Coupeville is a very serene, peaceful and beautiful spot. The weather is just about perfect — high 60’s, warm sunshine, low humidity. The workshop with Akemi Nakano Cohn is the perfect complement to this place. She is a warm, thoughtful and deliberate teacher who creates a zen-like atmosphere. We are all feeling so relaxed and at peace under her tutelage.
Here are some photos of the workshop space, which is a bright and airy room.
Our first job was to learn how to mix the rice paste, which is a combination of sweet rice flour and rice bran and water. After it is well mixed, it is formed into small doughnut shapes and wrapped in cloth to be steamed.
After it comes out of the steamer it needs to be stirred 100 times. We all took turns. Here is Judy pouring the paste into a bowl
Here it is ready to use.
Next we learned about mixing the acid dyes. I have not worked with acid dyes before.
When the dye is mixed, it is added to a premeasured amount of rice paste. As we mix each color, we are spreading the rice paste on a gridded piece of silk, which will be cut up for us to take home as a sample of the different colors.
We next learned how to cut stencils, which was an exercise in frustration for me, despite the zen atmosphere. We cut two stencils, based on leaves that we had picked during the lunch break. Here are my stencils and the paste printing that I did. I had a terrible time with the paste seeping under my stencil. I got better as I practiced.
Here is my second stencil which was printed over the first. Tomorrow, I will add the background.
Despite the mess I made, I am still quite excited about the possibilities with color rice paste. We saw samples of her work that were not from stencils. I think I will do better with the stamping and scraping!!
After class, Judy and I walked down to the wharf along the water. Here are some sights:
Judy had leftovers from dinner last night and I picked up something and we ate here in the suite. Look at the view as the sun was setting.
You can see additional sights on my Coupeville Flickr site.