cleaving bamboo to 0.1mm

Just wanted to share a great link to a video of a wonderful old Japanese craftsman cleaving bamboo down to 0.1mm. Having spent many hours sat beside my friend Owen Jones the swill basket maker I am pretty faniliar with this sort of cleaving but not to this fine a finish.

Follow this link to the 8 minute film of him at work. His workshop appears to be in the centre of town and he heats the bamboo over a flame in what looks like a side alley.

Thanks to potter and fellow Japanese craft fan Pat Southwood for this one.

2 Responses to cleaving bamboo to 0.1mm

  1. Sean Hellman October 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    What a wonderful video, I love his attitude and the way he was "taught", by watching and stealing the techniques.

  2. Robin Wood October 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    It is interesting terminology Sean and I have heard exactly that phrase "stealing knowledge" several other times. I don't know how the words appear in Japanese though I suspect there is a slight difference in translation. I never get the impression that the master is trying to hide and withhold secrets just that they are not going to go to long lengths to try to make them easily accessible. It's as if by the time you are ready to know each technique then you just understand what you see. The beauty of the system is that you absorb the rhythm of the work long before you even get to try it yourself.