Upcycling Project – Cardboard Lantern

In recent years, I’ve been really into Japanese culture and art, so I’m going to base my aesthetic for this project on the Ma aesthetic (see this post). I think I really want to make a collage of some sort that features different handmadekatagami stencils. Part of the Ma aesthetic is the rustic, handmade feel or look, so I’m going to avoid using any machines for this project; rather, I’ll rely on myself to be as careful and precise as I can be, just as traditional katagami stencils were made.

examples of katagami stencils

I also want to include some modernity to the design. I believe that, by nature, Ma and flat design more-or-less coexist; flat design, in a basic sense, is minimalist and uses simple shapes, and, while Japanese patterns can be intricate, they often are repetitive and are used as accents, whereas the main design features can be simpler shapes.

my design of a background

I will probably use cardboard for this project; I’ve been ordering a lot from Amazon and a lot of the boxes from them and/or the actual products themselves are just going to go to the trash if I don’t use them, so might as well make use of it. I’m going to attempt to make a lamp with the carboard, like in the following picture

rice paper lamp

Image Sources:
1. https://www.artfixdaily.com/images/c/82/0d/Aug20_katagami900x675.jpg
2. me
3. https://originallamp.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/japanese-wooden-lamp-00017.jpg

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Michael Dailey
    February 12, 2023 9:26 pm

    I absolutely love the aesthetic you chose. The fine lines really give the pieces a unique quality. Some of the terminology you used is new to me, so I’m curious exactly what kinds of techniques you’ll be using to make the lantern. I’m also interested to see how well the light permeates the cardboard. You seem very enthusiastic about the idea, which tells me that whatever you make it going to be great.

  • Chin-Hsuan(Andrea) Wang
    February 10, 2023 11:29 pm

    As a person who was forced to make a paper Lantern for her assignment in art class during middle school, I had a hard time merging the steel wires into the paper lantern’s bones and gluing the paper on the lantern lol.
    Since the cardboard box is already stable for its structure, I believe you will go smoothly during the process. The aesthetic you picked up is super interesting! Looking forward to your work!


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