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Landscape 2 (7)

The ankle is slowly going down, but it’s still a lot fatter than the other one. This unfortunately has meant moving up and down the steps from the machinery area to the hand-work area is a laborious process. Nonetheless, the landscape is slowly starting to take shape.

Because there are so many pieces, and each one is cut by hand, I’ve had to make a few minor adjustments to how I cut some of the different patterns. Thirty minutes extra doesn’t really matter very much when dealing with a couple of hundred kumiko pieces, but multiply this by 50 or so when the pieces number well over ten thousand, and suddenly there’s an extra 25 hours work, at a minimum; an extra hour, and that’s an extra week’s work.

yae-asa-no-ha is one of the major changes. The overall shape of the pattern is pretty much the same, but I’ve altered the way it goes together. This has speeded up the process quite a deal, and produces a better fitting pattern. The kumiko shokunin purists perhaps may not completely approve, but unless you know exactly where to look and what to look for, the change would probably go unnoticed. Beyond this, “I’ll neither confirm nor deny…



Disaster on Friday morning. I was fixing the door at the workshop and rolled my ankle. The side swelled up like a tennis ball. This was how it looked Saturday afternoon - still swollen, bruised, and fairly sore


Needless to say, progress is still very slow.
The light coloured wood for the lower area is Huon pine (
Lagarostrobos franklinii). This really is a beautiful timber. It has a wonderful aroma given off by the chemical methyl eugenol, which also acts as a kind of preservative for the timber. I’m not sure whether it has the same oil makeup, but the aroma is similar to Alaskan yellow cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis), which we used extensively in Japan for shoji doors and windows. The yellow cedar is also an excellent timber to use, but unfortunately it isn’t available in Australia in a suitable quality for shoji or kumiko work.

This Tuesday is my rostered day for the local art gallery where I have a piece on display, so all going well, I should have some time to add to the pattern explanations.

Landscape 2 (6)

Progress has been a bit slow unfortunately.

The bottom area is going to be a bay. Initially I’d planned to do the water in asa-no-ha and tsuno-asa-no-ha, but after getting through the asa-no-ha, I realised that it would have been a bit too open for such a large area, so a quick rethink, and I decided to do it all in kawari-yae-zakura. This has added well over a thousand pieces and probably a couple of extra days to the project.


A couple of hours working on it tonight, then back at it again tomorrow.

Hopefully the scene will become slightly more apparent as more pieces go in.