Monday, January 06, 2014

The Hassle of Handmaking Tassels with Joe Hamamoto

It takes me about 45 minutes on the 405, in comfortable traffic, to get to Marti's or Carol's; and also about that long to get to WCOG, for that matter (long, busy side streets after getting off the 10 freeway). 

Often when I go to the origami gatherings using the 405, I will swing by Marukai in Garden Grove for some tasty fried rice I like there.  Only a couple of blocks away is where Joe Hamamoto lives.

Many years ago, Joe and Gay Merrill Gross struck up a correspondence through email.  She is the one who put Joe and Yami Yamauchi in touch with one another (Yami also lives in Gardena).  And thus was born the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Joe loaded me up with a lot of origami modular giveaways when I went to PCOC back in October.  One of the persons he wanted me to give something to was Gay.  She did not attend; but I had Tricia Tait mule one of Joe's pieces to her.

A month ago, Gay emailed me to let me know she received the gift and to thank Joe.  One thing that caught her attention that had escaped mine was the quality of the tassel attached to her origami gift.  She asked if Joe makes his own tassels.  I said he probably gets them in Little Tokyo (even though he seldom travels much, due to his age).  It turns out I was wrong.

Joe does indeed make his own tassels, employing what he calls a "fisherman's knot", which he learned from his father.  I'm not an expert or connoisseur in tassel-making; but told Gay I would film Joe's method for her.  So Sunday, after the meeting at Marti's, I swung by to pick up my spam fried rice dinner, and gave Joe a visit:

Apologies if I failed to ask any of the right, pertinent questions to tassel-making.  If anyone has questions to ask, ask and I will pass them along to Joe.

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