/ bamboo

カゴやざる等の日用品から美術工芸品まで、その用途も技術も幅の広い竹細工。
竹の持つピンと張った緊張感や、薄さや状態によってはどこまでもしなやかになる性質を巧みに操り、線素材から面へ、そして立体へと編み上げていく様はとてもリズミカルで軽快です。一見簡単なようですが、手先で竹の状態を細やかに感じ取る繊細な能力はもちろん、緻密で、数学的な能力も不可欠、そして何より根気を必要とする作業です。「竹割3年編み8年」と言う言葉があります。竹細工は様々な工芸品の中でも、作業工程の多いものと言われており、編む前の段階で、切る、割る、剥ぐ、幅を揃える、厚みを揃える、面を取る、と多くの工程があり、それぞれに違った技術が必要です。材料の用意から手間をかけて丁寧に為されているからこそ、竹細工の美しい作品ができるのだと改めて理解できます。編んでいくそのパターンは何百種とも言われ、強度を増す編み方、装飾的な編み方、染色時に美しさが際立つ編み方など、技術の奥深さと創造性の豊かさに溢れています。
また、年を経るにつれ美しい飴色へと変わり、素材そのものの熟成していく様でも竹は私たちを飽きさせません。環境に強いとはいえ季節や気候によってその性質を大きく変える竹。指先に触れる竹の状態を敏感に感じ取り巧みに操る高度な技術を駆使するからこそ、竹の良さが生きるのです。

Bamboo crafts have been very popular in our Japanese culture with the variations in usage from daily-use stuff to high-end art crafts masterpieces and in techniques to apply.
The bamboo is quite unique in its characteristic. Especially, the straight and sharp atmosphere it has, and the flexibility in shaping: from 1D to 2D, then meshed up in 3D.
Shaping and meshing the bamboo might look easy at your first sight, however, it actually requires multi skills: delicate sensibilities to feel the state and condition of the bamboo at each time, sense of geometry, and, above all, the patience.
”3years for cutting and splitting 8years for meshing” - the saying describes the bamboo craftsman's journey to become full-fledged.
Bamboo crafting, amongst various crafts, goes into the category where many process of work is required: cut, split, peel, sizing in length and thickness, rounding off, before start meshing up into products which require different skill set at each process.
Knowing about this fine process from making material makes us understand why such beautiful bamboo objects can be produces.
The characteristic meshing patterns are said to be as many as hundreds e.g. meshing for more strength, for decorations, for best look when dyed, etc. All these patterns indeed have been based on craftsman’s ingenuity for long time.
In addition, the beauty of the bamboo’s aging cannot be forgot to mention. The atmosphere and mood of the aging bamboo, changing colors into dark amber-ish brown and maturing as the material itself, never bore us over years, even generations.
The bamboo is not much sensitive material to climate changes, however, the characteristics vary on seasons and weather conditions. Sensing such difference by fingers and adjust to the conditions with their mastered skills, craftsmen can bring out the best from the bamboo.