Embracing recycling and renewal, Samantha Verrone’s work is a nod to traditional Japanese design in both concept and form. In true boro style, her pillows, bags, and poufs are pulpy patchwork of durable, utilitarian Japanese textiles circa the 19th century, stitched in sashiko fashion, an art form in itself. Each piece is individually unique and, in the spirit of sustainability, not a scrap of cloth falls to her studio floor. Even the smallest cuts of saturated indigo are beautifully adapted for cuffs and necklaces.
A collection of these one-of-a-kind pieces are now available in-store and online at abchome.com. Reveal caught up with Verrone to learn more about her distinctive technique. Read on to learn more about the generational storybooks she creates with these textile hybrids.
“There’s a certain freedom that comes with using what you have. It forces you to be more creative.”
Verrone had been working in fashion and textile in the States and in Italy for years when her husband turned her on to a book on bojagi (Korean patchwork) called, “Rapt in Colour: Korean Textiles and Costumes of the Choson Dynasty.” The catalyst shifted her attention. She discovered Ichiro and Yuka Wada’s company in the Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya in Osaka to acquire hand-loomed, cotton and hemp pieces mended and patched out of necessity by the country folk of Japan. “I felt an instant connection,” Verrone said.
These deep collages are a part of a creative process, that was not necessarily meant to be a creative process, resulting in an “unintentional art.”
Her pillows utilize Shibori, Japanese tie-dye, and Kasuri, a weft Ikat technique, which create the blurred, speckled patterns. Her bags are also reflections to the carryalls of old. Komebukuro were traditionally hand-stitched drawstring bags used to carry rice for temple offerings, storage and transport.
Verrone’s patience to repair and her respect for the cloth typify the conscientious lifestyle she means to inspire with her design. To her, the hand-stitching is therapeutic and meditative. “The design is sustainable in that it is labor intensive rather than resource intensive,” she explains.
Furthering the cause and deepening her global connection, a portion of the purchase of boro goods goes to support Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
Check back at Reveal for more boro goods and see Verrone’s personal favorites from inside ABC below.
-shari monique gab