Making a Traditional Japanese Puzzle Box – W0915

December 11, 2014

Posted In: Furniture and Woodworking

Kagen Sound

DATES: July 27 – 31, 2015

SKILL LEVEL: Open to all

CONCEPT: Puzzle boxes carry the secrets of a long artistic tradition. This class explores the Japanese art of making a secret opening box in three stages. First, we cut and assemble an infrastructure. Next, we cut plates of wood, which slide in a sequence about the box. Finally, we finish the exterior of the box with “Yosegi-zaiku,” a multi-colored mosaic parquetry, veneer or solid wood overlay. While Yosegi-zaiku is a very advanced technique, Kagen makes it accessible and welcoming to all.

MEDIA & TECHNIQUES: Students work with various pre-milled woods; cutting basic box structure pieces with a chop saw; cutting small dados, grooves and rabbits on the router table; fitting sliding plates around the box and designing a sequence of movements. Students will also be tuning a Japanese hand plane and making Yosegizaiku panels.

ACTIVITIES: We design a box on graph paper; learn to set up and use a router table and make small cuts; assemble a box using glue and clamps; apply veneers to overlay and finish the box. Students are encouraged to explore their own design modifications to the traditional form.

FACULTY: Kagen Sound is a full-time artist and woodworker who has been designing and making secret opening boxes for 12 years. He is acknowledged by the Karaukuri Creation Group in Japan, a guild of secret opening box makers, as a master box maker. He has received many awards for his designs from the international NobYoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition.

Tuition: $775 OR Tuition + Studio Support Donation: $975
Studio Fee: $95

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