tome ishi girl
Artist's notes on style, materials and inspiration:
This wood girl is a new shape for 2021, a chunkier piece that gives a much greater painting surface than my other girls, allowing for more ambitious body patterns.
Her pattern was inspired by the string-bound stones found in some Japanese gardens, particularly tea gardens. It is thought they developed from simple rocks barring the way to being bound in twine with a decorative knot to facilitate moving them around more easily and making them a little more noticeable. Called 'tome ishi' (stop stone) or 'sekimori ishi' (boundary guard stone) they politely indicate that you should not go any further, and can be used to direct you along the 'correct' path to the teahouse - a metaphor for being guided by the host along the desired spiritual path.
Turned from American Tulipwood, a sustainable and interestingly grained timber, my pieces are turned on a lathe by a production wood turner in the UK to my designs, then painted by me, a British artist. She has been hand painted and finished in a semi-matt acrylic protective top coat.
This tall girl is approximately 27cm in height (including knot).
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 sosaku 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.