Japanese-style Gift Wrapping Workshop

The Japanese have traditionally bundled their daily purchases, the clothing they doff at bath houses, and the gifts that they give each other in furoshiki, colorfully printed squares of cotton cloth. These are often knotted into elaborate bows, especially when they enclose presents bestowed at special occasions, such as wedding, birthday, and New Year’s celebrations – or at Christmas.

This holiday season, join one of our most entertaining workshops on Saturday, December 1, and learn to wrap Christmas gifts the Japanese way with furoshiki. Our instructor will demonstrate how to do up items as varied as bottles of wine and yoga mats in fabric, guide you in practice at folding and knotting furoshiki, and teach you to make practical furoshiki pouches to hold your cell phone, hiker’s water bottle, or other small possessions. You’ll come away the master of techniques that will have your family and friends appreciating not only your thoughtfulness in remembering them at Christmas, but also admiring the uniquely stylish flair with which you have wrapped their presents.

The workshop will be held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and advance registration is required by email to yume.gardens@gmail.com. The instruction fee of $25 includes all materials, but not admission to the Gardens. After class, you can purchase furoshiki from the selection of beautiful ones in Yume’s gift shop. They make lovely presents in themselves, by the way, and knotted at your throat or on your belt, they’re also striking fashion accessories.


Calligraphy Workshop

The delicate art of classical Japanese calligraphy is at heart a practice of Zen-like physical and spiritual engagement, once reserved for emperors and nobles. Now you can lose yourself in its deep appeal during an absorbing hands-on seminar with nationally-known calligraphy artist Yoshi Nakano. This two-day workshop takes place Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, November 11, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Born in Japan and a graduate of the Art College of Nagoya, Nakano has been practicing calligraphy since the age of seven. He has exhibited award-winning traditional, contemporary, and abstract ink brush work in shows in the Northeast and Southwest, and his drawings are in private collections in New York City, Chicago, Santa Fe, Tucson, and California.

Under Nakano’s guidance, you’ll produce Japanese calligraphy in which the interplay of carefully meditated strokes of black ink on white rice paper fosters a dynamic oneness of body, mind, word, and medium. More than simply making art, you’ll become part of the very art that you create, and which you can take home to display.

All course materials are provided, and the cost of the workshop is $115; Gardens admission is not included. Participation is limited to a maximum of eight students. Reservations are required; please email yume.gardens@gmail.com no later than November 5.