Things I Can’t Make: Ichibana Vase by Don Lawson + Tiny Stencil Tutorial

I’ve recently decided to expand the scope of my blog with a category that features “things I can’t make.”  Since evenings are my favorite time to work on arts & crafts, my work hours often preclude me from creating much during my work week, but I figure that shouldn’t stop me blogging.  The “Things I Can’t Make” feature will share some the interesting pieces of art I buy or am gifted because, frankly, I couldn’t make them myself.  I think it will be a great way to introduce my readers to some awesome artisans I’ve discovered.

I can’t do woodworking, for example.  I recently admired this Japanese-style ikebana vase while window shopping with my mom in Auburn, CA, and on her last trip to San Francisco, she surprised me with it as a gift-for-no-special-occasion (my mom’s the best!).  The vase was crafted from maple wood by Nevada City artist Don Lawson.  The metal dish that rests in the wood is known as a kensan — a component of flower arranging that features densely packed metal spikes that can support individual branches or flowers.  I encourage you to look up ikebana; it’s a very beautiful art form that can be both minimalist and very elaborate.

Tiny Stencil Tutorial

I’ve stenciled a few rocks recently because it’s a very quick and easy craft.  They make nice paperweights, pretty little decorations, or gifts.  You’ll need:

  • contact paper and sharpie
  • x-acto knife
  • spray paint
  • rocks

Draw your tiny design on the contact paper with a fine-point sharpie.  Carefully cut out the design with your x-acto knife and stick it to the rock.  The contact paper will likely only adhere to one side of the rock, so before you spray paint, hold a piece of paper or card stock over any exposed areas so the spray paint will only get on the stencil-design. Spray your design.  After allowing the paint to dry a few minutes, remove the contact paper and enjoy your tiny design.

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