Making Shoji Screens
One of the most sought after items in the Japanese furniture
and decor area is the Shoji screen, sometimes written as the soji
screen. Initially used as a supporting wall or a free standing
interior screen, its functionality multiplied in course of time.
Its popularity and charm has caused great interest in how to make
Shoji screens among diy enthusiasts everywhere.
Shoji screens have a wooden framework and rice paper that covers
the frame. The designing is beautifully done so as to create a
pleasant and comfortable ambience inside a room, in contrast to
the world outside. Lighting not so bright or dim gives a relaxing
atmosphere to a room. Shoji screens as well as their companion
pieces, shoji rice paper lamps serve
this purpose, ensuring unobtrusive privacy at the same time.
Moreover, Shoji screens and lamps are movable, flexible and handy.
As is the case with much Japanese shoji furniture, functionality,
and finish combine to make it a fantastic piece of home furniture.
"How to make shoji screens" is an interesting and desired topic
to be discussed.
In the West also people often look for furniture which is simple
but beautiful perhaps to lessen the stress of living in a fast
paced, money driven society. Simplicity in the area of japanese
decor also entails mobility and convenience of use. These features
of the shoji screen seem to make it more desirable in this busy
A multitude of asian and japanese merchants have come up with
a wide choice of custom and handmade Shoji screens, all designed
to suit different tastes and budgets. Now it seems that for interior
designers creating an environment of beauty and harmony wherever
they want inside a room is an easy task, working with Shoji screens
and Japanese furniture. Now they would be at an advantage if they
were also aware of how to make shoji screens.
Japanese shoji screens are actually works of art on wooden lattice
panels clothed with translucent rice paper. The rooms can be rendered
the space you want using the screens and to any interior décor
it gives a touch of elegance. There are a number of books that
delve deep on how to make shoji screens besides the info you need
to design shoji screens for your own home, apartment or office.
The best example of these is
How to Design, Build, and Install Japanese Screens.
Let us see the basics of how to build a room divider shoji screen
for the do it yourself person. Typical size of the frame is three
by eight inch square. Larger sizes are also used depending upon
need. The grid work (kumiko) is done to three by four inch, single
or three by eight inch square, dual-sided, totaling to three by
four plus thickness of substance. Rice paper is fixed using rice
glue, this being the traditional Japanese way of building shoji
screens. When getting dampened the home made adhesive softens
and this makes things easy. With the help of a water spray pot
and electric blow drier, the loose rice paper can be tightened
to the frame. A particularly good work on Japanese carpentry techniques
which you will likely find useful is
The Art of Japanese Joinery.
To continue to make your
shoji screens you can find about three fashions of pale, little
fry, plastic objects. These resemble conventional rice paper but
are very strong and last for years which are imported mainly from
Japan. One of these is two millimetres thick and would be an ideal
choice for outdoor installations, light fixtures, or for usage
in a lofty traffic door. This insert material is available in
pallid and off-white.
The next type has forty-five millimetre thicknesses. Regular
glass type with a strip off film held that is lastingly bonded
to it is also available. This is much like a tinting film on the
glass. This is used indoors only and looks just like the other
two. The new styles available are safety glass that looks like
rice paper where rice paper is inserted between the 2 glass layers.
For each type of screen, the rice paper is cut to the required
Wood materials and supplies that are used for shoji screen construction
are often expensive, however their top quality is the luring factor.
Basswood is typically used for shoji screens. With a polish off
like maple, this looks light and beautiful. Cherry, Port Oxford
Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Redwood, Walnut,
Douglas Fir, Pine, Oak are the other woods used as raw material.