If you’re Japanese and middle-aged or older, or a huge fan of Japanese period dramas, then this image is probably commonplace to you, but for me it was one of those increasingly rare mind-blowing ‘Japan moments’. To me a spinning wheel is a large, heavy, wooden complex piece of furniture, and this lovely object was a completely different interpretation.
I’ve been fortunate to have found a shop in Kyoto that specializes in wool spinning using Western style spinning wheels and spindles, 金の羊, and I’m very much looking forward to doing a seminar they’ve invited me to do there next year in 2014.
Yesterday, enjoying a much-needed yarn day with fabulous Fiber Diva friend LaKietra, we went to the Organic Cotton Hand Spinning Shop, 益久染織研究所, in Nara. Always on the lookout for creative ways to keep my son occupied, I noticed they have some very reasonably priced little ‘experience the past’ classes in both weaving and spinning. Perfect!
As I’m looking at the ad, I notice that the spinning one has someone modeling spinning on what looks like a knitting needle. I couldn’t resist – I had to ask – and the clerk brought me to the Japanese style room with the spinning wheel. As you can see it’s made of largely of bamboo, designed to be used while seated on a tatami floor, and when she brought it over to me for a closer look, moving it looked almost effortless. Here is a close-up where you can really see the bamboo:
Both the weaving and spinning experiences are done by appointment, and we’re in the queue. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with you when we go.
Have you seen or experienced fiber art tools that surprised you? Please share in the comments below.
Copyright © 2013 by Teresa Bolen. All Rights Reserved.