Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Chikara: (Japanese)  Power, strength, force.

I promised that we'd come back around to Japanese eventually, and here we are at Day 26 already! You're all doing a great job with your abstract sgraffito drawings, and I love seeing how you interpreted the words. It's definitely a challenge to think abstractly, and I'll bet your minds have had quite a workout aside from building your sgraffito skills!

Today I'd like to share a few easy Japanese kanji,  and also show you a little bit about how the simple kanji (characters) fit together like pictures to express a more complex ideas (word nerd alert, again...)

  This is what 'Chikara' looks like.  It's one of 80 kanji learned in the 1st grade in Japan. Only two strokes, and the horizontal one comes first (stroke order matters). Chikara is a root for many other words, and when it's put together with other kanji, it can express all kinds of things!  For example, when three "Chikara' kanji are put together along with the kanji meaning "Ten, or complete", you get "Ten Powers", "Ten-Strength" or "Ten-Force". 
This in turn becomes part of the kanji that make the words for 'cooperate, society, association, and compromise'.  Power in numbers- Pretty neat isn't it?  

I'd really like to thank everyone in the Fused Glass Sgraffito Facebook group for being so encouraging and kind toward each other during these drawing challenges. In the often negative realm of social media, I'd say we have a "Ten-Chikara" thing going on for sure! 
For today's abstract drawing, show us how YOU describe Chikara using black powdered glass. 

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