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Featured Artist: Ruru Mori of Happy Spinning and Dyemama Woolworks Giveaway Winners!

by EBlack on February 18, 2014

RM-HS HopperPublisher’s Note:   If there is one thing I love the most about being involved with Spin Artiste, it is the ability to connect with artists doing what I love to do from all over the world.  I was fortunate to meet Ruru Mori of Happy Spinning who hails from Japan at the 2012 Yarnival.  I have had this post on my wishlist ever since.  I know a lot of you reading this feel the same way that I do — you are curious as to how people are practicing fiber from all parts of the globe…therefore, it is with great pleasure that we get to take a peek into Ruru’s fiber world filled with vibrant colors and freedom of expression yet rich in technique.  Take it away, Ruru!

 Spin Artist (SA): Ruru, tell us how you got into fiber art?

Ruru Mori (RM): As a child I have grown up with my mother’s handmade clothes and I really enjoyed wearing clothes with crochet, embroidery on imported fabrics, and unique patterns. I used to play making doll’s clothes with bits of fabrics while my mother was sewing. One whole year I spent visiting museums and flea markets in Europe after graduation and took a job in the garment industry. Although I had little time to enjoy handcrafts, I had great opportunities to encounter creative works of various fields. My life has changed drastically since I moved to a house in the woods, in the countryside of Tokyo, I started spinning yarn with natural dye, and I met art yarn. I fell in love with art yarn because of its free style and the joy of creation.

RM-HS coils 2SA:  And, what has your involvement with fiber art meant to you?  

RM: I feel fiber art has introduced me to a new method of expressing myself.

RM-HS twists 3SA: How would you describe your art?

RM: It is the source of my happiness. I hope to describe my inner feelings and natural beauty with fiber art.

SA: Your goal to create “natural beauty” has been fulfilled; your yarns are extremely wonderful and full of life! Would you say your yarn reflects your personality, and if so, how?RM-HS sparkle fiber

RM: Very often I laugh aloud and I can’t hide myself from others. My yarn seems to show my personality as people often tell me that my yarn makes them happy, which makes me very happy, too.

RM-HS HappySpinning 2SA: I am drawn to your use of color…You seem to use a lot of bright blues and pinks; what draws you to these colors?

RM: Most of the time I choose color unconsciously; pink is the color I use to show relaxation and happiness, and blue is the color of sky and ocean, which describes openness and hope. RM-HS pink and blueI always feel joy and happiness when I choose colors to card and spin, therefore I tend to use those colors. I am delighted to hear you like my color combinations.

SA: I had never thought of pink as a color of relaxation, but since pink is my favorite color, I have to agree with you.  I know you attended last year’s Tokyo Spinning Party, which looked like fun! What can you tell us about the conference, and did you enjoy it?

RM-HS tokyo spinning party 2RM: The Tokyo Spinning Party has been held since 2001 and recognized as the biggest event on weaving and spinning in Japan.  Quite a number of people gather from all over Japan every year. Participants are mostly farm owners and store owners, but I joined in 2012, after I participated in Yarnival, organized by Lexi Boeger, where participants freely joined with their own capacity. I hoped the same would happen in Japan. It is always a great experience for me to talk with people with great knowledge on felt work and other fields, as well as hearing their desire to join and participate in the future. It was very worthwhile. I hope foreign business owners of spinning wheels, weavers, and fibers will join this event to introduce various kinds of commodities to the Japanese market.

SA: Sounds amazing.  I am putting that on my Bucket List!  RM-HS mushrooms 2I adore your yarn mushrooms. Tell us the story behind those pieces!

RM: Remains of yarn have always given me the urge to make use of them. This method I learned at the Hooked Rug Workshop gave me a clue to utilize bits of remaining yarn. I enjoyed using the remains with additional color of yarn processed with a drop spindle on the spot and then stitched on a linen cloth, to coordinate with colorful cloth like Liberty, Souleiado, or Kaffe Fassett. Then, I stuff some cotton inside and attach a leather band for hanging. Since childhood, I have loved mushroom design which has drive me to make more mushrooms.

RM-HS Mushrooms 3SA: How do your customers inspire your work? 

RM: The moment my customers show astonishment or joy in seeing my work is the moment I most enjoy, and which inspires me to create more.

SA: You seem to have an wonderful support system with your customers. RM-HS polka dotsWhat a great source of inspiration. What can you tell us about your wheel?

RM: Among three wheels, my favorite one is the Hopper by SpinOlution attached with One Sized Art Yarn (OSAY)  flyer. The bobbin for 32 oz can be attached to this OSAY, which not only enables you to spin heavy bulk art yarn but also enables you to spin larger size materials with the help of a C hook. It is powerful and easy to change bobbins. I was able to spin as I wish since I started using this Hopper. This Hopper is a dream come true, after waiting a long time for a mighty partner!!!  Its unique style attracts people’s attention and I am showered with questions at the events.  It is also a great conversation starter.

RM-HS studioSA: What is your studio like?

RM: My studio is in the attic renovated by my husband, with a new door, window, and floor. It is still under construction and needs painting soon. On the floor there are three spinning wheels, huge amounts of colored fiber, colorful yarn for thread plying, electric drum carder, SAORI Flamingo Loom, and a Rigid Heddle Loom. It doesn’t mean I always stay in my studio at work. Sometimes I bring my spinning wheel to the living room to work and enjoy the company of our two Airedale Terriers, or to the balcony on a sunny day.

RM-HS spinning_wheelSA: Your studio sounds like a perfect place to work. I’m sure any fiber artist, new or seasoned, would appreciate your creative space. Speaking of new artists, how would you encourage new spinners just starting?

RM: I will recommend art yarn, as it doesn’t have any rules to follow. Even beginners will feel free and enjoy it. If there were rules, it would be a little too technical.

SA:   If you could spin with anyone (in the present or past), who would it be?

RM: In the present, it would be Yayoi Kusama.  I would like to challenge her on pink polka dots. In the past, I would want to spin with Claude Monet.  I would love to spin in his flower garden.

RM-HS Granny stacksSA: Those are fascinating suggestions! I have one more question for you before we say goodbye. What is your favorite cold weather snack?

RM: Amazake, Sweet Rice Liquor.  It is made from rice malt and is a sweet, non-alcoholic, hot drink.  I enjoy Amazake with grated ginger, snuggling under a  Kotatsu which is a  Japanese table covered with a blanket and a heater underneath.


kotatsuSA:  Oh, the Kotatsu looks very interesting!  I had not heard of this before and have to say, what a great idea.  Thank you very much, Ruru for joining us this week.  It was wonderful to find out more about you and your work.  

Readers, things have been kind of crazy around here getting ready for the big live broadcast for www.fiberygoodness.com but I did not forget that we had giveaway winners to announce for the Dyemama Woolworks natural dye kits.  And our winners are Barbara Berry and Andrea!  I will be in touch via email to coordinate getting you your prizes.

One more little thing — well, to me it’s kind of a big thing…I finally, finally, finally got my act together and set up a newsletter for Spin Artiste — there is a box on the right hand column on this page below the ad spaces.  There will be content in the newsletter that is not on the blog posts and newsletter subscribers will receive a free surprise giftie with the first issue from me for signing up!






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