Yoshiko Wada is an artist, curator, educator, author and textile researcher and, without her, I never would have gone to Japan. Ms Wada has written several books including Memory on Cloth: Shibori Now (One of the best books I have ever read, Yoshiko Wada is THE expert on shibori. There is a lot of history about the processes and culture behind shibori, as well as step-by-step how-tos in the back of the book. I highly recommend getting this book and using it as a reference if you are at all interested in textiles.)
Ms. Wada has, with her books, her extensive lectures and workshops and with her avid passion for shibori has nearly brought the traditional fabric dyeing art form back from the dead. In modern Japan, shibori was getting tossed to the wayside by more technologically advanced dyeing processes. However, with Ms. Wada’s writing and efforts, shibori has been seen in contemporary costuming for Broadway shows (The Lion King!), fashion, artwork and craft (plus some elementary schools around Pittsburgh because of me).
Ms. Wada was both an inspiration for my fascination with Japanese shibori fabric dyeing and was instrumental in helping me receive an Artist Opportunity grant through the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council which helped with travel costs. My gratitude goes out to her! More information about shibori and Ms. Wada’s work can be found by clicking here.