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Sumi Lee: 2014-15 Faculty Development Grant Report


In Fall 2014, I received a Faculty Development Grant to fund a workshop for ‘Traditional Japanese Textile and Indigo’ in Fujino, Japan.

This workshop focused on the traditional Japanese ways of indigo dyeing, natural dyeing, several different kinds of Shibori dyeing (Mokume, Arashi, rope dyeing, resistant dyeing using mochi paste, Takano dyeing), stencil dyeing (Takazome-persimmon paper stencil) and thread making from silk cocoons. Additionally, I learned the basics of making Kumihimo (braids), arranging Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements), conducting authentic Tea ceremonies, picking green tea leaves from a field, and making Japanese hand-made noodles for Udon.

I learned how to respect the true value of 100% handcrafted works that have been handed down from generation to generation. Furthermore, I experienced their emphasis on sustainability and up-cycling, which are well practiced in Japanese culture – the ‘Wabi-Sabi’ spirit.

--Sumi Lee
Professor, Fashion Design and Model Drawing

Read Full Report [PDF]