The Boro Aesthetic
Books, Bags, Zakka, and Zokin
by Jody Alexander
About the Book
Boro is a word used to describe Japanese textiles that have been pieced, patched, repaired and passed down from generation to generation. Boro textiles are utilitarian objects that are rich and sumptuous and that, although old in age, possess a contemporary aesthetic, and are rooted in sustainability. This book contains information from three popular in-person workshops taught by Jody Alexander: Boro Sampler Book, Boro Bags, and Zakka, Zokin, and Chiku-Chiku. Included are images from Jody’s personal collection of Japanese boro textiles, images of class samples, class handouts, and writing that reflects workshop discussions. Class handouts include instructions on mending techniques specific to boro textiles, Japanese side-sewn binding, tsunobukuro (horn bag), azuma bukuo, and zokin inspired coaster/placement or table runner for the home. There is also a glossary of Japanese terms that will be useful when studying boro textiles. This book is appropriate for beginners wanting to learn stitching and mending techniques or experienced artists and makers wanting to incorporate a new aesthetic into their work.
Jody Alexander is an artist, bookbinder, librarian and teacher who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She binds books with found and discarded papers and fabric in a number of historical and modern binding styles, and rescues discarded books and gives them new life as scrolls, wall pieces and sculptural objects. Her pieces celebrate collecting, storytelling, and odd characters. Her characters, books, sculptural pieces and found items are often combined to create installations. She has taught book arts at San Francisco Center for the Book, The Center for the Book in New York City and University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work appears in a number of publications including Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artist, 500 Handmade Books, and 1000 Artists' Books: Exploring the Book as Art. Jody is the 2015 recipient of the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship.