Japanese Craft & Culture days

Each year, Creative Matakana has a special design theme happening. In 2018 it was landscape and in 2017 we rolled out some exceptional special food events. In 2019 we’re holding three special days where you can learn some of the timeless arts of Japan in a gorgeous local home and garden. Each day will include some philosophy, and Monday and Tuesday’s classes also include a delicious Japanese-themed bento box lunch – with sake!

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japanese Bento box lunch (monday only)

Our chef for Monday’s Kintsugi day is Migiwa Ozawa. Migiwa moved to NZ in 1996 and in 2013 , she founded Tutu Company which focuses on liaising between the Japanese and NZ film industry and catering for film productions by providing bento boxes. She is also qualified as a ‘Shoku-iku’ or food education instructor.

Migiwa’s passion is combining the contemporary western lifestyle with a Japanese tradition, resulting in ‘LOHAS’ – Life of Health and Sustainability. The LOHAS philosophy includes ‘Hara Hachi bun me’ (eat to 80% of fullness); ‘Osusowake’ (share with others) and ‘Mottainai’ (zero waste).

Migiwa will demonstrate a number of classic bento box items and all participants will enjoy lunch together.

313: kintsugi & Furoshiki, with ‘an astute assembly’

Monday May 6 | Fee: $140 per person

Kintsugi: repairing for the better
These days it’s becoming more necessary than ever to repair, reuse and recycle, and it’s often the revival of thrifty, age-old practices which enable us to do this. It helps, of course, if the process makes the object even better!

Kintsugi (also known as kintsukuroi) which loosely translates to 'golden joinery' is the ancient Japanese art form of repairing broken ceramics, using lacquer and gold powder, in a way that is often considered more beautiful than when it was when whole. This technique is a true celebration of 'wabi sabi', the aesthetic appreciation of the character of special objects which may be broken, old or disregarded.

This workshop, with Yoko and Yuka from An Astute Assembly, will take you through easy step-by-step instructions on how to piece back together your broken ceramics to give them a whole new life. 

• You can either bring your own broken ceramic piece (not too complicated!) or Yoko and Yuka can provide you with one.

• There’s an option to buy a kintsugi kit at the end of your session for further work.


This is the art of folding a simple square of fabric in many different ways to create a reusable and very versatile way of wrapping gifts and creating packaging or carry-bags. As a fantastic environmentally-aware alternative for plastic bags, its use has recently risen hugely in popularity in Japan and around the world. Yuka and Yoko will demonstrate some of the great ways furoshiki can be folded and used.

Yuko and Yoko’s pick of furoshiki has a geometric pattern and is 100% cotton, made in Kyoto, Japan. They say, “You will be obsessed and soon find your own way of folding it!”

Bio: An astute assembly

An Astute Assembly was founded by Yuka O’Shannessy and Yoko Shimoyama in 2014.

A A A focus their attention on revived craft, particularly where centuries-old techniques have all but been lost and are now only practiced by a limited few. They also offer a curated selection of beautiful homewares, clothes, children’s goods and accessories from around the world with strong ties to their two homes –  New Zealand and Japan – in their store on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd.

Visit An Astute Assembly’s website


315. Creating Magic – Shibori Dyeing in an Organic Indigo Vat with jo kinross **Sorry full**

Wednesday May 8 & thursday may 9 | Fee: $320 per person

Shibori is an ancient Japanese resist-dye technique that involves creasing, folding, stitching, binding and knotting to create beautiful and well defined patterns.

In this two-day workshop you’ll learn how to set up an organic indigo dye vat using easily accessible natural ingredients. We’ll take the mystique out of working with indigo, using a simple step-by-step process that you will be able to easily replicate to make a vat at home. You will also learn a range of Shibori techniques which you can use with the indigo vat to create your own unique designs on fabric and paper.

A materials list will be supplied upon enrolment.

Jo’s bio

In 2003, Jo moved from Melbourne to Nelson, New Zealand with her partner, artist David Ryan. Moving to Nelson provided her with the opportunity to establish herself as a  fibre artist and educator. In 2009 she resumed her interest in natural dyeing, working with environmentally responsible practices and ecologically sustainable materials. By 2014 she was able to put her long- time love of indigo (and all things Japanese) into practice and now works almost exclusively with organic indigo.

Since 2009 she has exhibited her work in 12 solo or group shows within New Zealand and overseas. Jo’s work is available for sale in a number of galleries and shops in New Zealand.

In 2012 David, Ronnie Martin and Jo established Creative Journey Workshops which offers a range of professional level painting, mixed media and textile workshops and courses. Although based in Nelson, we also teach at various venues around New Zealand.