Friday, May 1, 2009

Kokeshi Dolls

Just another thing for me to be fascinated with! Little Kokeshi Dolls...

Kokeshi are the traditional wooden dolls made in the northern region of Japan. Their main characteristic is the cylindrical shaped body with round head, mostly without hands or feet. While these dolls are considered unsophisticated, they have a certain rustic charm that is hard to deny. Wood from dogwood and cherry trees is whittled down while spinning on a lathe. After the shape is completed, the hair, eyes and noses are painted on the head and the kimono on the body. Two or threes colors are used to paint the lines or floral patterns. This technique is worthy of being called a craftsman's art and is passed down from master to apprentices. Kokeshi shapes and patterns vary depending on where they come from, each of the eight to ten different types of Kokeshi is distinctive to it's place of origin.

For the Artistic Figures in Cloth (AFIC) conference that I am teaching at this weekend, I had to have a hat to wear to the opening banquet...needless to say I had to do something with dolls. So I thought about it and came up with a crown of Kokeshi dolls!

Front view: My crown made of images of Kokeshi dolls
with added ribbons and vintage velvet pieces.

The writing is Japanese meaning Kokeshi.

The two side images

The interior view with Kokeshi info.

And...would I be a good doll maker if I didn't find the Kokeshi fabric!
Hummm...looks like a good fabric for the makings of an apron.

As always-to be continued...

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