Monday, March 5, 2012

Kiri-e class

On March 4th, there was a community event at the San L (3L) building about a 15 minute walk from my apartment. The instructor, a school rugby coach by profession, led us through the steps for making kiri-e (pictures made by cutting the paper, as opposed to origami, which only folds the paper). 500 yen covered the cost of the supplies, including a white matte board and some pieces of construction paper.

The instructor had sets of five different patterns and we were to choose one each from them. There were 10 students in the class (me - the American, one woman from the Philippines, one guy from Germany, and the rest were Japanese). The concept is simple: The picture you want to make is drawn out on a piece of printer paper and stapled over a sheet of black construction paper. Using an x-acto knife, cut out all of the white parts. The remaining construction paper is then the outline of the picture you're going to make (remove the staples). Glue colored construction paper to the back of the outline as desired, then glue the finished image to the white matte board.

The finished student projects. I did the little skier in the middle. Took me 2 hours to complete, while the instructor commented that with practice we could get each of the pictures down to 20 minutes. I think they all look good, but the little girl and the rose seem to be the most elegant.

This skier is mine. The camera had trouble focusing from where I was standing but I didn't realize that at the time of the shot. The female ninja below didn't photograph at all well, but the actual kiri-e looks very good. I have been looking at getting a new camera, and I may make a decision on one in a few weeks. As for doing more kiri-e, well, that depends. The main challenge is to create that initial pattern on the printer paper. It's important to remember that the black construction paper will tear if the lines get too narrow. So, I need to come up with a good design, first. There's a similarity to woodblock printing, and it may be easier to find a good woodblock print and use that to start out with.

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