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I was born in a rural fishing village in northeastern Japan. My middle name comes from the local 雷電 (raiden) shrine, which is dedicated to the god of thunder and lightning.

Like lightning, I hope to keep my feet on the ground and my thoughts in the sky as I sew and hammer my way through life.

My interest in traditional crafts was sparked when I saw images of wooden Japanese fishing boats.  After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of northeastern Japan, I returned to my hometown and visited with one of the last boatbuilders in the region. 

I am also influenced by Scandinavian crafts, which I studied during an immersive 10 month internship at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I am passionate about not only preserving traditional techniques but also using traditional crafts in my everyday life.

I currently teach skin on frame boat building to adolescents in St. Paul, and the ancient textile technique known as nålbinding to students of all ages. I received a 2015 Minnesota State Arts Board's Folk and Traditional Arts Grant, and studied traditional Scandinavian green wooden bowl turning with artist Jim Sannerud.

In the spring of 2015, I assisted boatbuilder and researcher Douglas Brooks with the documentation and building of a traditional wooden fishing boat with one of the last boatbuilders in northeastern Japan. The project was funded by the U.S. Japan Foundation and the Asian Cultural Council

If you're interested in learning more or organizing a class or craft demonstration, please be in touch!

Email: angelarobins@gmail.com