Tenugui:More than Just a Hand-towel December 21 2011

Tenugui is a "handy-wipe", which Japanese carry with them for daily use. But, as you can see here, they are used in a variety of different ways; like as part of a costume for parade performers, as giftwrap for presents, as wall art, as a sash or scarf.

These pretty little textiles we're neatly tied around the heads of the dancers during the Koenji Festival parade, which I attended last month. A natural progression from paper is of course, textiles. As a collector of affordable art or folk arts, I've taken on tenugui as my new obsession. Tenugui are now for sale on

Just in these last 2 months, I've learned more details about how tenuguis are made....will explain in a future blog. Other scenes in the town of Koenji.
Devil Roof Tile of Temple in Koenji Here's a little video to enjoy, recorded in Japan. Just click on link below, taking you to our new vimeo account:

Folded and Functional April 08 2011

I found THE solution (well-almost) to my packing woes-as I anticipate another long voyage across the Pacific. It's ORISHIKI. A hybrid word taken from origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, and furoshiki, the typically square fabric used for wrapping objects, this design by Naoki Kawamoto is literally ""out of the box". A 2-D design with triangular shapes to guide you- unnecessary empty space is swallowed up and saved. You don't necessarily pack up your belongings when it's time to leave the hotel, you merely Ms. Kawamoto's designs are reminiscent of Issey Miyake's angled and folded clothing, described in a previous blog called "Art Labortory", published 01.15.11. Mr. Miyake has influenced so many artists and designers worldwide; even folks like me! found via behanceFor more fashionable reasons, there is the orishiki clutch: