Zakka – beautiful yet useful hand made items
I have recently come across the term ‘Zakka’ which really interested me. Not knowing anything about it but having a love of Japanese craft I had to find out more and share it here. One translation of Zakka means “household goods” in Japanese, and the term has become synonymous with simple yet beautiful hand-sewn items that are both attractive and useful. Another description for Zakka is to describe homemade accessories or home decor that add simple touches of beauty to day to day life. I’d like to think that all the cute little things I make by hand are ‘Zakka’. I hope you will enjoy finding out more about Zakka as I have done.
The Wiki description of Zakka is as follows: “Zakka, the Japanese ‘zak-ka’ meaning ‘many things’) is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia . The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as Kitsch in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. “Cute, corny and kitschy is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, and laden with subtext.” “
If Zakka interests you too, check out this fab blog. Jessica from California creates original craft projects and tutorials every week on Zakka Life. Her blog is http://zakkalife.blogspot.com/. Her most recent blog shows you how to make these gorgeous kirigami leaves (se images below). As she, explains, you can place them on windows, tuck them under candles, or string them together to make a garland. They look very simple to make but are very lovely. The last image is a pretty tape measure cover. Images borrowed from the blog.
Some other blogs relating to Zakka crafts are: http://jubella.com/tag/zakka, Sweet Tidings (images below borrowed from the lovely sweet Tidings blog) and http://chikagraphyblog.blogspot.com/ . All worth having a look at if you are interested in seeing more Zakka creations.
Some books about Zakka:
Zakka Sewing by Therese Laskey & Chika Mori
This book is the first English-language book to explore this culture and its traditions, presenting 25 one-of-a-kind patterns from Japan’s best zakka creators. Projects range from a squirrel-shaped teapot cozy to simple felt flower coasters, and you can even learn to stitch up a pair of cozy slippers. The projects range in difficulty, with some for the novice up to the more experienced sewing hand, and all very, very cute. You can see reviews of this book on Amazon. It has an overall rating of 4 1/2 stars and very positive comments.
This books looks amazing and a must buy for anyone who loves patchwork. Amazon shows screenshots of several pages (one example above). It looks like a truly beautiful book.
For me, this is just a beginning. I am going to continue my research into Zakka, and hopefully try making a few items from the Zakka Sewing book. Will keep you posted about how I get on. Thanks for your interest.