2020 has been a strange year for all of us.
For Nomad_ist and myself, this has meant adjusting ourselves to a life without travel (in normal circumstances we travel at least once a month) and as luck or life would have it, a much heavier workload than usual (not really an issue, we are both workaholics).
Having to spend most of our time at home, has been a surprisingly enriching experience for us in many ways, some of them unexpected. Our search for new ways of relaxing when not working, somehow merged into a search for new brands and products to share with you. Most of them are in areas we haven’t necessarily focused on with the store until now.
We looked for products or activities that could be carried out in the home, were creative, affordable and perfect for keeping one’s mind off more difficult topics. After adding Rhodia notebooks, Herbin inks and Brause calligraphy products to the store, we turned to Japan for new opportunities.
Akashiya was founded in 1716, over 300 years ago. Nara is the birthplace of Japanese calligraphy or shodo (around 800AD) and famous for calligraphy brushes (fude). Akahiya is Japan’s largest manufacturer of fude and one of the oldest.
We have always been fascinated by Japanese art and calligraphy and been tempted by the idea of stocking traditional calligraphy and art supplies.To be honest, we have absolutely no idea, whether customers will share our passion for these items but we are convinced that you will enjoy trying them out.
The event that finally made us decide to stock Akashiya products was our discovery of ETEGAMI.
Etegami is a Japanese folk art, which consists in painting simple postcards to send to your loved ones and friends. Each postcard is unique, decorative and personal. Etegami does not require expensive equipment, talent or years of training. Instead, it embraces imperfection and spontaneity. You will find a more detailed explanation of etegami here. The internet and social media are full of great examples of the art and tutorials.
Etegami has become one of our main hobbies and we are really passionate about it. We highly recommend giving it a try!
Akashiya have a huge range of art and calligraphy supplies and the largest selection of handmade fude we have ever seen! It was hard to make a selection, but they were incredibly helpful.
Our Akashiya range:
Gansai (顔彩) are traditional Japanese watercolour paints. The colours are more saturated than Western ones and have a slight sheen. They can be used for both Western or traditional Japanese painting.
Our selection includes Gansai paint sets in 2 sizes and 3 options.12 pans (colours) with or without paint brushes and 24 pans without paint brushes. All of the colours are traditional Japanese ones.
2. Brush Pens
We stock Akashiya’s award-winning SAI range of watercolour brush pens in sets of 20 colours as well as special 4 seasons packs. These brush pens are popular with artists worldwide and a pleasure to use. Colours are typically Japanese.
We also stock beautiful calligraphy-oriented ink brush pens in bamboo (varnished or lacquered) and two sets of beautiful brush pens and pen cases made from a traditional Kyoto paper that looks like leather, decorated with traditional Japanese patterns.
We use the bamboo pens to draw outlines in etegami.
All the equipment you need for Japanese calligraphy, whether you are a beginner or an advanced calligrapher.
4. Starter Kits
5. Japanese Paper
For etegami (gasen postcards), gansai painting and calligraphy.
A full range of accessories and supplies for gansai, calligraphy and etegami, including brushes, inks, inkstones, paperweights, underlays and more.
Putting this selection together for you has been great fun and has become a true passion for us. We hope you will feel the same!
See the collection here.