Artist's notes on style, materials and inspiration:
Part of a series of 'transport' themed girls, this girl is inspired by the 'Ikebus' - serving the area of Ikebukuro in Tokyo.
Operated by Willer Express, the Ikebus is a fleet of bright red all electric buses that "connects the city of Ikebukuro vertically and horizontally by 2 of A and B routes." It runs every 20 minutes and is small, carrying 22 passengers at a time. The buses were designed by Eiji Mitooka who also designed trains for the Kyoto Tango Railway and the JR Kyushu Shinkansen and "Seven Stars in Kyushu" trains.
The owl mascot of the buses is called 'Ikechan' and the ones on top of the buses have light up eyes. Owls are a symbol of the area because 'fukuro' or 'bukuro' is a homonym for owl. There are owl statues and murals to be found around the area, particularly around the station.
The buses are a super vibrant red, with amazing red patterned interiors - totally eye popping.
The operators website says "Hello. Nice to meet you I am IKEBUS. Run slowly in Ikebukuro city. Human and Eco-friendly red electric bus with everyone's hope started since November 27, 2019."
The maximum speed is 19km/h and they have an electric lift on the rear for wheelchairs.
When I visited in January 2020 I also saw a yellow version, which I think might be a training version of the bus.
This wood girl is 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 added to and painted by me, a British artist. Finished in a matt finish acrylic protective top coat.
Approximately 17.5cm 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.
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.