I was delighted to take some time for good conversation with another Two Waters Arts Alliance artist, Jan Buday, on Thursday morning. Jan studied textiles and weaving at the University of Hawaii, but her
fascination with textiles and art began its spinning in her childhood. At age seven, she was with her parents in Japan and had two large emotional imprints. One was the ruins of Nagasaki, a mere decade after the blast (Jan's family, as Japanese-Americans, had endured the injustice of fear, living in America during WWII) and the other was a visit to Kurashiki Village; a village of Folk Arts.
It's here in the conversation that Jan begins to light up, her arms waving
as if one could paint the scene of colour, fabric, texture and weave she was immersed in that day. It was easy for me to feel it because we were sitting in Jan's studio, surrounded with colour, fabric, texture and weave! The
grey day lay outside, but inside I felt warmed and delighted...as if I could
be seven, safely playing in her studio.
Seventeen years ago, Jan's father made and gave her a "Marudai" which is a wooden stand used for an ancient Japanese art of braiding, called Kumihimo. Threads, silk, ribbons, etc., are weighted by tying wooden
spools to the ends, and then braided into different designs for cords and belts. Let me tell you, the first time I saw Jan working with a large Marudai...I was mezmerised! Her hands danced up and down, side to side, across the top with her threads. The wooden bobbins clacked in rhythm against the stands wooden sides. Hawaiian slack-key guitar playing softly in
the background and my eyes brimming with colours, I was transported within Jan's gentle dance and the hope I know she has for the world, as an artist grateful for the chance to affect a corner of it.
Jan combines this beautiful braiding with exquisite glass beads she makes herself, and the combination looks like jewelry for the soul. You cannot look or touch any of the pieces without feeling Jan's smile and the gift that comes within it. She also teaches Kumihimo, with a Level I class coming, Nov. 21st and a Level II class, Nov. 22nd. at Gig Harbor Beads. Their phone number for more information is (253) 858-6750. You can see the little foam form that replaces the traditional Marudai for holding in the hands and working. I'm really looking forward to my lesson this winter!
I asked Jan how her process and art have changed with age and experience. It's a question I ask of my community as I ponder it for myself. With life's serendipity, her answer, our conversation, and a poetry prompt I had received in the morning, all began to weave. So I shall leave you with a recommendation to visit janbuday.com so that you can see more from one of the amazing artists we have here, living between the Two Waters of Carr and Case Inlets. I leave you with a poem from the prompt, "growth," and the magic of a morning spent with neighbour, colleague, and friend...thanks Jan!
She had a passion to begin,
details sometimes lost in the rush
to start again another flame.
So it is, when fire is young,
sparks fly and burn, too quickly done.
Now she knows her passion runs,
years grow into life poured
through emotion, her art
into details and justice,
nailing intricate finishing touches.