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Mary Taguchi

With long academic involvement in Japanese language teaching methodology since 1970 and researching the history and function of indigo-dyed cotton textiles for many years Mary Taguchi has discovered a strong sense of form and function in both language and textiles. She works with Japanese mingei craftsmen and has been instrumental in encouraging weavers towards a revival of old cloths and patterns. The tradition of dyeing with indigo is centuries old and continues today. The dye from the indigo leaves makes the beautiful blues of the rustic country cotton textiles used for clothing and accessories of the working farming craftspeople of Japan. The meaning of work jackets sleeve lengths field pants and how these garments were produced deftly and economically from narrow bolts of cloth led her to adapting the cloth and patterns for life in Australia. Travelling extensively and regularly in remote mountainous areas of Japan she has met and established working relationships with traditional dyers weavers and stencillers. Bringing cloth to her studio in the NSW countryside she produces shirts jackets vests scarves table runners and cushions. Collections of old patterns garments and cloths have been a guide to her work and form part of her designs. The cloths are woven stencilled tied and stitched and are admired for their outstanding technique and handsome designs rich and complex in tradition and history. Mary delights in visiting the workplaces of potters weavers dyers woodworkers and experiencing the potters’ wheels the dye vats and the looms of small family workshops preserving the accumulated knowledge of generations of craftspeople - all living and working in the traditions of mingei.

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