We dream of the rhythm of sashiko stitching, shibori indigos, the wabi-sabi of yarn-dyed cloth. The age-old techniques of Japanese textile crafts are part of what stirred us to create BeBe Bold, based both near Byron Bay in Australia and the east of France at the base of the Jura mountains. We love the mishmash of our everyday, an Australian-French family with a love of travel and Japanese textiles.
Jane has just returned to Australia after co-hosting the 2018 BeBe Bold tour of Japan with Shuji Yamazaki of Wabi-Sabi Designs in Canberra, Australia. From the photos, it looks like they are having a really wonderful time, rich with discoveries of Japanese textiles, cuisine and historic sites (including the famous Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto).
Yuza Sashiko Group in Yuza Machi
The beach was just a short stroll from Chokai Onsen in Yurari, such a dramatic scene. The snow and the surf at once, something you don’t see very often at the beaches of Byron Bay! The food was delicious and the ‘Historic Aoyama Residence’ so rich with interesting objects including beautiful ceramics. Thanks to the Yuza Sashiko Group the residence was opened especially for us for a private tour of the building and its treasures, so special.
Jane and the tour group had the good fortune to attend workshops with renowned experts Japanese sensai (masters). The first was the highly sort-after Yuza Sashiko Workshop with Reiko Domon and the Yuza Sashiko Group in Yuza Machi.
The work of Reiko Domon and the Yuza Sashiko Group is so impressive and they were so generous with their knowledge. They welcomed us with a banquet of local cuisine. A perfect workshop. I felt that I was able to learn a lot from the experience. Highly recommended.
Shibori Kaikan in Arimatsu
A few photos from the treasures at the Shibori Kaikan in Arimatsu and a rare example of kogin at the Amuse Museum, Asakusa, Tokyo. Both are really worth a visit.
Workshops at the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki.
The tour joined a kogin class at the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki.
Kogin can be a great feature on everyday garments. The workshop at the Kogin Institute was such an inspiration, loved it!
Pincushion Workshop with Akiko Ike of Chiku Chiku fame in Niigata.
It is always lovely catching up with Akiko. What a wonderful time was had by all at the Chiku Chiku Pincushion workshop. She brings great energy to the workshops and is always inspiring with her dynamic and vivid works.
And where will Jane be next? A Sashiko and Boro Atelier in Arc-et-Senans, in the Doubs region east of France.
We are really looking forward to the arrival of Jane MacDonald for our Sashiko and Boro Atelier in early February. It is BeBe Bold’s first event in the village of Arc-et-Senans in the Doubs region, east of France and one we are all looking forward to. It will be the perfect activity for the cold and sometimes rainy/snowy weather at this time of the year in Europe. A chance to meet others who share an interest in these stitching techniques in an historic building across the road from the UNESCO listed Saline Royale.
We have arrived in our little part of the French countryside to begin a new chapter in the BeBe Bold story. Where to start? With village walks to see the mighty Comtois working horses or with buttery madeleines for the afternoon gouter? Yes BeBe Bold is not only in the sub-tropics of NSW but has made the big leap across the oceans to France from Australia to open a sister online shop in Europe.
We are settling into our new home life, with the garden revealing veggie patches of inhabitants past and the newly installed wood-fire stove providing much-needed warmth. Bowls in our kitchen are filled with apples, pears, quince and walnuts, seasonal offerings from the trees at the bottom of our garden.
And then to fabrics, stitching, shelving and websites. In the midst of all this cultural and vegetal discovery we are working on setting up our shop in the Franche-Comté village of Arc-et-Senans, auspiciously placed in the geographical centre of Europe. Quelle chance!
There is a gallery and restaurant next to us and across the road is the UNESCO listed site La Saline Royale with magnificent gardens, events and exhibitions. For the winter season an ice-skating rink has been installed. Lunchtime breaks will be entertaining. This was taken in the gardens of the Saline a few months ago, it looks a little different now.
For our first event, we look forward to welcoming Jane MacDonald who will be visiting us from Australia in just over a month. She will be teaching a two day workshop in sashiko and boro (one on each day). These events are very popular in Australia and we are so glad that we are able to offer them where we are now based, near the city of Besançon in the east of France.
For more information about this event please visit workshops. You can also have a look at Jane’s bio in the ‘About’ section on the Australian based website www.bebebold.com. Jane is a well-known and celebrated teacher in Australia and we are so fortunate that she is able to make it to teach with us in February. Pencil it in your diaries, the dates for the workshop 1st-3rd February 2019 and spaces are limited.