Niwaki Workshops: London Craft Week Make A Canvas Tool Pouch • Friday 12 May 2023
Make your mark with a hand-carved hanko stamp
Tenkoku with Nao Fukumoto O’Neill
Tenkoku – seal-engraving – is a highly satisfying craft that produces a useful hanko stamp (see: the red bit in the Niwaki logo) ready for you to personalise your stationary, gifts and much more.
Having converted your name (or any word you like) into a kanji pictogram or into katakana letterforms, Nao will guide you in the creation of the design for your carving, which starts off as a simple sketch on paper before being refined into a more stylised symbol. As a highly-skilled master calligrapher, Nao will employ her unique insight into the shape and form of Japanese letters to help you discover the most pleasing version of your design, balanced with the practicalities of how it will carve and print.
Once you’re happy with the look of your hanko, you’ll get down to the surprisingly meditative business of carving the actual stamp, working with traditional tools, techniques and materials. You will experiment with printing on washi paper, and, if time allows, begin to explore alternative approaches to all the core techniques. The end results are sure to be treasured for years to come.
Nao is a passionate advocate for the use of traditional crafts and how these practices can be used in contemporary society to cross pollinate cultures and ideas. Over the last 15 years, she has run Japanese crafts workshops in both the UK and Japan, and is a fully qualified art teacher in Japan.
Nao started Japanese calligraphy at the age of 6 and progressed to master level. She has a BA in traditional woven textiles design and weave as well as an MA from Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, achieved researching the inheritance and development of traditional culture from a global perspective. Nao was awarded a scholarship to study for a year at UCA Farnham (formally SIAD) and has received numerous prizes all over the world for her work during this period.
Since moving to the UK, Nao has enjoyed sharing her knowledge, through exhibitions and workshops, with anyone interested in Japanese crafts and arts.