First 2-Day Shibori Workshop – FANTASTIC!

Last month, JANM held its first two-day shibori workshop with Shibori Girl that focused on indigo dyeing. Students had unlimited access to vats of both natural and synthetic indigo for two days of intense shibori immersion. A dream come true for some of us. Glennis Dolce, Shibori Girl herself, provided each student with an assortment of natural fabrics for experimentation and taught both basic and intermediate shibori techniques.

On the first day, students were a bit timid about trying the different shibori techniques and the dyeing process. But by the second day, students had transformed into passionate avant-garde artists dyeing everything from pieces of leftover string to their own clothing while experimenting with the various stitching, tying and clamping techniques.

Bounty from the Two-Day Workshop






There’s this wonderful aspect of shibori – you really don’t know what your piece will look like after all that stitching, binding, clamping, and dyeing. The process of unwrapping your fabric and seeing the finished piece is magical. Whether hours were spent hand-stitching an intricate pattern or the fabric was quickly folded and clamped, each project seemed to turn out beautifully.

Thank you Glennis for a fantastic weekend workshop! And thanks to the shibori classmates who were not only inspirational but really fun. More fun please.

♦ ♦ ◊ ♦ ♦

Our cultural art and cooking workshops feature excellent instructors like shibori artist Glennis Dolce and food writer Sonoko Sakai and attract a wonderfully eclectic group of students – and the most devoted – some traveling from Northern California, Palm Springs and even Michigan!

The next Shibori Girl workshop will be held on Saturday, March 3 featuring silk and color dyes. The next soba making workshop will be on Sunday, March 11 with Ms. Sakai. Reserve a spot by calling (213) 625-0414.

Upcoming Color Shibori Class!


Two-Day Shibori Class in Jan 2012

To all you crafters and artists out there, JANM will be presenting our first two-day indigo dyeing workshop with Shibori Girl on the weekend of January 21 & 22, 2012. Glennis aka Shibori Girl, has a jammed pack itinerary scheduled – talk about an immersion program.

If you have taken any of our past shibori classes with the Glennis, you know that this is a fantastic dream come true. These workshops are for all levels so dive in if you have always wanted to learn more about shibori. You can call it a holiday present to yourself.

Check out our Calendar of Events for all the details.

Wagashi Workshop Reviewed

Back in November, JANM was honored to host wagashi* master, Chikara Mizukami from Tokyo, for his first Los Angeles visit. This special occasion began in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum where Mizukami sensei and our favorite food writer, Sonoko Sakai, discussed the over 1,400 year art of wagashi making including its inspiration from nature, Japanese poetry, and even modern day architecture.

After the lecture, we moved to a classroom for an intimate hands-on workshop. The sold out workshop was filled with excited participants—one student had traveled all the way from Minnesota to attend this rare event (Smart man!). We learned how to create two confections out of the sweetened bean paste made from both white and red azuki beans. No rice was used in this school of wagashi.

It was a bit of a struggle to make the wagashi look remotely like sensei’s samples (see photos). Our own Vicky Murakami-Tsuda’s husband Russel T. had a lot of potential—to become an apprentice. Sensei mentioned that the maximum apprenticeship would last four years. Hmmm, something to ponder.

Sensei's Samples
The Apprentice's







After all that hard work, we were rewarded with bowls of lightly frothy matcha to drink, complimenting our wagashi creations. Delicious!


Being able to take lessons from Mizukami sensei was a privilege and incredibly special. But the other details from the workshop were wonderful as well. I can’t tell you how beautiful everything was—the various samples of wagashi from Mizukami sensei’s Tokyo shop, Ikkoan; the simple wooden tools used to shape the confections; the big bowls filled with that intensely green matcha; and Sonoko’s simple yet gorgeous autumnal display of leaves and branches. What a wonderful experience. Hopefully, Mizukami sensei will return to JANM, and we will have the privilege of hosting him again. I know it would be another sold out event!

Sensei's Inspiration?


*Wagashi is a traditional Japanese confectionary, usually offered with hot tea and made of azuki beans and other plant-based ingredients.

Photos by K Doi

Shibori Class!

Shibori Girl taught another incredible shibori workshop at the Museum this past Saturday. The workshop was close to full and students of all levels had a fantastic time experimenting with their shibori and indigo dyeing projects. Glennis, who is Shibori Girl, just returned from a month-long trip in Japan where she attended the annual Arimatsu Shibori Festival and brought samples of gorgeous vintage and contemporary shibori samples for everyone to covet.

Indigo Shibori Samples


Instructor’s Tombo Sample
Stitching the Tombo Design

For this workshop, the goal was to create a tombo (dragonfly) image on indigo using basic shibori stitching techniques. Seemed like a daunting project at first but it turned out to be a very simple task and the results were impressive. I’m sure it was a breeze only because of Glennis’ expert step-by-step instructions. After mastering the tombo project, students were able to experiment with different techniques for the rest of the workshop. The three hours zoomed by and students were still scrambling to squeeze in yet one more project into the dye vat.

Glennis with a Small Indigo Vat


To illustrate how much this group of students enjoyed the workshop: There was a loud collective groan when Public Program Manager, Koji Sakai said that there wasn’t another shibori workshop scheduled until 2012. “That’s too long a wait!” There was grumbling. So now there is talk about have a two-day shibori workshop next year. What do you think? Any past workshop attendees out there reading this blog? Weigh in and email Koji your thoughts about the two-day workshop at or post your comments on this blog.

If you have ever been tempted to take any of the shibori classes the Museum offers, please, just jump in and sign up when you see the next one being offered. You will not be disappointed – Glennis is a generous and knowledgeable instructor who leads an excellent workshop which gets you back in touch with that inner-artist in you and leaves you craving to create more and more shibori pieces. Warning: Shibori and indigo are extremely addictive.

Thank you Glennis!

Students' Finished Tombo Projects!


Photos taken by K Doi