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WORKSHOPS & LESSONS

Atelier Towa, Aoi Yamaguchi’s own studio in Berkeley, California, offers hands-on Japanese calligraphy workshops and lessons, instructed by the artist herself.  Intimate small-group session will motivate you to learn with peers and let you focus on practicing and improving your skills. Each workshop program is designed to introduce and explore different styles and aspect of the art of Japanese calligraphy. Available sessions will be listed as they are scheduled.  Choose a session that suits your level and goals!


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS


二〇一八年書き初め
Kakizome Workshop 2018

Kakizome (書き初め) is the term for the first calligraphy writing of the new year,
traditionally performed on the second day of January.
This event is also called 吉書 (kissho), 初硯 (hatsu-suzuri) and 試筆 (shi-hitsu).
People write auspicious words or a short Japanese or Chinese poetry, such as haiku or tanka,
something that symbolizes one’s wishes for the New Year.
In modern times, people simply prefer to choose kanji characters
that have positive meanings and one’s resolution for the year.

During this workshop, you will be trying Kakizome with your choice of words for your wishes for the New Year on the large pieces of calligraphy paper. We will go over the basics from how to hold the brush to how to control the brush, the balance between the mind and body, understanding the structure and meaning of Japanese characters, basic brush techniques and possibilities of sumi ink.  First, we will practice on small scale, and then you will be writing with a large kakizome calligraphy brush on “hansetsu”* sized calligraphy paper! You don’t know what to write? Don’t worry, we will have a list of words and phrases for you to choose or be inspired from. This one-time workshop is designed for a small group of beginners and intermediate level of all ages. No prior art experience is necessary. Space is limited; early registration is encouraged!

DATE & TIME
Saturday January 6th
11:00am – 1:30pm
3:00pm – 5:30pm 

LEVEL
Beginners and intermediate level of all ages.
(For those under 12 who wish to participate, please let us know in advance!)

LECTURE & TEXTS
This workshop will be instructed by Aoi Yamaguchi.Worksheets and handouts will be provided.
Lesson will be taught in English. Knowledge of Japanese language is not necessary.

SUPPLIES & MATERIALS
Basic calligraphy tools and supplies will be provided for you to work on Kakizome during the workshop.

PAST WORKSHOPS


SEASONS is a series of our monthly Japanese calligraphy workshops
to appreciate the beauty of nature transitioning with four seasons captured in poetry.


SEASONS 07
JULY 文月

蓮葉 Hasuha
-Drifting Lotus Pads-

For July session, the seasonal word for the month is 蓮葉  “Hasuha”, meaning “Drifting Lotus Pads”. From mid-July to mid-August in Japan, countless lotus pads cover the surface of ponds and lakes, and beautiful lotus flowers bloom in the midst of drifting lotus pads. In Buddhism, lotus flowers has been cherished as a symbol of purity of the body, speech, and mind; awakening and enlightenment, as they grow out of muddy water and bloom beautifully – as if they float over the muddy water – the presense of the flower is so genuine and bracing. You will write your choice of words from selected Japanese classic haiku poems themed in Hasuha.

During this hands-on workshop, you will write your choice of words from selected Japanese classic haiku poems themed in Hasuha. You will learn and practice basic Japanese calligraphy “Shodo” skills, through the meditative calligraphy process finding the balance between the mind and body. We will go over the basics: how to hold the brush and control the brush, proper posture, how to take care of tools and materials, getting to know with Japanese paper and Sumi inks.

The lecture will guide you through the fundamental calligraphy writing techniques and beautiful and formal Regular Script Kaisho or semi-cursive script Gyosho on selected Japanese Kanji characters depending on your skill level. You will be practicing and making your own calligraphy artwork on hanshi*-sized calligraphy paper, and will have nice pieces of artwork to take home with at the end of the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the adult beginners. No prior experience is necessary.
Let the beautiful poems unfold your imagination, let your brushes explore your creativity.

LECTURE & TEXTS
This workshop will be instructed by Aoi Yamaguchi. Original worksheets and handouts will be provided.
Lesson will be taught in English. Knowledge of Japanese language is not necessary.

SUPPLIES & MATERIALS
Basic supplies and materials will be provided for you to work on Japanese calligraphy during the workshop.


SEASONS 08
AUGUST 葉月

空蝉 Utsusemi
-Empty Cicada: This Mortal Life-

For August session, the seasonal word for the month is 空蝉 “Utsusemi“. Utsusemi literally means “an empty locust”, and also defined as “this mortal life”. In the hot and humid summer in Japan, you can hear the sound of 蟬 (semi) – cicadas, everywhere, letting us know that it’s the peak of summer season.  Cicadas lie beneath the earth for 3 to 17 years depending on the species, and eventually emerge above ground as nymph, climb up the trees and shed their larvae shells. They live overground for 4 weeks, only for breeding for their next generation, then fall off the tree. Utsusemi have been used in poetry symbolizing of the beauty of the ephemeral nature of our lives in Japanese culture for hundreds of years.

During this hands-on workshop, you will write your choice of words from selected Japanese classic haiku poems themed in Utsusemi. You will learn and practice basic Japanese calligraphy “Shodo” skills, through the meditative calligraphy process finding the balance between the mind and body. We will go over the basics: how to hold the brush and control the brush, proper posture, how to take care of tools and materials, getting to know with Japanese paper and Sumi inks.

The lecture will guide you through the fundamental calligraphy writing techniques and beautiful and formal Regular Script Kaisho or semi-cursive script Gyosho on selected Japanese Kanji characters depending on your skill level. You will be practicing and making your own calligraphy artwork on hanshi*-sized calligraphy paper, and will have nice pieces of artwork to take home with at the end of the workshop.

This workshop is designed for the adult beginners. No prior experience is necessary.
Let the beautiful poems unfold your imagination, let your brushes explore your mind.

DATE
Saturday August 19th | 11am – 1pm

LECTURE & TEXTS
This workshop will be instructed by Aoi Yamaguchi. Original worksheets and handouts will be provided.
Lesson will be taught in English. Knowledge of Japanese language is not necessary.

SUPPLIES & MATERIALS
Basic supplies and materials will be provided for you to work on Japanese calligraphy during the workshop. The first 20 sheets of calligraphy paper are included for the session. Additional paper is available for purchase.