Friday, July 17, 2009

Lords of The Samurai

The San Francisco Asian Art Museum hired me to create eight craft lesson plans that tie into their current Lord of The Samurai exhibit. Each project is designed to be simple and use a downloadable template and instructions. These projects are introduced on the Lord of the Samurai blog and then from there link to there website where you can download the template files and instructions.
Below are images of the projects created so far.
Samurai Helmet (Kabuto):

Here is a sample instruction sheet. This series of projects has really gotten me to work with the software program Illustrator again. This particular helmet project was difficult to design in a simple manner. Earlier versions were much more detailed and complicated and even this simplified version's instructions were a challenge to fit on one page. The are three separate pages of templates for this project as well.

Samurai Half Mask (Mempo Mask) complete with sweat drain tubes (made of straws) and whiskers made of recycled produce netting:

Samurai Tosei Gusoku-Type Armor:

Samurai Sword:

Hands down, this was my son's favorite project. You can see from his face how thrilled he is to have created one. He helped me design it, too. This is his prototype.

Next I will be creating the lesson plan for a haiku project. I have conducted haiku projects several times with elementary school children and it is very entertaining and engaging. All these templates will be posted on The San Francisco Asian Art Museum's website (scroll to the bottom of the webpage to see them). The museum will be uploading a new project every week.

In a few years I hope to put together a book of all the various museum craft projects I have created. I have quite a collection now. I think that some can be quite fun for adults, too; I have been asked if I do bridal showers and corporate events when I conduct my paper hat workshops. Recycled materials are often designed into my projects adding an important if subtle conservation message. Below is one such project (for the de Young Museum) that used recycled sample wallpaper books, discarded tie fabric and produce netting to create fun and stylish hats.


  1. Great samurai armour! Thanks!

    Did you know this one?

    Or this other one?

  2. Thank you so much for posting this, as well as creating it. My son is really into all things Japan right now, and I know that he will love these crafts.