December 21, 2018

A Look Into Etegami - Japanese Water Color Crafts

Instructor Introduction Part 2 - Etegami Class Structure

In the previous blog post of “A Look Into Etegami - Japanese Water Color Crafts Instructor Introduction Part 1,” a brief description of Etegami and Instructor Sachiko Hanashiro were presented. In the Part 2, we are going to introduce her class activities.

A class in April - Japanese Water Color Flowers

Hanashiro_2_2, Traditional Japanese Arts and CraftsMost of the students in the class of Instructor Hanashiro started making Etegami more than 20 years ago. The theme of the day was “flowers in season.” Having been encouraged by the Instructor Hanashiro’s advice that it was important to draw the seasonal flowers to capture their significant characteristics while they were in full bloom, people brought various kinds of spring flowers of their choices to the class.

The flowers people had brought ranged from wild flowers from riversides and fields to store bought bouquets but they were all in the season and blooming.

They gathered around their assigned tables once having put their flowers in vases in front of them. While most of the people started to draw, some were still pondering over what messages they should put in. The important part of Etegami is to choose the right message (a short phrase accompanied by the picture.) It could be something pop up in the head while drawing Etegami or from memories of the past.

In the class people were having friendly chat little less than drawing; however it was impressive that they drew while looking very closely at whatever flowers they were drawing. They seemed enjoying making warm comments to each other’s works.

Hanashiro_2_3, Traditional Japanese EtegamiThe flower of Instructor Hanshiro’s choice was a gerbera. One by one people gathered around her as soon as she began to draw. They were listening intently to her comment on how they should not draw from a photo because it was important to feel the warmth of the object in front of them. Many were nodding along or writing down while Instructor Hanashiro explained the variety of techniques she was using.

We interviewed one of the students in the class about what she cherished in making Etegami. She told us that her motto was always to think about the person who was going to receive her Etegami. The Etegami should not be perfect like the picture she spent days to prepare to exhibit at an exhibition. She would like to cherish the momentary warm feeling toward the receiver. She said that she would feel the warmth when she received an Etegami from someone, too.

A class in May - Traditional Japanese Etegami Outside

Hanashiro_2_4, Japanese Arts and Crafts OutsideSometimes the class was held outside. The gang visited a rose garden where several hundred different types of roses were in full bloom. Soon people found their favorite roses and started to draw. Feeling a rush of warm air, they were lost in their own worlds of Etegami. Once finished, they chatted amicably while showing their works to each other.

Hanashiro_2_5, Traditional Japanese WatercolorPeople used different tools for outside Etegami activities, a water brush pen which could hold some water inside its shaft as an instance. Some mentioned that they would draw the pictures again at home using paint brushes to enjoy the two different effects.
It is nice to make Etegami of things in season. What would you draw? It could be anything – just look closely at whatever you have decided to draw. It is not complicated at all!

Hanashiro_2_6, Japanese Etegami Water Colors


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