The Soul of the Cloth

As observing all artists with 10,000 hours of practice, watching Payal Parekh Bugbee’s hands move with the fabric when she picks up a scarf, is a glimpse of a master craftperson shaping earth, air, fire and water.

We were lucky to have Payal join us at Kobo for a trunk show with her eponymous line of hand printed textiles, Parekh Bugbee.

Payal is a second generation textile designer taking her family’s work into the 21st Century with an awareness and respect for the tradition her father founded in India.

Payal holds her scarves with a tenderness and knowledge of their strength. Pinching a corner and running her other hand down to the center, she demonstrates how handling a scarf in this manner eases the tension of the warp and weft allowing the scarf to flow.

Understanding ‘the soul of the cloth,’ as she says, is making in an environmentally conscious manner, and is essential.

Using natural dyes, the fabric is dried in the sun for 2 days, giving the cloth and color time and exposure to hold.

With zero wastage in production, even the water from the dyeing process is used for the organic garden.

Time is a hidden value in all craft. Two generations of knowledge and two days in the sun imbue each garment with a certainty to bring pleasure and joy with each touch.

Let’s make sure you join us next time we host Payal here at Kobo. If you’ve not already joined our mailing list for happenings, we invite you to do so!

Kobo Artist Profile: Tomoko Suzuki

Tomoko Suzuki has a master’s degree in printmaking from Cal State, Long Beach, where she focused on installation and sculpture. ‘Creating multiples is an interesting way to think in terms of filling space,’ she says.

With a background in abstract and non-linear art, Tomoko moved toward representational images because, she states, ‘I wanted to connect to people with an image and a figure was a good way to do that.’

She enjoys printing as ‘a process you have to be aware of doing, like cooking, you have a recipe,’ and with many hours in the print studio, as a practice, she prefers to ‘create on a whim, not letting paper stop the construct.’

We caught up with Tomoko in the studio at Bremelo Press, where she’s busy with a new Bodhisattvas series of prints.

Here at Kobo we look forward to featuring and introducing you to Tomoko’s latest words on paper.

These Bodhisattvas are struggling and suffering in order to advance to enlightenment while helping others to do the same, in the muddy pond of earthly desires. – Tomoko

Come visit either of our Seattle locations, Kobo Capitol Hill or Kobo at Higo in the International District.

We’ll see you soon!