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Landscape 1 (continued)

Daughter is coming home for Christmas from Tokyo for a couple of weeks, so with a brief patch of fine weather at last, Mariko and I have been out in the garden making our home landscape look a bit respectable before daughter gets here, so I haven’t had a great deal of time to spend on the landscape piece. I did, however, manage to get most of the sky pattern done. I still have to add the half pieces along the top before this part’s finished.


This is the kuruma kikkou pattern, and the one that is commonly used for the sky. If you look closely, you can see that there are similarities with the goma-gara pattern, but it is a completely different pattern. The cuts are fairly straightforward, but accuracy is critical to ensure that the end pieces are in line with the adjacent end pieces, they form a snug fit in the triangle without being too tight, and the three component pieces are parallel with the diagonal or vertical jigumi pieces as appropriate. An attractive pattern that really can look very ordinary if not done properly.

Timber is kauri.

Next will be the snow-capped mountain peaks.

First in the landscape series

Started the first of my landscape series of artwork yesterday. At this stage this is a bit experimental, mainly trying to get the right mix of timber colours, textures and patterns to represent sky, background snow-capped mountains, and foreground lake water. There are a couple of larger competitions early/mid next year, and if this works, I’ll enter it in one of those. If it doesn’t, it will be a good learning experience for making a couple of pieces that I can feel confident about entering. As I go along, I’ll show the separate parts of the landscape, but for obvious reasons, I won’t show the overall scene until after the competition.

The first part is the jigumi. This is the smaller of the two that I’m thinking of making. The jigumi (minus the tsukeko - internal frame) is 544 x 315. The kumiko pitch is 35 mm, and kumiko thickness is 1.60 mm.

It all went together quite well, and is now safely glued and clamped. The timber is Queensland maple.


New pattern, new art piece (2)

Finished the centre yae-asa feature this morning, and after a design rethink, I decided to go with the yae-zakura pattern around the central feature. Because I need to use the 30° plane for both the cross pattern pieces and the locking pieces in the yae-zakura, I had to finish cutting all the cross pieces before I could start on the locking pieces.

I’ll finish it off tomorrow morning, then make up the frame. Mariko and I will give it a title, and I’ll put it into the gallery. All these pieces are for sale, so if you’re interested, please drop me an email for prices etc.


New pattern, new art piece

Hi. I Started my next art piece with a new pattern late yesterday. This is the kuruma-kikkou. It’s a bit similar to the goma-gara (sesame - used in my 2010 Studio Furniture competition screen here), but the angles on the ends are different, and this gives it the circular feel, as opposed to the leaf pattern of the sesame. The kuruma-kikkou is commonly used for the sky in landscapes, so it’s a critical pattern to master.

While the pattern looks relatively simple, it is quite time-consuming, and care in alignment is essential. Poor alignment of adjacent pieces would make it look very ordinary indeed. Cuts for the joints are fairly straightforward, but accuracy in the interval between joints is crucial.

The centre pattern that I’ve just started is the yae-asa-no-ha. Timber is kauri for the kuruma-kikkou, and silver ash for the rest.


Cutting the mitsu-kude (三つ組手)

I’m placing the last couple of coats of finish on the latest art piece, but because it’s been raining here quite heavily, the finish is taking longer than normal to dry. Once it’s finished I’ll add it to the Gallery.

I’ve started the jigumi for a couple of other pieces, so I’ll give a brief rundown on how I cut the mitsu-kude (三つ組手) for this. Kumiko dimensions are 1.6 x 10 mm, and the pitch is 35 mm.

There are two different types of kumiko cuts for the mitsu-kude (technically there are three different types, but most only use two, especially when cutting the joints by hand). These two diagrams show the joint in detail.

three-way joint 01 three-way joint 02

I place a suitable number of kumiko in my jig, and for the first type of cut, I cut at each interval mark at 30° down to two-thirds of the kumiko thickness. (The photo shows the cuts at varying angles of slope, but this is because of the camera lens - all cuts are perpendicular.)

I then cut the other edge of the joint.

Without removing the waste, I take the kumiko out and place at the other end of my jig where the 30° angle is in the opposite direction, and again cut along the interval marks down to two-thirds the thickness.

After making all the cuts, I then remove the waste.

I place these kumiko to one side, and secure the next lot of kumiko in the jig for the second type of cut. I cut down one-third of the kumiko thickness …

… then flip the kumiko over, and cut down one-third on the other side.

If these cuts don’t line up perfectly, these kumiko have to go in the bin because they’re unusable. Fortunately, mine do.
It’s now the moment of truth, and time to assemble the jigumi. The next photos show the general sequence I use.

I use a dab of normal PVA glue for the kumiko, so after the glue has properly dried, I’ll trim the jigumi in preparation for attaching the tsukeko. Once that’s done, the fun part starts with the patterns.