Jiro Kamata was amazed by Mexico’s blues skies. He kept on taking pictures of them. What for us Mexicans was a fairly regular blue, for him was the bluest of them all. Jiro’s plane was delayed in the Netherlands, but 5 hours of delay and a jetlag couldn’t stop him from feeling enthusiastic. I picked him up at his hotel in La Condesa, and we travelled for around 35 minutes to the workshop in Tlalpan. The space where the workshop was held was a very nice studio used by Cristina Celis, a ceramist/jeweler. The two-floor workshop studio is a converted vecindad, so you have a side patio and different entrances to the ateliers rooms. I had the chance to talk to Jiro during a nice Mexican breakfast in downtown Tlalpan before the workshop kicked off. We talked about him, his expectations, and about his last visit to Mexico.
I asked Jiro Kamata what he expected of the workshop. At the time, he was hoping that “all participants had something to find on their own.” Although he was very conscious that a five-day workshop wouldn’t produce pieces finished to the highest standard, he was hoping for participants to find their own path. He wanted to “make them think about why they do jewelry and explain to them why he does it as well.” He felt sure that the workshop’s goals “will be achieved over a long-term period, but that the process of a mutual understanding would be a first step.” I found out that Jiro thinks carefully about what he wants to say—not only because of his cultural background or because we were having a conversation in English, but because he cautiously looks for the exact words to express what he wants to say.