Friday, August 31, 2012

Gosho-bako Progress

The last two months were very busy, my 65th birthday was yesterday, and tonight is a "Blue Moon" - time to post progress on making a gosho-bako so that I can begin to learn the Shikishi-date procedure.

The first step was to find a basket to convert into a goshobako. I finally found a vintage lady's straw purse in an antique mall, pictured here next to my chabako to show its relative size. The real gosho-bako are beautifully crafted baskets, but  this will be OK for my practice. Maybe someday I will have time to make a nicer basket.

Removing the zipper made the interior space a little too shallow, so I added a ring of upholstery trim in its place to increase the depth and give it a more finished appearance.

after zipper was removed, before trim was added
It was a challenge to duplicate the sanada-himo, ribbon tie. The closest I could find was "gimp" for trimming upholstery, but it did not look the same on both sides so I hand-stitched two layers back-to-back which also helped make it more substantial. The metal attachments are made from beading-supply parts I found at a craft store. I couldn't resist adding the little swallow [燕 Tsubame]

While I was looking for the the right ribbon, I made 4 kobukusa (silk napkins). The silk for 3 kobukusa came from a resale shop that receives donations of fabric samples. The plain chirimen silk from vintage kimono fabric was ordered online. I still need to make the chirimen silk bag for 2 nested chawan and the little cushion that goes between that is used instead of the brocade shifuku in the picture.

I had already made the macrame shifuku (drawstring bag) for the furidashi (sweets jar), but now I think that the purple looks too bright with the other things. I will make another that is closer to the color of the plain purple kobukusa, which looks rather brown in this photo, maybe with silk thread this time instead of Perle cotton.

The "ivory" chashaku (tea scoop) was lent by my tea sensei. It fits in the basket, but I think that a shorter one may be used for goshobako. 

red raku chawan
The other thing still missing is the chakin-bako which is a box with a lid that fits completely over it, 2" x 2" x 1.5" tall, made of either silver or lacquered wood. The chakin (wet linen cloth) is stored inside and the deep lid is turned upside down to rest the chasen (whisk) at an angle. It's hard to believe but I  have not been able to find that size box ... yet!