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  • What is Karakuri?
    Originated in Japan, Karakuri is an art of making paper toys that move using simple mechanisms such as gears, cranks, cams and lever. ‘Karakuri’ also known as ‘Automata’, means some mechanism, machinery or trick without the use of computers. The key point here is some kind of mechanical trickery. It involves some creative thought based on an understanding of how mechanisms convert one kind of movement to another. The term ‘Karakuri’ goes back to the 17th century where it referred to any device that was used to trick or surprise a person. This element of surprise was assimilated in the puppets that was proficient of achieving complex movements to astonish people for entertainment. These mechanical dolls are often referred to as ‘Karakuri ningyo’ in Japan. Though the origination of the dolls dates back to over 1500 years ago, they have been more popular in the last couple of centuries. It has turned out to be a craft that raised feelings and emotions through subtle movements of the puppets. These dolls and devices capable of achieving motion and action have been seen to be the predecessor to robots. There is no course on mechanical engineering in schools, but Karakuri paper craft is a perfect tool to teach students about the basics of various mechanisms, force momentum, and force transmission or conversion.
  • How does the movement happen in a Karakuri toy?
    Karakuri toys create a sense of curiosity in our minds and we wonder how it really works. There is an element of surprise and we keep guessing how can there be a movement in the toy when we are simply rotating a handle? There is no magic and Karakuri toys simply work on the basic principles of engineering and some of the simplest mechanisms. We can call our Karakuri toy as a small machine generating some kind of movement, when a small force is applied over its handle. Karakuri models make use of some basic mechanisms such as lever, cams, linkages, gears and cranks, and all of them made out of a simple paper. Even with the advancing electronic technology, simple and basic mechanisms continue to play a vital role in converting and transmitting force from source to the machine. The source can be either human power or some other external force. Karakuri revolves around using imagination to build on these simple mechanisms to make the movement happen in the toy.
  • What are the contents of Karakuri Workshop book?
    The book is divided into 5 major sections. First section will introduce you to this exciting, engaging and unique Karakuri paper craft. You will get to know what Karakuri is and where it first began. This section also includes Karakuri works by Keisuke Saka and brief description of each paper model. Section 2 talks about the basic Karakuri mechanisms like Levers, Cams, Cranks, Gears and linkages. This part will help you better understand not only the logic behind the working of Karakuri toys, but also how some of the simple mechanisms help us in our daily lives. Section 3 will brief you about different tools required, their importance and where and how to use them. You will also learn basic techniques of paper craft and some helpful tips while you enjoy making each model. Section 5 contains the templates to build six different Karakuri paper models. These are printed pull out pages having all the parts to be cut and assembled.
  • What are the tools required to make a Karakuri paper model?
    One great thing about paper craft is that you can somehow manage without special tools or skills. However, with the right tools and the right technique, you can make the process much easier and improve the results. To make a Karakuri toy, you should gather basic paper crafting tools like Cutting mat, Craft knife, Scissors, Folding tool, White PVA glue, Twizzers, Toothpicks etc. Detailed
  • What are the steps and skills required to make a Karakuri model?
    Making a Karakuri model involves multiple steps like Cutting, Folding and Assembling. A single model consists of several individual parts. So it requires lot of patience, focus and concentration in building Karakuri toys. If you have any previous experience in paper crafting then it will be helpful but it is not a necessary requirement as this book will help you in learning all the basic techniques of paper crafting.
  • What is appropriate age group for Karakuri?
    We recommend building Karakuri models for 12 years and above age group. So even adults having no prior experience in paper crafting can enjoy this beautiful art. Children between the age group of 9-12 years require adult supervision as it involves use of sharp objects like craft knife and scissors. Small kids between 5-8 years age group can enjoy playing with readymade Karakuri toys. However, we do not encourage building paper models for smaller age group.
  • Which toys are included in the Karakuri Workshop book?
    You can build following 6 amazing toys with the templates included in the book: Power in the Paw – Difficulty level – Easy A special message! – Difficulty level – Easy Catch me if you can – Difficulty level – Medium What’s holding me back? – Difficulty level – Medium Three Monkeys of Gandhiji – Difficulty level – Hard Karakuri Wonder Train – Difficulty level – Hard
  • What are Karakuri templates and how they are different than the toys in the Karakuri Workshop book?
    Karakuri templates are available as individual toy templates along with instructions. Karakuri workshop book contains specific 6 toys templates as mentioned above along with other information like Karakuri introduction, Karakuri mechanism, tools and techniques and more. If you want to explore variety of toys, then book is the right choice. However, book does not include all the Karakuri toys and models not included in the book must be purchased as individual templates. So, in case you are more interested in building a single toy, then you can purchase only that template.
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