Chashaku Workshop

P1010251This summer students got to carve a chashaku from bamboo. To make it a little easier, I bent the bamboo before we started, so the students got to do the shaping and final sanding.

There have various instructions on how to do this bending, but the method I used this time was steam.  After thinning the bamboo to about 3-4 mm, I held the bamboo over my steam iron  for a couple of minutes until I could bend it.  There was some cracking on the back, but eventually that got carved away.

We used two different kinds of bamboo, black bamboo and giant timber bamboo.  The black bamboo was easier to carve, but more brittle.  It split more easily and you had to be very careful  when shaping it.  The green bamboo was harder to carve, but more forgiving of splits and mistakes.

I think it went very well and the students this time got to take home a usable chashaku.  The final assignment from the workshop, is that everyone had to name their chashaku.

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    • joe haeng sah on July 31, 2015 at 9:23 am

    so envious of these tea students…

    • Katie on August 4, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Was the bamboo processed in some way prior to your bending it? When I tried carving a chashaku from bamboo that I had cut myself, I found that the skin didn’t have that glossy sealed quality that I’ve come to expect in the bamboo in my non-homemade chashaku, futaoki, etc. Instead it had kind of a rough, matte texture.

    • Admin on August 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for your comment. The green bamboo had been treated with a solution to help prevent it from cracking as it dried. It left the skin side rather matte, but I took a wet rag and rubbed it and the skin came back to a glossy smooth texture. The black bamboo had been heat treated right after harvesting and it was already a glossy texture when I bent it.

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