On Saturday we went into Tokyo to the Muji Atelier to see the Watanoha Smile project that I talked about here. It was great to see all the works of art by the students, everything made from debris from the tsunami. Each of the pieces have a little story to go with them and most of the pieces looked like cheerful little fellas. I did find myself wondering when the parts were last used, did someone make a cup of tea with the kettle on the day of the quake, were children playing with the bells and did these people survive, if so, how are they doing now?
We had booked into the free workshop which was held in the same room, the back wall was a free art wall and the kids were having a great time scribbling on it. I was amused to see Kilroy was 'ere written along the top.
The class was run by the designer who did the Muji Camp posters which are leaf prints, very simple in design and in-keeping with Muji's style.
First they had to spray washi paper with water, that was left on the side and the kids then picked out a dried leaf or two. Using the back of the leaf the kids painted the whole leaf. Once that was done they move the leaf to a clean piece of paper and placed it the way that they liked. Once that was down they placed the damp washi over the top and then a couple of sheets of kitchen paper over that. Using a roller they rolled the paper a few times.
Then for the magic part, peeling the washi paper off the painted leaf. I was surprised that the washi didn't tear.
The washi was then left to dry and the kids got to try a new leaf. This was Ebi-kun's first attempt, he used three types of green and some touches of gold. The gold paint was very popular with the kids (predictably) but it didn't print so well. The kids made three or four prints each and then the Muji team produced a frame for each child so they could take the framed piece home with them.
If you are a long time reader you will know that I am already a big fan of Muji, I love their kids goods and recently they have been adding a splash of colour to their ranges. The team did a great job, everything ran smoothly and we really enjoyed the day out. I will keeping an eye out for any other events that they run. Now I am trying to find a supply of the right type of washi paper so we can try it again at home.