'favourite things' - rooftops girl
My very first memory of Japan was travelling on the Narita Express train from the airport into Tokyo - after leaving the airport, the train travelled through a little bit of the countryside outside Tokyo, scattered houses, a few rice paddies, stands of bamboo and to my delight - blue glazed and silver-grey tiled roofs. A distinctive architectural feature, these clay tiles, known as 'kawara' can be found on temples and traditional houses, are most often the silvery dark grey colour but also come glazed in blue, green or red. A tiled roof is known as a 'kawara yane'.
Since that first memory, I have been lucky enough to enjoy the view over Japanese rooftops many times; I love finding a viewing point where I can look out over the different roofs, not only clay but also in various metals, along with the scramble of wires, overhead lines and tv aerials - which to me only add to the interest.
Artist's notes on style, materials and inspiration:
My 'favourite things' wood girl series, new for 2021, will share the places and things I love, a repeated object or theme, or be inspired by a microseason. Turned from American Tulipwood, a sustainable and interestingly grained timber, the pieces are turned by a production wood turner in the UK to my designs, then painted by me, a British artist. They are approximately twice the size of my regular wood girls, and finished in a semi-matt acrylic protective top coat. Approximately 24cm in height.
My pieces are painted in a naïve and simple style, with visible brush strokes and differing paint consistencies. It is important to note that these dolls are made from real wood which will have naturally occurring markings and grain, and sometimes there will be small amount of bleeding along the grain, or knots, which is to be expected when using untreated wood - please make sure you consult the pictures carefully before purchasing.
My wood girls are made in the 'spirit of kokeshi', being originally inspired by the 'creative' kokeshi branch of the traditional Japanese folk craft of wooden limbless dolls which are turned on a lathe and hand painted. Dentō kokeshi are the traditional kokeshi, deeply rooted to their places of manufacture (often onsen towns) within Japan and made with very specific body shapes and pattern designs, often by generations of a same family. Dentō kokeshi can today be classified under eleven different types: Naruko, Tsuchiyu, Togatta, Yajiro, Sakunami, Yamagata, Kijiyama, Nanbu, Tsugaru, Zao-takayu, and Hijiori. By contrast, 'creative' or shingata kokeshi are not associated with any particular region or style and often made by artists unconnected to craft families, and apart from the fact that they are still turned on a lathe, their styles and decoration are pretty much limitless.
PLEASE NOTE: Wood girls should be kept away from water which can damage the wood and painted surface, and also away from direct heat/ sunlight which also can affect the surface colour and the timber itself.