Discover Japanese Woodworking with Kumiko

Kumiko is a Japanese woodworking technique that uses interlocking pieces of wood to create beautiful and intricate designs. Kumiko woodworking has a long history in Japan, and the craft has been passed down through generations.

The joiner uses small and thin pieces of wood, called Kumiko, to create the designs. Kumiko woodwork is often used to create panels for shoji screens or doors.

The woodworker starts by creating a frame from thicker pieces of wood. The frame is then filled with the kumiko pieces. The woodworker uses a chisel and hammer to create the intricate designs.

The kumiko pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, and the carpenter must be very precise to create a symmetrical design. Kumiko woodworking is a very time-consuming process, but the results are beautiful and unique.

If you are interested in learning to work with Kumiko wood, there are several books and websites that can help you get started.

Kumiko resembles a lot of hollow elements or cobogós, only they are usually thinner and made of materials that convey the idea of a piece of wood. Perfect for room divider.

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Kumiko - discover Japanese woodworking

What does Kumiko mean?

“Kumiko” is a traditional woodworking technique that combines thin pieces of wood without using nails to create a precise geometric pattern. This pattern can be used on room dividers, light fixtures, traditional Japanese windows, and more.

Although we know the meaning of the term, what is the origin and meaning of the word? Kumiko [組子] in Japanese refers to a group or members of a group, referring to ensemble pieces that form a Kumiko art.

It is also worth mentioning the verb Kumikomi [組み込み] which means to cut and insert, referring to cuts made by hand.

It can also be called Kumikozaiku [組子細工] where the term Zaiku [細工] means work, handicraft, skill, trick and others.

How did Kumiko come about?

Around 1400 years ago, Buddhism was introduced from Baekje and at the same time, craftsmen, tools and techniques needed for building temples were also introduced.

Prince Shotoku is said to have built a temple in 46 places across the country, and the Crown Prince is still worshiped across the country as the “god of artisans”. 

It is said that the original technology of Kumiko (Kumiko Kozaiku) began at that time, and it has changed little by little due to the delicate Japanese sensibilities passed down to the present day.

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How is Kumiko made?

Kumiko is a traditional Japanese craft that has been around for centuries. It is an art form that is used to create intricate and beautiful designs using small pieces of metal, wood or clay.

The pieces are then carefully cut and placed in a mosaic-like pattern to create a piece of art. Kumiko has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now being used to create a variety of items from furniture and jewelry to wall art and sculptures.

Kumiko's long history has been closely associated with Japanese culture and its people. Traditionally, it was a craft reserved for the wealthiest families, as it was a very time-consuming and expensive process. However, with time and the help of modern technology, Kumiko is now accessible to anyone with the patience and skill to create beautiful pieces.

Kumiko is a delicate craft as each piece needs to be carefully measured, cut and placed correctly. It is often said that a single mistake in Kumiko can ruin the entire play.

Despite the difficulty, many experienced crafters take great pride in the art form and often find that the end result is worth more than the effort.

When it comes to the materials used in Kumiko, there are a wide variety of options. The most used materials include bamboo, wood, metal and clay. The most popular material is bamboo as it is light, flexible and durable. Kumiko pieces created with metal are normally reserved for decorative pieces, as the metal can be easily manipulated. Clay is another popular material as it allows for creative expression through color, texture and shape.

Kumiko is a craft steeped in tradition and culture. It is an art form that has withstood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by many around the world. Whether you're looking for a unique gift or just something to decorate your home with, a piece of Kumiko is sure to bring beauty and elegance to any space.

Kumiko - discover Japanese woodworking

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Kumiko course at Domestika

Domestika is one of the largest low-priced online course platforms with courses focused on art, design, architecture and more. Here you can find a great course on Kumiko.

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