The Shibusa Bag with India Flint

16-18 August – Price: £595 plus £5 per day lunch (optional)

Use this link to open an online BOOKING FORM in a new window.

Making a sumptuous and richly textured, felted dilly bag

Shibusa is a quality of making, a philosophy of being that is intrinsic to Japanese culture. It represents what I cherish from my Latvian heritage as well. Although the Latvians never thought to devise a name for it (or at least I haven’t been told it, yet).

The seven elements of shibusa are simplicity, implicity, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection.

These elements are embodied in the slow-sewing of clothes that have I practiced for most of my life and so I have adopted the appellation shibusa for my approach to hand-making. I do so with respect and in the hope of giving no offence by this ‘cultural borrowing’.

The shibusa bag is made from felt, created firstly as small prefelts and then pieced together using stitch before final fulling. It is a means of using up all the tiny shreds of cloth left over from cutting clothes, of saving morsels of beloved items we have become emotionally attached to, of using cloth gathered as souvenirs over years of ecoprint bundle dyeing.

During our three days together we will make a series of prefelts, using sushi mats and soap free felting techniques. We will dye a lining for the bag using local flora, gathered on walks during which we will also harvest textures and marks to develop into stitches and surface treatments. There may be the occasional writing of poetry as we step into the realm of shibusa.

India Flint's Shibusa Bag

India Flint Shibusa Bag


Some firsthand experiences of the special qualities of India’s classes are shared in the following blogposts.

Sweetpea Path 2015

Hedgetables 2014

The film below was made in 2013 when India discovered Newburgh’s drum-maker, Jason Shearer.

In the film below (2015) class participants make tide cairns in the Tay Estuary at Newburgh.