Presented by Katie, Ronja, Sarah & Livia
The focus for this project was on a traditional Indigo dyer in Kyoto, Japan, and our long-term objective was towards preserving the craft as long as we could. In doing this, we came across different issues, such as the notion of directing outside assistance towards a first world craftsman that already is making a living and how to delicately approach this.
If preserving the craft was the main objective, than our strategy became about figuring out ways to allow the craftsman to maintain his full focus on the craft, and let innovation and different sales techniques and connections be the thrust of change that would allow him to do so. Our vision was that he should focus only on creating fabric yardage while at the same time reach out more for collaboration with two new groups, other local textile artists and designers, and textile engineers and scientists. For him, quality was of the utmost importance. He was not against organic or more sustainable fibers, as long as the quality of the finished product remained to his standards. If he collaborated more with textile engineers to be able to develop more sustainable materials that he would want to use, then he would be able to create yardage for a new audience; that of the sustainable designer and consumer. Thus, our thought was that more demand for product would ultimately lead to more demand in future generations wanting to learn and perfect his technique, and thus lead to the preservation of his craft while enriching the whole community of textile artisans connected with him.
Our plan as seen on the implementation chart was to take place over 18 months. The other key component to this project would be that there would need to be someone who was in charge of handling/managing the efforts of coordinating the collaborations and connections that would allow the dyer to be able to step back and only focus on creating the highest level of quality products.