Weekly Chigirie Tutorial
Join Joan Mead-Matsui, your Chigirie instructor and resident artist. Joan is a master Chigirie artist and the founder of one of the premier Chigirie learning sites and galleries on the web. She founded Chigirie.com 25 years ago and since then, has taught adult and children’s Japanese paper craft classes.
In much the same way you would build a structure from the ground up, the same holds true for an art project.
A flower will work well for your first attempt.
Choosing a Design
You should get your start with a photograph or an idea that’s floating around in your head. I love flowers and I happened to have Morning Glories growing in a planter box on my deck. Expand on that design on paper and develop a color scheme before you begin to tear or cut your paper. Japanese paper is costly and you don’t want to waste paper.
Here’s one of my first completed projects but it’s an adapted version of a lesson I found in a book. I have dozens of books and unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the artist because I don’t remember where I found it. Suffice to say, I followed her instructions and adored the finished piece so much, I made two using a selection of paper and give them as gifts to my mother and a friend.
One of the first book lessons I tried…
Choosing Your Colors
We have a tendency to choose colors that reflect our personality. Chances are there’s a palette that’ll catch your eye. I lean towards brighter eye-catching colors similar to those I used in “DISCovery,” the name I gave to the two children playing. I used Origami paper leftover from an order I filled for a customer in the kimonos and lightly textured Washi paper for the face, hands, and feet.
Want to learn more tips?
I recommend trying a pre-designed sketch I offer in my “Learn Chigirie with Joan Mead-Matsui,” a members-only Facebook group I created. Get started today.
Joan is the owner of Mrs. Matsui’s Origami (Handmade Paper Creations), a business she founded in 1995 that’s dedicated to promoting Japan’s arts and culture.