Category Archives: Japanese Craft Books

Book Review: Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

Japanese Woodblock Print WorkshopJapanese Woodblock Print Workshop( A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of Mokuhanga) by April Vollmer

Between my love for Japanese aesthetics and the arts, April Vollmer’s book Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop immediately caught my eye.  I was first drawn in by the bright print that’s on the cover of the book (one of April’s prints).  But when I opened the book, I was really taken away by the passion and respect April has for the art of Japanese Woodblock printing (mokuhanga).  This book took three year’s in the making and is truly a labor of love.

Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop (JWPW) is an all-encompassing guide about mokuhanga.  In it you will find everything from the history of mokuhanga to a step by step outline of how a print is made.  This book is highly detailed and technical.  I would recommend it for experienced printmakers who want to expand their knowledge on the subject of mokuhanga.

Japanese Woodblock Book 6Suzuki Harunobu (1725 -1770) Eyogami(calendar print): Show-Woman with a Monkey

The first chapter of the JWPW is  “history and significance”.  Along side it are examples of prints such as the wood block print above.

Japanese Woodblock Book2This is just one of many pictures you will find in the “Tools and Materials” chapter.  There are also instructions for using the tools.

Japanese Woodblock Book 3Here’s an example of what some of the step by step instructions look like.  Pictured above are the last steps for re-covering the baren.

Japanese Woodblock Book 4“A professional papermaker keeps fibers in suspension by keeping the slurry in motion as the water drains for the sugeta.”

There’s an entire chapter focused on washi (Japanese handmade paper)!

Japanese Woodblock Book 5The Dive by Henrik Hey

One chapter is dedicated to contemporary artists using mokuhanga.  This chapter is very inspirational to look through with all the unique prints.

Japanese Woodblock Book

Zova #6 (blue) by April Vollmer.

To learn more about Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, please visit April’s site.

I received Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop from Blogging for Books for this review.

Japanese Craft Book: Rose Window

Japanese Craft Book Rose WindowRose Window by Asako Hirata

As I was browsing the Japanese craft book section, I noticed a new trend. Or at least, it’s a new trend to me. There were quite a few craft books for faux stained glass.  The fuax stained glass in all the books was made from cut tissue paper.  But what really grabbed my attention was the book Rose Window which layered the tissue paper.  The result of this technique is absolutely stunning.
Japanese Craft Book Rose Window 5Here’s a photo from the book to give you an idea on how these faux rose windows are created.  I’m still trying to find out where I can purchase the wood frames to make them. If I can’t purchase them, I’ll probably make my own or use an embroidery hoop.

Below are a few more pictures of projects from Rose Window.

Japanese Craft Book Rose Window 2

Japanese Craft Book Rose Window 3

Japanese Craft Book Rose Window 6Usually I have a hard time finding Japanese Craft Books online but I was able to find this one on Amazon.  I purchased my book at Kinokuniya.

Origami Wall Art

Origami Art What do I hang on the walls? That is the question I’ve been asking myself since we’ve moved into our new house.  Currently I have a few pieces of art scattered around the house.  But besides that, my walls are blank.  I feel like I’m living in a house with no soul.  So to remedy the problem, I decided to make a few origami pieces for a large blank space in our living room.  The origami art pictured above is just a quick-look into the project. It’s not a lot but it’s what I’ve been up to.

How about you guys?  Did you make anything interesting over the weekend?

*The directions for the stars can be found in the book Origami Paper Motif Pattern by Tomoko Fuse.

Japanese Craft Book: Mizuhiki Arrangement

Mizuhiki Craft BookWhile at the Kinokuniya bookstore in San Francisco, I came across a new mizuhiki book.  I’m sure there are a many Japanese mizuhiki books available but I rarely see them. So of course I had to get it. I liked that the book had a good balance of traditional and contemporary uses for mizuhiki.

For those not with familiar with mizuhiki, it’s a cord made out rice paper. They come in a variety of colors and sometimes stripes.  The cord is often used to make decorative knots that are found on cards and gifts.

Mizuhiki Craft Book 2mizuhiki flamingos

Mizuhiki Craft Book 4Decorative knots as embellishments

Mizuhiki Craft Book 3These knots were used for napkin rings, utensil holders, and wine glass charms.

For those interested in Mizuhiki Arrangements, the ISBN # is 978-4-7678-1653-1.

Japanese Craft Book: Animal Cards

Paper Animal Japanese Craft BookThe Gift of Animal Cards by Mari Kumada ISBN 978-4-7661-2703-4

If you like paper crafts, I think you’re going to like this Japanese craft book.  It’s called the The Gift of Animal Cards and it has some of the most creative little cards I’ve ever seen.  Below are few pictures of my favorite projects.  I hope you like them as much as I do.

Paper animal Japanese Craft Book 3These little guys would be perfect for Valentine cards.

Paper animal Japanese Craft Book 4Owl Pop-up Card – perfect for a Harry Potter fan

paper animal Japanese Craft Book 2This horse turns into a zebra when slipped into the envelope.

Paper animal Japanese Craft Book 5The bag around the alpaca’s neck is mini card.

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