Tuesday, February 17, 2015

round washi cards

There's a kind of high-end, hand produced washi paper that I really like called Chikuma-sen, which I used for hand painting all my business cards a long time ago. It has less bleed than the Hakuryuu cards I prefer for etegami these days-- thus better suited for detailed work. Yet the paper is soft to the touch, and the colors blend together almost as well as on a card with higher bleed. My supplier started offering round Chikuma-sen cards in sets of five, so I ordered some this week.

Each card is 18.7 cm in diameter (a little less than 7 1/2 inches), and can be sent "naked" through the mail (without an envelope) if stamped with a little more postage than for ordinary postcards. But I've decided to use them to paint ornamental etegami to display in my own home during the upcoming Hinamatsuri (Doll's Day, often called Girl's Day, on March 3) and Kodomo-no-hi (Children's Day, often called Boy's Day, on May 5) festivals.

There's something very forgiving about the round Chikuma-sen; the gansai paints are easy to apply, and when my will isn't enough to make up for my lack of skill, it makes the work appear tidy and balanced anyway.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Juliet. They are large carp windsocks that are flown from flag poles for Children's Day. They depict carp swimming against the river current, and they symbolize the strength and courage that Japanese parents hope for their sons.