice, weave structures and overall visual effects. Indeed there was a great sense of satisfaction at the end of it!

Precious friendships were fostered over the 3 months, with students and staff alike. Meal times were interesting, as I observed the cultural differences and try conversing in Japanese. The local students would show me their projects and sometimes we will discuss the challenging aspects of different techniques. Hanging out with them on the weekends, I always had such a great time exploring Kyoto and meeting other creative people in their exhibitions.

I have grown from my experience living in Kyoto and studying at KTS, both professionally (now that I have new skills to apply in my design career), and personally. Interactions with all the people I have met in these months have given me precious memories to keep.

from the KTS Graduate Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Annex, March 2016

Between Warp and Weft (left)
Though textiles are often viewed as a single surface, they are in fact many layers of material intertwined. This piece of tapestry exhibits the different layers of color and material within - the warp, the additional layer of color applied onto the warp and the weft. Appearing to be between the warp and weft yarn, the blue-green rhombus highlights the weave structure, and draws attention to the texture created by the weaving.

Behind the Screen (right)
This tapestry explores the idea of seeing the weft yarn as a layer of material over the warp yarn –perceiving the two as different layers, though they are intertwined. The blurred form painted on the warp yarn serves to suggest depth in the tapestry, further separating the viewer’s focus on the two different yarns.

Tiffany Loy (Singapore)

---

Tiffany studied in the Beginners Course, Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in spring 2015.

TiffanyLoy.com