Friday, October 30, 2009

San Dan Hyougu Pine Sumi-e

This Scroll is Sold.

This scroll was just completed today. It is a Sandan Hyougu which means three step scroll. This has a Gold leaf pattern Ichimonji along with a Cocoa colored Chumawashi cotton cloth and a Forest Green Ten and Chi.

This picture was painted by Darlene Dihel a Sumi-e artist in the Seattle Washington area. It is a beautiful work.

I used the Green cloth to complement the color of the pine in the picture and the brown to represent the Earth from which everything grows.

If you would like to have your own artwork framed in this style, please contact Jonathan Maples at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Enso Scroll 袋表具 Fukuro Hyougu

 The Fukuro Hyougu scroll is characterized by lines of cloth called Suji 筋in the Ten and Chi. The lines can run horizontal or vertical from just inside the Kan.

The Suji are typically much smaller (less than 1 Bun 分 which equals about 3 millimeters). But in this scroll, a thicker, black 3 Bun Suji was used to help provide contrast with the light, pale blue cloth.

I did not use Ichimonji to border the work, but what I did do was take Fukushima Silk 福島絹 and put that between the work and the Hada Urauchi (First Layer of backing paper). Although very light in both texture and color, this provides just a hint of the same cloth color around the Enso circle. (A deeper explanation on the Enso meaning is provided in a previous scroll translation.)

What I was trying to achieve was the Blue (In & Around the Enso), Black (Calligraphy Work), Blue (Cloth), Black (Suji), Blue (Cloth) and Black (Jikusaki). This provides a rounded overall feel of balance and coordination.
If you have questions about working with us to develop your own personalized framed scroll, contact Jonathan Maples at 435-656-1870 view my website at or e-mail to .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shiawase Happiness

This microkakejiku measures 9 Inches by 3 inches. It is on a Copper cloth and is bordered with a white on gold flower design Ichimonji.
The character is done in a Kaisho (Block Print) style. This character is 幸 Shiawase or Saiwai which means happiness. Other words associated with this character are 幸運 Kouun Good Fortune. This is also a common character used for the girl’s name Sachiko 幸子.
This beautiful small scroll sells for only $9.95. For other inquires please contact

Friday, October 16, 2009

Matsuo Basho Haiku drawn by Teiko Applebaum

This Scroll is Sold.

The writing on this scroll is a famous haiku  俳句 poem by Matsuo Basho. It reads

Oh in the quietude

Iwa ni Shimi iru
Seeping into the rock

Semi no Koe
The voices of cicadas.

Haiku poetry is formed by a five/seven/five mora pattern. It typically must contain some mention of the season of the year. In this case, the deafening sound of the Cicaida emerging is an event that happens every year in the summer.

In order to complement this poem, I used a leaf pattern of the cloth. This scroll is in the Maru Hyougu style with the Ten, Chi and Hashira surrounding the work with the Ichimonji. I used two primary colors, the Red Kinran and Blue Kireji, to provide a strong contrast for the centerpiece of the scroll. The blue leaf cloth I have had for some time, and was looking for the correct time to use it. The Semi in this work standing on the leaf stem was a good match.

This picture was drawn by Sumi-e artist Teiko Applebaum of Seattle. I have grown to love her style of painting which is both plain and straightforward.
The scroll measures roughly 2 Feet long by 1 Foot wide and is priced at $78.56 including all taxes and shipping within the United States. For questions on this or other custom scrolls e-mail to

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

鶴亀松おめでたい - Crane, Turtle & Pine

This Scroll is Sold.

This is a scroll used to symbolize prosperity and long life. The 鶴 Tsuru, or crane in Japanese culture symbolizes long life and a good marriage. The 亀 Kame also symblizes longevity. The 松 Matsu is a tree long revered in Japan for it's evergreen nature. The term Omedetai is a phrase wishing one congratulations.

I had a sumi picture of a pine branch from Teiko Applebaum. The picture seems upside down, but if you look close at the Hanko (stamp) it is realized that this is the correct framing. My wife mentioned to me the symbolism of these three and it was only natural that I take the cloth with the Crane and Turtle pattern and combine it with this picture of the pine.

Red is a color associated with luch and good fortune in Japan. This was the reasoning behind my use of the Red Ichimonji and the Red Jikusaki on the scroll.

For questions on the purchase of this or working with us to design your own scroll e-mail to

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fortitude -- Gouki 剛気

This is a custom request. The character reads Gouki, with the first character Gou meaning firm or hard. Ki is the character that means feeling and spirit. Together these mean fortitude. There is a style of Karate called Goujuu-ryu which incorporates this same first character.

This is written in the Kaisho, block print style.

The scroll is on a navy cloth with a white ichimonji that has a large gold ivy pattern. The scroll is finished with a beautiful black plastic Jikusaki and gold Kakehimo.

To design you own personalized scroll, please e-mail to

Friday, October 9, 2009

Many Gods and Many Voices

This is a custom yatsugiri scroll order. It was commissioned with an Art Blue cloth frame, a white background large flower pattern ichimonji, black jikusaki and a dark green kakehimo.
The phrase written in the scroll is taken from the T.S. Eliot poem titled, "The Dry Salvages", which is the third poem of the Four Quartets. The poetry section referenced is 'Many gods and many voices'. We translated the meaning as 多の神多の声 (ooku no kami, ooku no koe). As following a traditional method of Japanese Calligraphy, only the Kanji have been used and the possessive particles No have been omitted.

This is in a Semi-cursive writing style called Gyousho. This piece was written by shihan Ryugyoku Yamada. This scroll measures about 4.75 feet long and 11" wide.
For questions on having an original scroll created specifically for you, contact

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tiger Minikakejiku Sousho Style

Not many of our customers order the Sousho full calligraphy style of kakejiku. Although typically unreadable without training, the creativity and individuality of the artist is evident in the brush stroke.
Calligraphy student's spend painstaking hours of practice to learn to first conform their writing to specific standards. Only after mastering the ability to make perfect strokes in the Kaisho style are they then allowed to train on utilizing their creativity and expressing their individuality.
About the scroll.
This is the character for tiger 寅 Tora. This is the third character in the Chinese Zodiac. The more commonly used character for tiger in Japanese is 虎 which is also read as Tora.
This is on a white and gold ichimonji surrounded by the Navy cloth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Beppu in Oita Japan

This is a small scroll with a postcard of Beppu in Oita Japan. Beppu is famous for it's onsen (natural hot springs). Although I have never been it is close by.

There is a particular hot spring called Oni no Jikoku, 鬼の地獄 or Demon's Hell. Although the pictures are not clear, there are statues of two Oni, and the river in the upper right flows red. I think this is a good representation of Hell.

In tribute to this imagery a cloth of Oni which was purchased in Japan this year was used to complement the scenes in the picture. The cloth is dark tan with light tan and blue Oni in the design. The bright orange and gold in the Ichimonji provides a stark transition between the picture and the cloth.

This scroll has no jikusaki. It is small, less than 1 foot long and about 9 inches wide.

For questions on other Japanese landscape scenes or to request another landscape frame contact