In November 2019 Intoart designers travelled to Tokyo, Japan. This research trip gave each designer a chance to soak in both the frenetic atmosphere of city life and the gentle tranquillity of Tokyo’s abundant temples and natural spaces. Taking inspiration from the trip we have developed a new product collection that explores the rich visual history of Japan.
Whilst in Tokyo, Intoart designers took part in a number of workshops to gain an insight into traditional Japanese crafts and learn from skilled practitioners.
This began with a hands-on workshop in Japanese brush and ink calligraphy called ‘Shodo’. The designers developed a better understanding of the precision and confidence involved in creating these bold Japanese letterforms.
The next workshop focussed on the world famous craft of Japanese indigo dyeing or ‘Aizome’.
Textiles are first bound to create intricate patterns that will resist the dyeing processes. The fabric is then submerged and compressed in vats full of natural dye made from the fermented Indigo leaves. This process can be repeated multiple times to create the wide range of blue hues associated with the craft.
Each member of the design studio already had experience in printmaking, so the prospect of learning the Japanese approach to woodblock printing was especially exciting.
The group visited the studio and print shop of esteemed craftsman David Bull in the historic district of Asakusa to learn more about the delicate process and print their own multi-layered ukiyo-e prints.
The final workshop the group took part in was a chance to learn about the complex ‘Chusen’ technique of fabric dyeing which mixes elements of Batik And Screen-printing to transfer a design through layers upon layers of fine fabrics.
For each designer this process resulted in the creation of their own hand-dyed Japanese hand towel known as ‘Tenugui’.
Once back in the studio the design team set to work creating a wealth of new imagery reflecting on the trip.
As a result we are proud to share our latest product collection, titled ‘A Tokyo Ryokou’.
The collection celebrates each designer’s journey to Japan and takes inspiration from the sights and sounds of the city.