year of the ox girl - horizontal stripes
A girl to celebrate 2021, which is the Year of the Ox (sometimes also depicted as a cow). Standing on her head is a little red ox, inspired by the akabeko folk toy from the Aizu region of Japan. This papier mâché nodding head folk toy is synonymous with Fukushima prefecture, and is said to have originated from the legend of red cow who lived in a temple in Yanaizu, Fukushima in the 9th century. The akabeko is thought to ward off illness.
Oxen are the second animal in the zodiac - because they were tricked by the rat on the way to the Emperor's party and ended up arriving after the rat. Because of its important role in traditional agriculture, some of the positive traits attributed to the ox are that it is hardworking, intelligent and reliable but prefers to be working in the background rather than receiving praise or being centre stage. They are also logical and rarely lose their temper although they can be stubborn.
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.
A note about 'Wood Girls'
This girl was turned from lime or linden wood by a production turner, and then hand painted in the U.K. by me, a British artist. I love exploring the patterns and scenes encountered by me on my travels and in daily life. My wood girls are inspired by the kokeshi dolls made in Japan, and with every new purchase I include a leaflet explaining a little about the history of kokeshi in Japan and how they are made. I prefer to call mine 'wood girls' to distinguish them from the traditional folk craft of Japan, but they are very much in the spirit of kokeshi.
Stamped underneath with my roaring bear in blue ink.
Approximately 17cm high.
Please note: THIS IS NOT A TOY and should be kept out of the reach of children.