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Book 3 - The writing's finished

All the Book 3 writing and pattern making is finished, and I'm now waiting for the proof copy to arrive so I can begin the editing, rewriting, and anything else that's necessary to get it into a publishable state.

The book is 196 pages, 356 photos, and 164 diagrams, and gives detailed instructions on how to make 45 hexagonal patterns.

This will bring the Shoji and Kumiko Design series of books to an end. The three books give instructions on five complete (but scaled down) shoji, and more than 80 different patterns. I started writing the first of the books more than five years ago.

The following photo is the tentative cover. Provided it looks good on the proof copy I'll receive, this will probably be the eventual Book 3 cover.

Book 3 cover

Hopefully, all the checking will be finished and the book will be ready for publishing before the end of the year.


New patterns — Futae-zakura and wa-tsunagi

These are a couple of new patterns for Book 3. The first is the futae-zakura kikkō (二重桜亀甲), and this is one of the sakura family of patterns. The other sakura patterns (sakura, yae-zakura, and kawari yae-zakura) are covered in detail in Book 2.

Futae-zakura kikkō pattern (二重桜亀甲)

The second is the
wa-tsunagi (輪つなぎ), which means a connection of circles, and in this pattern, the circles are formed by the hexagon and triangle shapes.

Wa-tsunagi pattern (輪つなぎ)

This now brings the number of patterns for Book 3 to twenty, so I've completed roughly half of what I want to include in the book. All going well, I hope I'll be able to finish making and writing some time mid-way through next year, and finally publish it no later than this time next year. Fingers crossed.


Two new patterns — Dragon's claw

These two patterns are the ryūsō (dragon's claw) variations.

Ryūsō asa-no-ha  龍爪麻の葉
Ryūsō asa-no-ha 龍爪麻の葉

Ryūsō kikkō  龍爪亀甲
Ryūsō kikkō 龍爪亀甲


Two more benten patterns

These are two more benten patterns for Book 3. The meaning of the word benten is covered in my blog entry of 24 July.

The first pattern is the
benten tawara kikkō (弁天俵亀甲). The tawara kikkō pattern was covered in my 11 July blog entry, and if you look carefully, you'll notice that the benten tawara kikkō is simply that pattern with the addition of a triangle in each jigumi triangle. The dimensions of the individual pieces have, of course, been changed to give, in my view, a better balance for the new pattern.

Benten tawara kikkō pattern 弁天俵亀甲

The second pattern is the benten mie-kikkō (弁天三重亀甲). Mie means triple, and this pattern consists of triple hexagons with the benten triangle structure.

Benten mie-kikkō pattern 弁天三重亀甲

Both of these patterns are quite fiddly, and the benten mie-kikkō in particular is perhaps getting towards the upper end of the difficulty scale. The half-lap joints of the pattern pieces are quite close together in some parts (3mm), and there were a few breakages, so it was also a good test of patience. Very satisfying when the last piece slid in.


New patterns — Urahana variations

The following three patterns for Book 3 are the urahana variations. The actual meaning of urahana (裏花) (or urabana) as it relates to these patterns is a bit of a mystery. Ura () means the back/rear, or reverse side; it also indicates a hidden meaning when used in relation to something that someone has said. Hana () simply means flowers. So here, I think the best thing is simply to accept that a kumiko shokunin sometime in the past decided to call this family of patterns "urahana" and leave it at that.

The three patterns are:

Urahana kikkō
Urahana kikkō 裏花亀甲

Yae-urahana kikkō
Yae-urahana kikkō 八重裏花亀甲

Kawari urahana kikkō 変り裏花亀甲

These are quite interesting patterns to make, and each has its own set of challenges.