wonderful teakettle III

£70.00

  • Image of wonderful teakettle III
  • Image of wonderful teakettle III
  • Image of wonderful teakettle III
  • Image of wonderful teakettle III
  • Image of wonderful teakettle III

Artist's notes on style, materials and inspiration:

This wood girl was inspired by my favourite Japanese folktale.
I first came across the story as the "The Wonderful Tea Kettle" in a series of chirimen-bon or crepe paper books popular in the late 19th century.

It has been told many different ways, but the main plot is that an old priest at Morin-ji temple who loved to practice the tea ceremony bought a fine iron tea kettle at a second hand shop. When he tried to use it to make tea and it was placed over the flames to heat, it sprouted a tail, legs and a head and turned out to be a tanuki (racoon dog, but in some older stories a mujina, or badger - both these creatures are often interchangeable in folk tales).

Because it couldn't be used to make tea, it was soon sold to a tinker. The tanuki revealed himself to his new owner, complaining about how he was treated at the temple and striking a deal - if the tinker would feed and house him, the tanuki teakettle would perform for a crowd - he could do acrobatics and walk the tightrope. The pair quickly became rich and famous, performing to large audiences and eventually made enough money to retire. The kettle was returned to Morin-ji temple, where it now resides.

The temple story differs in that the teakettle was inexhaustible providing hot water night and day but at some point revealed itself to be a tanuki, or the priest that was boiling the water was a tanuki - it depends on the telling.

You often see images of teakettles with the face and tail of a tanuki even today - and this is where it originates!

Artist notes:
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. She has been finished in a top coat of matt acrylic.

This girl was turned from American Tulipwood by a production turner to my design and then hand painted and added to by me, a British artist, exploring patterns and scenes encountered by me on my travels and in daily life.

Stamped underneath with roaring bear in blue ink.
Approximately 17.5cm high.
Please note: THIS IS NOT A TOY and should be kept out of the reach of children.

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