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My first experiment with a shibori technique called mokume, or “wood grain.”

I am about to take some old shirts to a tailor next door for repair and I’m wondering if I should order some masks as well? Maybe dye some cotton with indigo so that I could inhale its lovely scent when wearing it? I have an old piece of cloth that I dyed long time ago with a particular shibori technique, perhaps now is a good time to get busy and make new ones! People here seem to be wearing masks more and more although it’s not so popular yet, except maybe among the taxi drivers. I’ve noticed that for many it’s like an accessory placed on the forehead or it’s hanging around the neck rather than covering the face. In some local news clips you see people lower the mask whenever they speak and then put it back on.

I would like to wear a mask when I go out to buy food because some beggars by the doorsteps of the shops tend to get very close. Same thing happens with the guys who usually ask for money to buy alcohol. They are all sober now. Times are tough.

Go small!

In the middle of this spring’s artists’ residency season the house is full of positive work flow and laughter and discussions about life in general, and about being an artist and looking for opportunities to show your work in particular.

Since long time now I preferred very slow processes just because, and I keep reminding myself that it is all about the process. It’s not about sharing my work to the entire world on the social media, because that process easily takes over and interferes with my creative pulses and subconsciously affects my work while it should just be about my love of making things. I had these thoughts just the other day while I was stitching some fabric for a tie dye workshop. I was amused when I realized how little it actually is that you know about what you will be doing at some later stage in your life… who would have thought that I would prefer to sit quietly in the house, listen to my favorite radio station Radio Wassoulou Internationale, and  stitch fabric! It was very relaxing and meditative and while I was at it, I thought I could do this much, much more often and make some surprising patterns and dye these fabrics in various shades of indigo. I was also thinking of Aboubacar Fofana and his impressive textile designs. How often do you seriously stop to think whether you should set sail to a completely new direction in your life?

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© Jarmo Pikkujämsä

Maybe it’s because my recent walking trip in the Mauritanian desert that I seem to have the urge to go smaller and keep it “simple”? I’m thinking of small spaces and work that would fit in them. It’s a good time to keep listening to Radio Wassoulou and be playful with tie dyes, photography and writing, and go smaller for a change.