How to do Hapa Zome

Hapa Zome is an ancient Japanese art form, based on leaf printing. Tamara Jewell shows us how to create beautiful artwork, inspired by symmetry in nature.

What you will need:

  • Cotton cloth (I used an old pillowcase)/ You can also use paper.
  • A basher of some kind: a mallet, a hammer, a large smooth stone, or a rolling pin.
  • A hard surface (I used a chopping board).
  • Leaves and or petals (Choose fresh ones that have moisture in them).
  • Scissors.

How to do it:

  1. Cut your cloth to the size you want
  2. You may want to make a flag, a wall hanging or bunting, but if you are making a butterfly, fold the cloth in half and draw half a butterfly outline from the fold with the centre line vertical along the middle of the butterfly body
  3. Place the cloth on the hard surface
  4. Place the leaf or flower flat on the cloth
  5. Fold over the cloth in the centre to cover the leaf and hold in position
  6. Gently tap the cloth with your bashing tool, in the area where the leaf is, and you will start to see the colour coming through the fabric.
    Safety Tip!  Don’t get distracted and always watch what you are hammering, keeping fingers as far away as possible.  Best idea is to keep one arm behind your back while bashing
  7. Continue tapping until you have covered the whole area of the leaf, then unfold the cloth and remove any leaf material
  8. Repeat this process with as many leaves as you want. You will find that some leaves work better than others, so experiment with different types to create different effects
  9. If you are making a butterfly, finish by folding the cloth in half again along the body of the butterfly you have drawn. Then cut carefully around the outlines