Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Kuretake at the CHA Summer Show....

We've just returned from a fantastic week in Chicago where we exhibited at the CHA Summer Show!


We always do a 'Make and Take' when we exhibit and this time our Japanese colleagues brought over some paper fans to be decorated with brush calligraphy. Coincidentally, our trip coincided with the biggest heatwave Chicago has had in 20 years, temperatures reached 110 F while we were there -hot HOT! So the fans were pretty apt.

The character seen on the fans below means "Forever" and is a great symbol for beginners to paint as it includes all the main brush strokes needed for other characters.  The brush painting was a huge hit at our booth, and not just for the fans (we did bags as well!). People really enjoyed trying out something so different and its a relaxing activity - the perfect interlude at the busy show.

Japanese Brush painting using Kuretake Sumi Ink

The ink used for the brush painting is high quality Kuretake Sumi Ink. Sumi ink is produced from carbon and available in stick form that needs to be ground into water, but can also be purchased in bottles. Our Sumi Ink is made in Japan, and only produced between the months of October and April. I'll be telling you more about Sumi Ink and it's uses but would love to hear of any one's experiences with it.

We also ran a ZIG Workshop at CHA, run by our Marketing Manager, Steph (who you may have seen on Create & Craft!).  The project was a scrapbook page which used different ZIG pens and techniques for different sections.

We'll be teaching you a few of these techniques on the blog in the next few weeks.  The ZIG Calligraphy flowers and the Scroll and Brush borders are really fun and very easy!


Susan trying out some brush painting!
One of the great things about going to the US is getting to meet some of our lovely Design Team members! I got to spend some time with Susan Weckesser, who is a Canadian Mixed Media Artist and a huge fan of ZIG pens.

Susan entered the CHA's Crafty Couture competition, where artists create a dress out of all kinds of materials. 

She created this amazing ZIG doodle gown!.....

Susan Weckesser with Mr Osaki, MD of Kuretake UK

The upper part of the dress has been doodled with ZIG pens! Susan has used ZIG Millenniums, Writers and Painty FX pens to create the dress. We loved it so much, Susan kindly let us have it! So it's back in the UK with us and we're looking forward to displaying it at future exhibitions. 

My photos don't really do the dress justice, it really is beautiful and we're so excited to have it.

I'd love to hear about your experiences of CHA if you went, did you visit the ZIG booth?

Ps.  We're back on Create and Craft TV this Thursday! Steph will be showing you some more ZIG Calligraphy and Brushables techniques and introducing you to our Japanese Gift Box templates which are perfect for wedding favours! Emma Williams and Sarah Hurley did some amazing Royal Wedding themed gift boxes with the templates, you can check them out here and here.