With its history of nearly a thousand years, shoji - translucent paper-backed sliding doors and screens - are an inherent part of Japanese tradition and culture. But their beauty and charm can equally be adapted to rooms in a Western home. In this book, Des King examines basic shoji making and design. He gives comprehensive background information about shoji and how they have evolved, and detailed step-by-step instructions, supported by many diagrams and photographs, on how to make three shoji with progressively more complex kumiko arrangements, and variations on structure and joinery. Kumiko patterns enhance the uniqueness and charm of shoji, and Des King introduces three different kinds of patterns, and provides detailed instructions on how to make each kind, including dimensional diagrams of jigs that will improve work efficiency. He also dispels many of the myths about the Japanese hand-plane - the kanna - with an extensive description of how to set up, use and maintain this exceptional tool, including problems that can arise and how to avoid them. Through his highly structured and traditional approach in Book 1, Des King lays solid foundations from which any woodworker can confidently look toward tackling much more complex kumiko patterns and arrangements that can enhance the flair and individuality of shoji in any setting.
After completing the twelve-month Postgraduate Architecture Course at Shokugei Gakuin, Toyama, Japan in 2009, Des King returned to Australia, and set up a workshop on the Gold Coast, Queensland, where he makes shoji and continues to explore the many advanced patterns in kumiko-zaiku.