Then Comes Baby Japanese Trowel

I learned to trowel with a Pavan.  I have several I used, accruing even more from a contest win – this Pavan Tool Chest –

Then I met Melanie Royal at the IDAL Chicago Convention several years ago and purchased this Japan Trowel she was using –

I got the 3 inch x 9 inch and it was instant love.   So much so that I got two more – a 9.5 inch and the 10.5 inch.  They are light and airy, and glide effortlessly under the hand. I rarely use my Pavan now  -unless its for a coarser plaster/stone.

Yesterday, a new BABY trowel arrived, weighing in at 6.5 inches –

Look how cute it is, like a trowel family~    I can’t wait to use it in those smaller, cut up areas –

Why do my trowels look so dirty here?    Honest, I clean my tools.

I haven’t seen these trowels locally, but you can find them online.  Here are several sites that I trust, and their current prices (before shipping) –

Faux by Kathy (Chicago)

The Faux Marketplace (Louisville) –

The medium is 9.5" The small is 9"

Royal Design Studio (San Diego) –

There is also this company,  Lander Land, out of New Mexico,  that carries a full line of Japanese Trowels, including the baby size (in 3 designs), in Regular and Stainless Steel both,  but I’ve never ordered from them before.  Prices seem pretty comparable.  Here are the mini’s they offer,  each one is $31.   They sell a set of all 3 mini’s for $74 – great price, but I only needed one, so I got mine from Chicago while ordering product –

Landerland offers this description for Japanese Trowels –


10 responses to “Then Comes Baby Japanese Trowel

  1. LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Love your new “baby”! I may just have to add one to my trowel collection. I also am a huge fan of those lightweight Japanese trowels, having bought one some time ago from Melanie. They are especially great when troweling overhead on ceilings. We are in enough pain w/o having to wield a heavy trowel! Thanks for doing all this research, Patty. 🙂

  3. I used to work for Carol a few years back. Tell her hello for me. I saw you know how to antique mirrors can you share the recipie? Thanks

  4. Carol Kemery or Kathy Carroll? (sorry, I was confused) .

    I wish I knew, thus far, how to antique mirrors. I have the kit and great plans to cross it off my list in ’09 but never found the free time to play… it has been bumped to my ’10 list. From what I’ve heard about the antiqueing process, it isn’t a simple recipe that is key(the ‘how to’ is probably stated on the kit box) rather its a definite trial and error process on getting the look you want….

  5. They look like great trowels but I am curious about the sharp corners on the back. Thats what I liked about the Pavan is they are more rounded and tapered and will not leave any “ribbons” (lines) of excess plaster when trowling. Plus, I am a fast trowler and will sometimes catch the back corner of my trowel on the surface and “cut” the surface with the sharper corners. Does this happen with these trowels or is it because I’m a boob lol

    • Hi Arthur,

      You know, I have no problems with the back edges of that trowel. Its such a thin bladed trowel…. maybe thats why I don’t notice it? No, dragging and cutting doesn’t happen – at least not for me – I whip it around pretty fast too – but seriously, I think its because it is so light weight – it never bogs down – then again, maybe a guy wouldn’t find enough ‘substance’ to it?

  6. It was Carol Kemery. I worked at her studio for a few years. I hope her business is booming. Where do you get the kit for the mirror aging? Thanks Barbara

  7. bonjour,

    je suis a la recherche d’un fabricant de truelle japonaise ,tout modeles ,
    auriez vous se genre d’adresses ,a me transmettre
    merci bcp

  8. Thank-you for compiling this list of vendors. The flexible Japanese trowels really do make a huge difference!

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