Thursday, 13 October 2011

Okinawa (4) Islands and Beaches

On Wednesday we took the 9 o'clock fast ferry to the island of Tomashiki. Then we caught a bus across the island to this beach (in foreground) and the small island as the view. The beaches are white sand (coral) and there are coral reefs starting about 10 yards from the water's edge. Ruth, who is an expert, says she has never seen good coral reefs. There ared lots of different sorts of fish including clown fish. There were maybe 30 people on a half-mile long beach. We rented an umbrella and chairs and snorkelling equipment and got on with enjoying ourselves. The only drawback  was that it was very out of season and there was no food to  be had. But we survived on water and coke.

We got back to the hotel about 6 and went out to get something to eat. We ended up in a place which cooked the main course on a metal plate set in our table. Here is my lobster and prawns being done. Very good. My son-in-law, Robin, is complaining that he thought this was a textile trip and it seems to have become a gourmet trip. Can he come with us next time?  I think Ruth is already planning a major family expedition to Japan.

This morning (Thursday) we left the capital, Naha, and travelled north to Emerald Beach where we are staying in a chalet (rather high class) about 5 minutes from the beach. And they have shells on the beach. The smallest ones are more than two inches long.  There were no shells at all at Tomashiki yesterday.

We took in a Bashofu factory on the way. Bashofu is fabric woven from Banana tree bark. You can see the whole process there but - no photos.  I have bought a sample, got given a write up in English and managed to acquire a sample of the fibre as it is spun (Don't ask). As a yarn, it is quite stiff and each weaver had a humidifier puffing out steam next to the warp. It feels like hemp when woven up. They weave tabby stripes and some hana-ori but also kasuri (warp and weft ikat) which was dreadfully expensive at about £80 for a table mat. Even the small piece I bought which is 4 or 5 inches square cost me £10.0 and it is just striped.

One leftover from Tomashiki is that I got badly sun burnt on my legs. We think it was caused by the umbrella not being wholly opaque. Ruth has some good stuff and the redness is beginning to disappear. 

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.