What is the endless fascination with the kimono?

The Japanese kimono is renowned for its exceptional beauty. It is a sublime art form that has produced many outstanding designs throughout the centuries. Its flat, unstructured design allows unlimited possibility for surface design in every medium.

The projects Lyn guides you through in this class allow you to explore many exotic, eclectic surface design techniques. Constructed from paper, the kimono’s neutral surface can be transformed into a fantasy of color and pattern in mixed media.




Form and Pattern

This ancient origami model for a folded kimono was rediscovered and revived by Lyn in the 90’s and the artwork she created became a focus for her work for the next fifteen years. Her large-scale origami kimonos can still be found in collections and institutions across the nation.

Besides being fun, there are all kinds of ways to adapt this project to various media and to construct it in all sizes. Kimonos of various sizes can be mounted on canvas as fine art, hung as mobiles and ornaments, attached to greeting cards, or used as free-standing sculptural components.

Among the most enjoyable aspects of this class are the surface design possibilities - collage, stamping, gilding, scumbling, and so much more. Each kimono starts with a paper base that is three times its width, and when it is folded, unexpected patterns and shard-like designs reveal themselves.

From the tiniest pair of paper kimono earrings to the largest three-foot wall focal hanging, the form and pattern of the traditional kimono is elegant and impressive. The process is simple and the results are enchanting and enduring.

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Kimono as Collage

This large paper collage/assemblage is 30x40" and is framed under plexiglass. It was exhibited at the Blue Star Contemporary Gallery in 2010. This piece exemplifies Lyn Belisle's ongoing work with the kimono form as both large-scale origami exploration and surface design.