The B&E Goulandris Foundation is organising an experiential workshop for adults on “Japanese Miniature Crafts” (netsuke miniature sculpture)” with netsuke sculptor and conservator of Asian art antiquities Maria K. Ghisi, which will take place across four sessions.

Drawing from the influence that traditional Japanese woodcut Ukiyo-e images had on European artists such as Gauguin, van Gogh, Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec in the late 19th century, as well as the impact that professor Yanaihara had on Alberto Giacometti, the B&E Goulandris Foundation will run a cycle of four 2-hour long seminars to enable participants to discover the Japanese netsuke carving technique (three-dimensional micro-sculptures made from a variety of woods and organic materials).

Traditional Japanese kimonos had no pockets and personal items were carried on a cord tied to the belt, with the help of a “button” or counterweight (2.5 to 15 cm in size): that is the netsuke. The B&E Goulandris Foundation’s experiential workshop includes an introduction to the history of netsuke and its thematic symbolism, as well as an acquaintance with the organic materials used (variety of woods) and the carving, grinding and polishing techniques.

Photo credits: Leonidas Kourgiantakis

Detailed schedule of meetings

  • 1st Session:
    General introduction and introduction to traditional Japanese woodcut.
    Journey into Japanese history and the theme of netsuke (customs, moral and aesthetic values, religious and symbolic thought, variety of materials).
  • 2nd Session:
    Introduction to the netsuke carving technique (selection of surface material & subject; miniature design; acquaintance with and use of tools).
  • 3rd Session:
    Netsuke carving technique (continued).
  • 4th Session:
    Acquaintance with the grinding and polishing technique (use of materials).
    Completion of netsuke micro-sculpture (ready to wear as a beaded pendant).

Japanese Miniature Crafts (netsuke miniature sculpture)

Experiential workshop for adults with Maria K. Ghisi

Series of four sessions:
1st series | Fridays April 5, 12, 19 & 26
| 17.30-19.45
2nd series | Fridays June 14, 21, 28 & July 5 | 17.30-19.45

Number of participants: Up to 15 persons

Cost of participation (including all four sessions): 120€
Cost of participation for B&E Members: 96€


Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, Athens
13 Eratosthenous str., Athens 116 35, Greece. Τ. +30 210 72 52 895, F. +30 210 72 35 467, E.
New series of 4 sessions: Fridays 14/06, 21/06, 28/06 & 05/07 | 17.30-19.45