Day 1 with Shigeomi Ohashi: the afternoon

After lunch Ohashi-san took us to his personal studio. It was a hot day and the cicadas were out in force. We shared a cool lemonade and played with one of BAICA’s projects Tenta, designed by Kosei Shirotani and Fumi Hasegawa.

Tenta is a very cool construction toy using triangular sets of bamboo pieces that fit together to create all sorts of constructions. I love!!! Image courtesy of http://www.luluweb.com/baica/

BAICA is a collaboration of young bamboo craftsmen and women, promoting the work of younger generations. Ohashi-san is an active member of BAICA. After the break Ohashi-san prepared to weave. He had soaked some prepared bamboo overnight to make it flexible. Ohashi-san moved and worked so quickly and skillfully it was difficult to photograph and keep up with the process unfolding before me.

Ohashi-san splitting the bamboo
Weaving the base after the bamboo splints have been thicknessed
The form that the basket would take
The finished basket

Before our eyes Ohashi-san had made a beautiful basket. There was a moment when Ayako thought I could understand Japanese. I was repeating everything Ohashi-san was saying before she could translate. It was that special connection and language between makers I thought.

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