Presented by Des King
Due to popular demand, we will be holding another Kumiko Course this year (May/June), once again conducted by Des King.
Outside of Japan, Des King is one of the world’s leading experts on the Japanese fine craft of ‘Kumiko’, an exquisite form of decoration usually used on doors and screens. Des King has written 3 books on kumiko: ‘Shoji and Kumiko Design: Book 1 The Basics’, ‘Shoji and Kumiko Design: Book 2 Beyond the Basics’ and ‘Shoji and Kumiko Design, Book 3 – Hexagonal Patterns’.
For this workshop, students will make two separate ‘kumiko’ pieces. The first piece will consist of two square ‘as-no-ha’ patterns enclosed by twin ‘kumiko’ and a ‘tsukeko’ frame. The second piece is built on the much more difficult hexagonal lattice base, and consists of two patterns - ‘asa-no-ha’, and a ‘kawari as-no-ha’ feature.
During the workshop, students will learn the correct names for the different parts of ‘shoji’ and kumiko work, details and principles of kumiko marking, how to cut consistent gap-free kumiko joints with a hand saw, and how to mark, cut and attach the tsukeko to the two different pieces.
Students will also learn how to trim the smaller kumiko pattern pieces to size at the correct angles and how to gauge the correct tension for the pattern pieces.
In the second piece, students will learn how to judge and make the multiple cuts needed for the three-way joints that make up the hexagonal base.
The knowledge and skills students gain from making these two pieces will enable them to incorporate and adapt kumiko art into their own furniture or art designs, and will form a solid foundation for more difficult and complex patterns at a later stage.
For those wanting some inspiration on the use of kumiko in your own work, I highly recommend you visit Mike Pekovich’s website: http://www.pekovichwoodworks.com/furniture/
For Instagram users: pekovichwoodworks
I have admired this Japanese art form since I was a child when I saw some cabinets in an exhibition at the museum- at least I think they were cabinets.
While I did not produce the lovely neatest work of the group, I was well pleased with my efforts and I am very proud of my 2 completed samples.
Des is a terrific teacher and he was very generous with his knowledge and experience, especially on the subject of jigs.
I am so pleased I participated in the course and I am now very keen to have a go at more and improve my skills.
Thank you Des, Shinobu and MGFW.
Lee Anthony - 29th January 2018
$1250 (Inclusive of GST)
All materials included
Wed 30th May to Sun 3rd June 2018
9am to 5pm
Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking.
14 Cottage St, Blackburn
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About the Instructor: Des King
A former Australian Army officer, Des first came into contact with the Japanese culture when he was selected to
attend a 12-month intensive Japanese language course at the then RAAF School of Languages at Point Cook in
1974. In 1978 he was sent to Japan by the Army for advanced Japanese language studies, consisting of one year
at the United States Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Yokohama, and one year in the Office of the
Military Attaché at the Australian Embassy.
Des left the Army at the end of 1986, eventually moving to Tokyo to live, and work as a free-lance Japanese-
English translator. He continued translating business after his return to Australia.
Woodworking had been growing into an increasingly serious hobby for quite some time, and in April 2008, Des
began a 12-month post-graduate course in tategu (production and fitting of doors and windows, and especially
shoji) at the International College of Craft and Art (Shokugei Gakuin) in Toyama, Japan. The course was entirely
in Japanese, and comprised mostly practical work, with only a limited amount of theoretical studies. After
building the foundation in making shoji, Des turned his focus to the intricate patterns that can be made by
kumiko within shoji. This became the central theme of his work.
After completing the course in March 2009, Des returned to Australia and set up a workshop in the Gold Coast.
Des has published three books on making shoji and kumiko patterns, and is currently writing and making
patterns for his fourth book.