Author  DRBU Staff

This spring, DRBU’s Arts Initiative invited artists to host workshops on bookbinding, watercolor, and etegami, the art of Japanese postcard painting. These workshops offered a fun introduction to the joys of handicrafts and artmaking.

The Arts Workshop: Bookbinding

In this six-session workshop, DRBU alumnus Hasan Friggle demonstrated the basics of bookbinding. Participants learned how to make several types of books, from simple pamphlets to hardbound books. They even created their own sketchbook, journal, or artist’s book from scratch.




The Arts Class: Watercolor Fundamentals

Led by artist Sarah Scott Falk, this class focused on the elements of art: line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space. Participants first began with the color wheel. Then, over the course of the nine-week class, they explored how to use it to create a composition, continue to form, and finally complete their painting with texture and space.



The Arts Workshop — Etegami: The Art of Japanese Postcard Painting

Artist Ema Kubo offered an introduction to the Japanese folk art of etegami (literally, “picture letter”), as well as Japanese brush painting. These postcards consist of simple components: a painted image in black sumi ink, water-based color paints, and a brief phrase to the intended recipient. They follow the motto that “clumsy is fine, clumsy is best” (“heta de ii, heta ga ii”). Wobbly lines and imperfections are part of their aesthetic. Etegami are a relaxed yet heartfelt way to send a note to a friend. After a brief explanation and demonstration by the artist, participants created their own etegami.


The Arts Class: Pottery Fundamentals

Artist-artisans Michael Owen and Sarah Kennedy Owen led this introductory pottery workshop throughout the spring. Their hands-on class encouraged creating with peers and friends in a supportive studio environment. Participants practiced clay hand-building techniques, throwing on the pottery wheel, the operation of studio equipment, aesthetic decorating techniques, and methods for pottery glazing. During the workshop, Translation Certificate student Longfan Cai (Class of ’24) recorded the story of how DRBU’s founder, Master Hsuan Hua, taught the Dharma of pottery to Michael Owen.