We are very happy to introduce Caroline, an amazing Sashiko (and more) artist working with ordinary fashion and creative Sashiko Stitching. Here is a beautiful Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline.
Many participants in my Sashiko Workshop mention that it is impossible to get the stitching speed as I do. I always reply to them that if they practice properly for some time, they all will get the similar speed within 2 years or so, probably much sooner. She is a great example of learning the appropriate technique and keep “producing” many Sashiko arts. I am so proud of her.
We sincerely thank Caroline to be the first alumni to answer the interviews. Please enjoy “Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline”. (This is a part of Sashiko Alumni Interview Series.)
Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline
When did you start being interested in Sashiko?
I don’t remember exactly! At some point in the last few years, I started seeing various classes being offered in sashiko, and it looks so beautiful that I decided I wanted to learn.
What is your passion for Sashiko?
I find the stitching to be meditative – I am a knitter, and doing sashiko puts me in a similar mind space, one I find to be very beneficial for my state of mind. I also like the planning of a sashiko project, which can be quite mathematical and precise (depending on what pattern I am stitching). I don’t think it’s an accident that I’m drawn to sashiko because of both the precision and the meditation aspects, as I find both are important to all the craft work I do.
In addition, I love vintage fabrics and vintage clothing, and I love indigo, and I love natural fibers, so those things combine to bring new life to old garments and fabrics.
The recycling of old fabrics and clothing is especially important to me; lately, I’ve been buying old shirts at the thrift store and doing sashiko stitching on them, thus making a generic item of clothing into a one-of-a-kind piece. Falling in love with our clothing and customizing our clothing and realizing the importance of handwork is the way to get beyond fast, cheap fashion.
I also like the traditions inherent in sashiko, stitching patterns that have been in use for centuries, creating “boro” as the Japanese have been doing for centuries.
What did you think of Atsushi’s Workshop?
Atsushi is a great teacher, not only in how to do sashiko but also in the excitement he has for ideas and projects. He’s so open-minded about what sashiko can be and how it can be used. He knows the tradition and teaches the tradition, and yet he gets inspired by how sashiko can be pushed to go beyond the tradition.
Plus it’s amazing to say that I learned sashiko from a member of a family that has been doing it for generations!
What inspires you when you work on your Sashiko Project?
I get inspired by seeing my project develop slowly, learning little things along the way, improving my technique. Stitching gives me time to ruminate on the next part of the project, or maybe on my next project, or on other creative ideas.
What is Sashiko for you?
My simple definition of sashiko is making running stitches with cotton thread – and what I like about this definition is its openness, its ability to encompass traditional stitching patterns, the making of boro, and lots of things beyond. My goal is to incorporate sashiko into other projects, figuring out how to mix sashiko with sewing, quilting, embroidery, knitting, and other crafts in a way that is new and beautiful.
[ End of Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline ]
Photo Gallery of Caroline’s Achievement