Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tools FAQ

I can go anywhere and work.
Continuing with the FAQ's...
The tools I use in my embroideries are very simple and commonly found.  A majority of the work is done with these 3 items you see in the picture.  I can literally take it anywhere and work!

When it comes to trimming thread I greatly prefer using snips (Nigiri-Basami) to scissors.  They cut much closer and with more precision.  If you want to try out this delightful tool you can purchase one at Ichiroya.  I stumbled onto their website years ago and found Yoshimi Fujiwara's work.  I always appreciate knowing the person behind the product, especially when they're as dedicated as some of these Japanese artisans. 

16 Things
When it comes to crayon carving I use a 4.5mm Hangi To from McClain's in Oregon.  These are for woodblock carving, but they work perfectly for my purposes.  I've tried using Exacto's too but they're too thin and too sharp often resulting in a snapped crayon.  I also have a hard time carving curved surfaces with Exacto's.

On a side note I've been dying to try out some of these needles made in Kyoto... but I can't quite decipher what I need from the info on the page.


TADA's Revolution said...

Wow these blades are fancy! Thanks for sharing the link! I heart tools.

Herrien said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea

Diem Chau said...

Thanks TADA :)

Thanks Herrien, I love to share!

Christine said...

I found your blog while searching for nigiri basami (scissors). I study Japanese Embroidery ( I also looked at the needles you linked to, and emailed the store. Here is the info I got back (not too helpful). They are handmade (which is good). I use special needles from the link above, they cost about $10 each but are worth it. - Christine in Oakton, VA, USA

"It is good for silk
* Misuya-Bari: It started in Heian-era (794-1185). Still all done by human hands in Kyoto.
(sorry, I mistyped, Misuya is a coreect name, not Misuma)
MIsuya is a name which a kind of needle style, there are a few stores making, selling Misuya-Bari, all in Kyoto, Let's say Misuya-Bari - xxx store, Misuya-Bari - zzz tore, all stores were started from one store.
From photo sample, you have to choose one specific needle you need, all 25 needles each.
For example: Silk needles, there are 10 different needles (legth, thickness, etc), you can choose one or two or more from them, 1 package = 25 needle (same needle) each. Japanese Embroidery has 9
I cannot tell which needle good for you work now. I think you can choose from photos. "

Diem Chau said...

WOW Thanks Christine! I'll go order some just to try out. I'll just have to pick by sight. From what they said it looks like you buy a pack of 25 (all of the same size).
I bought a few packs of gold tips needles from Tokyo in Nippori and they've been GREAT! I don't know the brand, I'll take a pic.
They have a long taper with super sharp point and even with months of use the coating hasn't worn off.

Moonembrace said...

Do you think that linoleum cutters would work? they look similar at least. Please tell me, i am in desperate need of crayon assistance.

Diem Chau said...

It wouldn't hurt to try, but the tools I use are very sharp. I don't think it would give you the same clean surface though. You can always try to hone the cutting edge if it's not sharp enough.
Most anything will cut through crayons. :)

Moonembrace said...

Thanks so much!!!

I'll try that, anything is better than using a pocket knife, a cheese knife, and a tack!!

Diem Chau said...

LOL the tac is nice. I actually use needles for refining lines or facial features.
I do recommend getting a few woodblock knives if you have some extra moola.

Moonembrace said...

I'll have to convince my parents...

Yeah... i'm only 10

Diem Chau said...

Oh wow! Way to go for starting young XD Be sure to have your parent's OK if you work with sharper tools...
The knife I use is pricier, about $35. The company I buy from has a "student" grade knife that's about $13... they're a very good printmaking supplier. I actually only use the angled knife for carving. I rarely ever use the U or V gouges or the chisels... Here's a link to the student quality knife from McClain's:
I recommend the 4.5mm @ $13.35

Moonembrace said...

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It helps soo much!!!!

Trust me, this advice did not go to waste :D