Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pussy Party

猫のパーティ

'Cats Keeping Warm': Pussy Parties, from GoodsFromJapan.As in the West, the image of cats in the East is imbued with a charm that goes beyond most other domestic animals - sometimes on the darker side, but more often on the happy, the lucky and the delightful.


Ms Chizuko Hayashi of Sendai City in the north-west of Honshu is the director of nothing less than the Neko Jimusho, or 'Cat Office'. Here she loving sculpts 'Pussy Parties': intricately painted tiny cats out of styrene that she then arranges in unforgettably touching handcrafted scenes of feline jollity, intimacy and fun.

'Cats on the Desk': Pussy Parties, from GoodsFromJapan.
Each fanciful 12cm (4¾")-square 'Pussy Party' makes an ideal gift, especially for children. The loving detail of, for example, the tiny photograph album - each of the dozen pages featuring an actual, miniscule, photo - that the cats might be poring over in one scene, is matched by the interactivity of the painstakingly crafted desk of the cats writing haiku poetry, with its openable and closable little drawers.

Furthermore, each 'Pussy Party' is unique. Although the themes are set, Ms. Hayashi applies her imagination to each one as she works, working within the genre to produce an irreplacable original for each customer. These striking but simple concoctions of color, texture, detail - not to mention plain feline magic - make each and any of these whimsical handmade slices of happy cat-life from Japan a lifelong favorite of any lucky receiver.


'Cats on the Table': Pussy Party, from GoodsFromJapan. Add to that, solid handcrafted quality: hand-decorated styrene cats, natural wood, paper, fabric and, for that unmistakable Japanese touch, a tatami rush mat base.

Buy 'Pussy Party' online now. Rushed to your part of the world from the 'Cat Office', airmail, fully protectively boxed. Purrrrty on!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Shibori Tie-dye

絞り
Shibori (shaped-resist dyeing) is an historic Japanese craft which involves elaborate stitching before the fabric is dyed, often with natural plant-based dyes such as indigo.

Classic Shibori Design Tablecloth The numerous different techniques of shibori sees the artisan draw up portions of cloth and tie each shape with cotton thread, sometimes a metal hook, wooden pole or shorter dowel is used to tie and bind the cloth.

Each technique produces a different shape and motif; arashi shibori, miura shibori, boshi shibori and kumo shibori are some of the most well-known methods.

GoodsFromJapan's shibori products come from Arimatsu in Aichi Prefecture, which is Japan's leading production center of shibori tie-dye and has been since the 17th century, since Takeda Shokuro, a native of Kyushu, moved to the Arimatsu area in south-east Nagoya as a worker employed building nearby Nagoya Castle.

Choose from our shibori handkerchiefs, shibori noren and shibori tablecloths.