30 September 2012

Ryoba and maebiki workshop

After following a session about Japanese sharpening last year, I got this month the opportunity to do a  ryoba and maebiki workshop at the MOT (Museum for Old Techniques) in Grimbergen this time.  I only know Grimbergen for its beer, so it was interesting to discover other aspects. As I don't have any Japanese tools,  I did buy a ryoba in a Berlin web-shop. Is this a first step on the slippery slope of Japanese handtools?

The museum has its own castle. I always like to see one even in a poor state.  If  it was demilitarized early 17th century (hence the windows), it was nevertheless burned down by retreating soldiers in 1944.  Looking further on internet I found that the current castle was build in 1500 and that one of the previous versions was burned down in 1195.  Knowing that the brewery uses a fenix as logo,  it appears to have been slightly more succesfull in being rebuild after a fire.

After a short introduction we got a demonstration in Japanese ink markings and a hands-on experience with the maebiki.

We also got some explanations about various japanese carpentry joints through a display piece

The second part was of the workshop about the ryoba.  Here again inked layout lines
And what should be the final state of the exercise.  But this piece is not mine,  as much as I love to use a ryoba: the handle is perfect,  switching between rip and cross cut blade a pleasure,  it wasn't a success for me as I am unable to cut a vertical line.  I could be that I am left handed and right eyed,  or that age makes the use of reading glasses a necessity.

A fine afternoon and a few more things discovered.