Kumihimo Workshops and Teachers

Rodrick Owen will be teaching at Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts in the Spring of 2017. Click here for information. They are located in Pennsylvania, USA.

AKS Kumihimo Gathering 2017

Makiko Tada, Jacqui Carey, Giovanna Imperia, Adrienne Gaskell, & more

The first annual kumihimo conference sponsored by the American Kumihimo Society. Three full days of braiding classes and an opportunity to learn from acclaimed instructors.

When: October 20th, 21st, & 22nd, 2017

Where: Tampa, Florida: Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore, hotel room rate of $129.00* + taxes. Free parking for hotel guests and conference attendees and free airport shuttle for hotel guests

*Hotel space is limited, rates can not be guaranteed. Reservations should be made before March 15th, 2017. We recommend to book early, cancel without penalty up until 48 hours before arrival. Use AKS Gathering and dates to book at 1-800-HILTONS.

Visit the AKS website for a complete listing of area hotels.

Conference Fee Includes:

Early Bird Registration, opens February 1st, for AKS Members - $495.00

After February 20th, AKS Member Regular Price - $535.00, Non-member Price - $560.00

  • 3 days of classes (kit fees and materials not included)
  • Lunch on all three class days
  • Conference Publication
  • Apply to Teach

    We are looking for experienced kumihimo instructors to teach a diversity of projects at all levels of experience. Classes will be 6 hours in length. Send class proposals to Adrienne Gaskell. Please include: A Brief Bio (CV), Project Title and Photo, Class Description, Skill Level, and Equipment to be used (marudai, disk/plate, takadai, etc.). Application deadline: November 30th, 2016. Visit the AKS website for Instructor Compensation Package details.

    Rosalie Neilson

    Rosalie's teaching schedule is on her website, scroll down to find it on the left side.

    Adrienne Gaskell

    Adrienne is offering many workshops, check her website to see the latest!

    Susan Jefferson is currently teaching a number of kumihimo classes at Let's Bead! in Rochester New York.

    Please e-mail me with new workshop information.
    (listed alphabetically)

    If you can't find a teacher in your area, find your local weaver's guild as there are often braiders amonst the members.

    Penny Akester is a professional jewelery making tutor with a special interest in braiding, she works from her home central London (UK) where she offers private 1-1 tuition, as well as groups at other venues. She teaches braiding on a disc for children and adults and braiding on a Marudai for adults Ė including setting up and winding warps etc.

    Penny can also be reached by e-mail.

    Shirley Berlin loves to teach kumihimo and other narrow wares workshops. She is particularly interested in basic kumihimo and its myriad variations: texture, distortion, thick and thin, adding bumps or beads, beginnings and endings and practical uses.

    Her most popular class starts with basic patterns for beginners on Day 1and moves on to variations on Days 2 and 3. She has some wonderful slides and does a general lecture about narrow wares called "That's nice, dear, but what do you do with it?" looking at history, ethnography, craft, art and practical issues. Shirley lives in England and Canada.

    For more information visit her website or reach her by e-mail.

    Jan Buday teaches kumihimo and lampworking classes in her studio in Washington, USA. As an artist of mixed media, she has a great interest in incorporating the Japanese tradition of braiding with silk and the forming of molten class on madrels to form beads. These two media lend themselves to an interplay of light to form a unique blend of splendors.

    For more information visit Jan's website or reach her by e-mail.

    Jacqui Carey was Introduced to braiding while completing a BA (Hons) degree in Woven Textiles at West Surrey College of Art and Design. She has since specialized in Kumihimo as maker, teacher, author, and researcher. Jacqui has exhibited, demonstrated, lectured, and taught throughout UK and abroad. She has written a number of books and various articles. Her research work covers history, other braiding techniques, creative applications, mathematical analysis,and cross disipline connections.

    For more information visit her website or reach her by e-mail.

    Claire Cassan offers classes in beginning marudai and takadai in English and French in the Pau area in the South of France.

    Claire can also be reached by e-mail.

    Carol Franklin began braiding in the mid-1990s, and has studied with Makiko Tada and Rodrick Owen. After several years of braiding on the maru dai, she began to focus on taka dai braiding, particularly the patterns created by exchanging the layers of double twill braids. She is one of a small number of kumihimo artists worldwide using Nimai Kourai Gumi to create large multi-braid images with this technique. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she was one of seven teachers from outside Japan to be asked to teach at the first International Conference on Kumihimo at the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Kyoto, Japan in November 2007. Carol has taught classes in conference settings and for guilds in Georgia and Florida.

    You can contact Carol at her website.

    Adrienne Gaskell teaches kumihimo beaded braids on the marudai specifically for jewelry designs. As a jewelry artist, her approach to kumihimo is unlike fiber artists. She has developed methods of making the fiber structure of the braid disappear so that the beads, gemstones or pearls become the braid's primary decorative element.

    She teaches at national shows, such as Bead & Button, and anywhere an enthusiastic group beckons her. Her workshops are geared for all levels of expertise as each student is encouraged to work at their own pace and skill level.

    For more information contact her through her website.

    Carol Goodwin teaches classes in the Seattle area and at a bead store in Bellevue, Washington. Her particular interest is in incorporating beads into the structure of the braids. She teach two classes: Kumihimo Basics followed by Kumihimo with Beads. In the first class, Carol teaches warping the marudai and four basic braid structures. In the second class, students learn how to include beads in those same four braids and some jewelry finishing techniques.

    Contact Carol for more information.

    Suwa-Andrea Hoeller lives in Vienna, Austria. She was introduced to kumihimo by Tokoro Hoko-san from Gifu Prefecture in Japan in 1999 and since then loves to make kumihimo. Since 2002 she has had classes at the Adachi School of Kumihimo in Kyoto. Suwa-Andrea teaches kumihimo in small classes, especially with disabled children, partially sighted and blind people and hard of hearing and deaf people. She has found that her disabled students, both children and adults have great potential skills!

    She teaches on the Marudai in small classes at schools, home and private houses. Suwa-Andrea feels honored to continue to attend the workshops of Tokoro Hoko-san each year in the spring at the Japanese Embassy in Vienna.

    Contact Suwa-Andrea for more information.

    Giovanna Imperia started her craft career as a beader until she stumbled on a kumihimo book and decided to try her hand at this craft. She immediately fell in love with it and its infinite design possibilities. She has spent the last several years studying and fine tuning her skills on the maru dai, kaku dai, ayetake dai and taka dai. She has spent time in Tokyo with Makiko Tada where she studied the karakumi dai. Giovanna was an artist in residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; she has a wire handwoven bracelet that has been published in 500 Bracelets and a kumihimo/taka dai collar will be published in 500 Necklaces both books by Lark Publications.

    Giovanna loves teaching and sharing her passion for kumihimo. She teaches both locally and nationally, primarily beginner, intermediate and advanced maru dai workshops as well as weaving with wire and mixed media jewelry.

    For more information visit her website or reach her by e-mail.

    Susan Jefferson teaches Kumihimo and bead stitching at Letís Bead! in Rochester, New York. Classes range from the basic round braid, braiding with beads, wire, and traditional braids using fine silk strands. All classes include instruction on finishing and embellishing techniques. Susan loves experimenting with color and pattern, and sharing her learning with others interested in the craft. Current classes can be found on the Letís Bead! website .

    You can reach Susan at e-mail.

    Ethel Kawamura studied kumihimo in Kyoto, Japan in 1980-81. Presently she is available to teach workshops, give demonstrations,and show slides. Generally she prefers 2 or more day workshops. She has taught marudai and kakudai, but could do ayatakedai if there is interest. Workshops can be geared to the students desires, but generally include some ideas for use and history. Locally she will teach half day classes, but would not travel far for that amount of time. She has the use of a local needlework shop's facilities if a class would like to come to Nashville,Tennessee!

    For more information, contact her by e-mail.

    Masako Kinoshita has taught marudai kumihimo, the circular-top stand-and-bobbin braiding techniques since 1980, and finger-held and hand-held loop-manipulation braiding techniques since 1983. She teaches one- to four-day workshops, her preference being three- to four-day classes. By going back to the simplest braid structure and following historic as well as present forms of braiding techniques, she shows students how varieties of braids can be grouped into a small number of procedure patterns. When students learn this basic principle, then they can understand how braids have been developed and how they also can develop their own designs. Memorizing braiding recipes also gets much easier and memorizing color arrangements for each pattern is no longer necessary.

    Masako has shown her woven and braided works internationally and published articles on the subjects in magazines and academic journals, in English and in Japanese. In 1994 she published a monograph, "Nihon Kumihimo Ko Giho No Kenkyu = Study of Archaic Braiding Techniques in Japan." This book is about her epoch-making research of a long-forgotten art of Kute-Uchi, a highly developed from of loop-manipulation braiding. She also founded the Loop-Manipulation Braiding Research and Information Center (BRIC) in 1998 and publishes Loop-Manipulation BRIC News.

    For more information, see her web site.

    Maryse Levenson owns Fiber Expression, located in Colorado. Her web site has information about the classes that she offers and those that she teaches. Maryse also offers marudai for sale made to her specifications.

    Rosalie Neilson learned to braid on the Marudai and Kakudai stands in 1980 at the Naganuma Kimono Gakuin in Tokyo, a school where women learn how to dress in kimono and accessorize their outfits. Part of the curriculum includes learning to braid Obijime. After her class, she purchased the round and square stands, lots of silk, and was presented with two books in Japanese to continue her studies back in Oregon. In 1982, she returned to Tokyo for lessons with a teacher speciailizing in Ayatake Dai braiding, a technique which uses a supplemental weft. She then traveled to Kyoto in 1987 to the Adachi Braiding School to study braiding on the Takadai. She has taught two to three day kumihimo workshops on the Marudai at various weaver's guilds throughout the country. Her lecture (a history of Japan seen through the eyes of a braider) entitled "Kumihimo: From Defense to Decoration" has been presented at Art Museums, Tea Ceremony schools, Ikebana organizations, and Japanese American Societies. She will be teaching a workshop on 16 element braids at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in the spring of 2001. For dates and details, contact the the College (503) 297-5544. She has also developed a software program called Braid Runner, which predicts the color and design of fourteen different 8 element braids.

    For more information about Rosalie go to her web site.

    Rodrick Owen, who resides in Oxford, England, has been teaching braid workshops in England, the U.S. and Australia for many years. His introductory book on marudai braiding was published in 1995. Forthcoming (early Spring 2004) is his latest on takadai braiding - Making Kumihimo: Japanese Interlaced Braids. He offers all levels, week-end and/or week-long workshops, and lectures on both Japanese and Peruvian braid techniques. His annual teaching schedule includes several United States sites on both Coasts.

    Rodrick can be reached by e-mail.

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    Updated July 2, 2016
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