Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Cut an Intricate Design Out of Nori

First off, a disclaimer: I do not pretend to be an expert on this topic. I am not even sure this is a good way to do it. This is the first time I've tried cutting out anything at all complicated. But below I will show the steps I took to cut out Sally and Jack for my Nightmare Before Christmas bento.

First I found a simple silhouette online and printed it out the size I wanted. Next I cut the major portions with scissors.

At some point, it occurred to me that scissors were probably not the right tool for the job, and I switched to an Exacto knife.

When I had finished cutting out my model (I know, cheating, right? - but who's to say those "bento artists" I see online don't use gimmicks like this? Not everyone can manage things freehand, people...) I paper clipped it to a sheet of nori. (Again, not sure that this is a great way to do it - any suggestions people have on how to attach a guide to nori would be great!)

My first try, Jack's coat-tails broke off. My second try, Jack lost his head:

Not wanting to waste the Sally and landscape I had intact, I just cut Jack off and redid him by himself.

This seemed to work well, and on this, my third try, Jack turned out pretty well.

I would welcome any thoughts if fellow bento-ers have an easier way to do this. Otherwise, I was pretty happy with my first attempt at such a design.

Happy Bento!

Related posts:
Jack and Sally Bento


Lil'chan said...

That's really a great thing. It looks beautiful. I did it the way you did. But with a normal kitchen knife, because I don't have any other tools ;)

Olala said...

Bravo, quel beau travail ! Je suis tout simplement époustouflée !!


sushinori said...

Aww poor beheaded Jack :)
Don't worry, I'm willing to bet that even the most expert nori-cutters use a model. The only difference might be that they draw the models themselves, but that's irrelevent regarding the nori-cutting part of the work. :)
Thanks for sharing your techniques! ^^
(i'm also enorcsi from lj)

Anonymous said...

*o* amazing!
thank you for this post!
This is a simple but great idea!

Yvo Sin said...

Awesome Mer! I think I'll continue to just look at your amazing bentos and eat my plain ones :)

hapa bento said...

I attempted cutting nori using a template and exacto blade and failed. I may make another attempt someday. Your bento is amazing. Love it.

Michelle said...

Gorgeous job! I'm going to have to try an Exacto Knife!

Cat said...

great tutorial! I will attempt this soon, thanks to your blog. I just have a question. How do you keep your nori from curling up? I find that when nori is exposed to air, you only have a short time to work with it until it begins to curl and it's no longer easy to work with. How do you prevent that? Thank you :)

Mer said...

Cat: Thanks for the compliment, and I hope this goes well for you. I have never had that experience with the nori curling up, so I don't know what I would do to prevent it. Do you live in a humid place? Perhaps moisture in the air is causing this?

Cat said...

yep, I live in hot and humid Manila :( I guess I just have to cut faster so they don't curl up :D