Fabula Lignarius

Month: April, 2015

Give a Buck

Emily Reynolds a friend of mine is about to continue her apprenticeship in Traditional Japanese Plastering. She can use our support! Please consider to contribute to her endeavor. We can help her and our world will be one craftswoman richer. Take a minute and read about her plans below. I got excited about her adventure and look forward to read more about it on her blog as soon as she embarks on her new journey.

Although the initial goal has been reached it remains critical to find as many contributors as possible. Even if you can only donate 1$ please do so, it will help to illustrate that her mission is recognized by the public. This aspect is important for the succes of her project. YOU can make the difference.

(Or if you don’t feel like reading watch the video included in the post.)

Plaster With Wa

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about the most important thing that’s been happening for me in the last 24 days!

The Japanese Earthen Plaster Exchange needs your $1 vote of confidence!

Ending on Earth Day (Oh how I love that lovely coincidence!), this is a campaign to jump start a great service; to make the possibilities of earthen plasters known and attractive to all modern world dwellers.  I am now a negative ion pusher.  We need them for our optimal health.  Clays have them.  Paints do not, wall paper does not, cement stuccos do not.  With all the colorful and textural options that earthen plasters provide, it only makes sense to make them a regular option for all people.

Wall paper? Oh not.  Pigments are all a go for clay and lime finishes.  Each crane is a hand-made relief using tiny trowels.  Same goes for the stenciled pattern on the green plaster.  This room was completed in 1880.  You may ask about the longevity of earthen plasters?  Feast your eyes. Wall paper? Oh no. Pigments are all a go for clay and lime finishes. Each crane is a hand-made relief using tiny trowels. Same goes for the stenciled pattern on…

View original post 421 more words

Japanese Hip Rafter Workshop 2015

students workshop 2015

I did not meet my goal! I aimed for every single student to complete the whole model during the time of the workshop. Only three came very close. They where able to fit at least one of the jackrafters to the hip but unless the students are already very experienced woodworkers doing this kind of stuff all the time, I think it is fair to say that we could use another day. And for those who would work extra fast we could always delve into some related subjects. Like the joinery of the hiro-gomai where they meet on the hip. Hiro-gomai are the boards that lay on top of the rafters at the end of the eave.

I was pleasantly amazed by the accurate results the students achieved. It was sometimes difficult to avoid the knots in the wood but their careful approach certainly helped to achieve good results.

knotty wood


The first two days are the most challenging, a lot of head scratching and brain torture to visualize all the parts and how they fit together.


Things start to fall into place when the joints are being cut. At their own pace the students experience a eureka moment where suddenly they start to ‘see it’.

cutout keta half lap

Compound angle joinery always remains challenging. No matter your level of experience you can always come up with concepts to build that will take you out of your comfort zone. However building a hip rafter model is a great place to start and to take your first steps into this world of triangles. You could say that for any professional timber framer it is a mandatory skill. Laying out a hip rafter with only a square at your disposal should be part of everyone’s initial training.

compound angles

I can happily announce that the workshop was a great succes. It was a very nice group of people to spend time with and we had plenty of fun. I already look forward to the next edition. If you are interested in taking this course have a look here to subscribe, stay tuned for future dates.