Monday, June 4, 2012

Doing the cool things V: Kamishibai

This is a Kamishibai:

If you´ve never heard that name, that´s okay. I had never heard about it myself, until a couple of weeks ago, when my fellow teacher used one during our book week. And, of course, i digged it!

So, what is a Kamishibai?

It´s a lightweight, portable theatre, not unlike a puppet theatre, but you use it to insert pictures instead of puppets. The word means, according to Wikipedia, "paper theatre" in japanese, and it was used by Japanese sweet vendors in the first half of the last century to keep their little customers entertained - they attracted the kids by telling stories to the pictures, and then they stayed to buy sweets. What a great advertesing strategy! :)

Why do I need a Kamishibai? 

 I like to tell stories. In fact, I tell stories all the time. This is something sweet to go with them. I can paint my own pictures. Or copy and laminate book pages, to show the original illustrations, without bending myself, or interrupting the flow of the story by showing the book around. Of course I could just show the pictures alone, without a theatre. But that wouldn´t be as exciting, right? There wouldn´t be all the magic of a theatre, giving the images a real frame, making them special. It will be like cinema!
Also, I can just insert the whole book, like I did above.In two weeks, I´ll be reading Russian fairy tales to my library kids, and then, the baby above will have it´s first appearance!

So, here´s how I made it: 

On this picture, you see all you need.
(You don´t even need the hinges. At first, I planned to make doors, to close it, but then decided againt it, because the will just add extra weight and flip open all the time, unless I don´t install a locket, too - I might install a curtain, though.)

I didn´t drill anything, or hammer anything, but used super glue instead, and so far, that works excellent -the wood is pretty light, and the whole structure will never carry more weight than one book at a time.

I had the big boards cut at the hardware store, and the small boards for the sides and the bar in the middle were cut by Miro and Tim. As was the opening hole in the front board, which I freehanded:
I bet there is a method to do this more neat. Maybe folding a paper, to get it at least symmetrical. But you know, I´m always a quick, eager, enthusiastic crafter. I want things to be ready!

I attached the sides (and then the middle bar, as well) with my super glue. That was fun, because it really worked. Oh, the possibilities!

I painted the back light blue. You don´t have to. My fellow teacher has her Kamishibai completely black. That way, you could also use it for blacklight productions, and there is minimal distraction from the story.

I decided for the lightblue sky because I don´t know, someday I might use it as a puppet theatre, for little paper figures hanging from wires? So, the cerulean will make a nice sky, then.

After I glued the front, it looked like this. Okay, I admit I should have waited until all the paint was dry... but as I said, sometimes I can be a little eager... so I now have black smudges to fix on my blue sky. Sigh.

At least you don´t see it when there´s a book in there:
And that´s what it´s about :)

This was part 5 of "Doing the cool things" series. I might take a break tomorrow, because it´s Tuesday, and we´re busy on Tuesdays, plus, I need to wait for my amazon delivery. I need something for my next craft. I´ll show you :)


Have you ever experienced waking up with a certain song in your head in the morning, one you haven´t been listening to for years, and the need to blast it out loud right now? I had it this morning, I wanted this song :)

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