Hapa Zome (beating up leaves with hammers)

in Crafts and Projects

Hapa Zome 1

Stacey’s hapa zome with clover, dandelions, grasses, berries and petals

This is a wonderful creative technique that I often share with participants on training courses and with the children I work with. This week someone on a course made something so beautiful it reminded me I wanted to share this a bit more widely.

Hapa Zome is the Japanese art of beating up leaves with hammers, pounding natural pigment into cloth. It was developed and named by India Flint who is a colour artist although she suggests that people have probably been pounding colours into cloth for centuries.

Hapa Zome 2

Hapa zome with dock leaves and primula

The skill level you need to start out with this creative springboard for this is pretty basic. If you can hit things with a hammer you can create beautiful works of art. As demonstrated by a two year old and his mum.

Hapa Zome 3Hapa Zome 4

How to make Hapa Zome

To make hapa zome you need cotton fabric, different weights seem to all work equally well but you do get slightly different effects. The leaves and flowers that you choose make a difference to the effectiveness. Ones that are full of moisture produce the best results.

Hapa Zome 5

Spring crocus flowers

By folding the cloth in half with the leaf or petal inside you get a mirror image. Once the petal is under the cloth then it is a matter of gently pounding it with a mallet, hammer or even smooth rock. The surface underneath will come through so find a smooth surface to work on. It seems to appeal to all ages and genders equally, I’m sure this is something to do with the cathartic nature of hitting things with hammers!

Hapa Zome 6

Baby nettle leaves

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