Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Beginning my JTA Apprenticeship

I am happy to sing it from the roof tops... I am a temari addict.

I love everything about making temari. I enjoy gathering the materials to fill the base from all the recyclable items I have at hand. I revel in the calm that comes from the rhythmic action of wrapping the ball in yarn, slowly but surely covering the core material until only I know what is inside. I love to see the ribbon effect of power wrapping over the yarn. I am always in awe as I see the single thread wrap layers going over the ball and marvel at how, by some sort of magic, the ball suddenly becomes a smooth sphere. I like finding the poles and all the other marking points around the ball. I particularly like looking over my stitching thread boxes, full of many colours choices, and trying to find a palette of complementary (or contrasting) colours. I love the search for the meaning in all the lovely patterns in my library of temari books. Most of all I love the stitching, especially when many patterns require me to keep faith that although what I am stitching looks remarkably different to the model as I stitch further I begin to see the designs emerge. I find the anticipation of the pattern appearing really exciting. 

It is because of all this that I decided last year to begin a temari apprenticeship. Now I'm not going to say that this is a necessary course of action for everyone.  People (and the temari they make) who choose this path are in no way superior to those that choose not to. There are a great many makers of the most beautiful temari that have never considered joining the Japanese Temari Association (JTA) or studying for the various levels. I just really wanted to connect my own temari journey to the country where the art form came from and becoming a  member seemed the best way for me to do this.

Although it's still quite a mystery, we in the west are learning more about the process every year. There is a lot of information to be found at TemariKai. Last year I decided to begin my study for the first of four levels. There was a number of people that also began this journey last year too. We all found out last weekend that we had passed. Phew! A big sigh of relief for all of us. Many people (who are braver souls than me) decided to apply for level one and two together. I hope to study for level two later this year.

Thanks to my own study group (Laura, Rosemary, Jane, Michelle, and Pam), our Shihan Barb Suess and to Ai Mizuta our wonderful JTA contact who is the lady that makes it possible for all of us living outside of Japan to become members of the JTA and undertake these studies. Congratulations to everyone that undertook JTA study this year.

You should all be pleased and proud of your achievements.


  1. Well done and well deserved Rebecca and thanks for help in the study group!

    Laura B