The Karakami-kit is a box that contains all the necessary for the printing process of Karakami. First of all there are the many little and modular woodblocks, each with a specific design. By putting them together on a special wooden tablet within a grid system, users are able to create a big pattern. Then, by using this assembled woodblock and the other tools contained in the kit, they can start printing their own Karakami.
Karakami, a paper used for centuries as decorative wallpaper inside traditional Japanese houses.
The surface of this paper is decorated with beautiful patterns that are made with a woodblock printing technique, an artisanal process entirely made by the expert hands of craftsmen.
The graphics are mostly inspired by natural objects (like leaves, flowers, clouds, waves) and are usually made of just 2 colors.
Today, people with the skills for making Karakami are a few, and industrial production has taken over the slow hand-made processes. For this reasons, Karakami is on the way of being forgotten. So I developed my project with the aim of making Karakami popular and let people enjoy its good qualities: it is a really personal and human artifact, it features beautiful graphic designs, and it’s a real artistic expression.
The Karakami Kit let’s people print their personal Karakami at home. With this tool-kit everybody could be a Karakami craftsman and enjoy Japanese life-style, starting their personal production of decorated paper.
The kit is aimed to reproduce the Karakami hand-made production process in the most similar way possible, but also let the user the choice of the pattern design.
Users will be printing decorated letter paper, gift wrapping paper, labels, business cards, and paper for any kind of purpose, being able to give vent to their creativity and make real personal artifacts.
It was developed during the course “Wanovation” at Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2014, with the aim of designing a product starting from a Japanese tradition.