Zen-Mood Space found at SORAMITSU, Nara -shop visit -

What does Zen-Chic Style look like?  If someone asks me that question I would show the pictures of Soramitsu, a shop for "THE ARTS & CRAFTS made in Japan," located in the quiet town of Takabatake, Nara.   Traditional tools and craft works by Japanese modern artists are displayed by exquisite sense of spacing (called "Ma" in Japanese)  in the rooms of old Japanese style house where visitors are given the breeze of nostalgia- maybe for someone the place reminds of grand mom's home.  Carefully displayed pieces look proud to be 'only-one' for someone to be picked and brought to his or her home.  Yes, to Home.  The concept of Soramitsu products I can capture; hand made craft works are meant for everyday use and that way they can live the most and enhance their beauty.

Easily missed and passed by.  The place is hidden in a maze of narrow paths of beautiful town of Takabatake.  

Entrance space of Soramitsu where welcoming flowers always show visitors the present season.

"Tomorrow for Each" Exhibition (Mar.1st - 10th, 2013) was open on my visit.
Works of 4 young ceramic artists of Kasama and Mashiko village ( both are famous for Japanese ceramic craft production) displayed.  The villages experienced the Earthquake of Tohoku Region in 2011 and struggled by its after effect.  Some artists had to leave their working ateliers.  (Left) The message from the 4 exhibiting artists: Tetsuo Kuwahara, Yuzuru Harada (from Kasama), Takehiro Ito and Minoru Suzuki (from Mashiko) who had decided  to stay in their villages.  The words read; Hope for Tomorrow -of each artist and the villages and for their ceramic production to bring happiness to many people's tables.

Left: Traditional Japanese Cleaning tools on wall giving the sense of Home.
Right: White tableware beautifully spaced, free to touch and feel its texture.

(From Top) Metal graters forming turtle, crane, and the basic plane type (from left to right)
Metal Scissors
Straw Bind Tools for cleaning and washing
Posts & Pans Mats embroidered with "Kogin"stitches, traditional folk-stitch patterns from Aomori Prefecture.

Box framed texts by the exhibiting artists, again the example of spacing objects.

Just Random placement?  No.  Great sense of measurement of "Ma" (Spacing) is presented here.

I think this peaceful Zen-Mood Setting creates the best way of mutual communication between the visitors and the objects (which carry the artists' hearts).  It reminds me of spirit of Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Exchange of energy between tea servers and receivers in tranquility.

How interesting the way we can find the best "Ma"(Spacing) to create Zen mood.
It is horizontal grouping of objects, with no rules and limits yet only you could find the right moment -
when the objects tell you to stop, move and finally grounded still.   

Special Thanks to: Ryo Kitada (writer) and Satoshi Takahira (Screen Print Artist) who took me to Soramitsu.



New Spring Botanical Garden Walk at CHIEL

I think it was right after the “Reincarnation Exhibition” finished Ayako and I were chatting somehow kneeling down on the floor at my tearoom, like two kids were talking secrets, that she told me about her ideas for up coming accessory creation. She was into botanical books and kept talking of flowers and plants she newly learned, about  their mysteries of colors and shapes with her eyes blinking! Then here as spring has come I found her production had been come out bloom in her studio put in showcases on her web site (under "Collection" Bar).   The series titled: “Playing with Flowers, Colors, Words.” Enjoy a little peak from her botanical garden. (The captions under the pictures are translation of Ayako's, talking of Japanese traditional color names )

"Forget Me & Forget Me Not" Flowers
If there is a flower saying "Please forget me not"maybe there can be another one saying "Forget me please."Is there anything that is holding you back to go on further? Then just bloom like these flowers do, wait for your spring to come & let your sorrow go away.  And when the time comes reborn your soul and keep succeeding. 

Series of "Kokihanada"-Japanese color name for the deepest level of "Ai," (Indigo) Dyeing 

"Fukura" Buds; Flowers -named after the sound of "Puffiness" in Japanese.

"Kompal" Flowers - name for the color of slightly greenish blue.
It became a trendy color in late Meiji Period (Post Edo Era )in Tokyo among Geisha girls' fashion.

"Kompal Hanabe" Flower originally  created by Ayako.  The name means "Goldish Spring Fire Works."
Bright blue pistils blooming out of golden petals like fireworks.

"Gold and Tobi Color"Flowers Bracelet- "Tobi" is Japanese name for Black Kite bird.
Tobi color is named after the birds' wings dark brown.

"Kofun"Flowers Pierce: "Kofun" is Japanese color name for slightly reddish white.

"Kofun & Tobi "pierce: combination of Tobi color (for petals) and Kofun color (for pistils)

"Keppen" necklace: the word means "Fragmented Pieces"in Japanese.
This is one exceptional work in the collection.  Ayako found unexpected beauty in the cut-out-pieces of flowers and other accessory pieces and collected them into a necklace work.