Sunday, October 14, 2007

new work

Here we are, finally, with some new work. I have my kokeshi dolls and another piece that is kind of like a piece of wood. First the kokeshi dolls: When I was in Japan I went to an antique/junk store and they had a large collection of these wooden dolls, called kokeshi dolls. They are all very simple in design, and I was really taken by their simplicity. Little details, like the shape of the hair and body or the expression on the face would create different characters for these dolls. I bought a few thinking I would give them to some of the little girls in my life—of course that hasn’t happened—but it hit me as I was riding back to Kanayama on my bicycle that they would be great inspiration for some ceramic work.

Wooden kokeshi dolls were originally made to be toys for children, but there is a big, crazy world of kokeshi doll collecting out there, and I'm not sure if you would find any in toy stores anymore. My ceramic ones are made from porcelain, and they don’t feel like toys. They are totally non-functional really, just pieces to look at. I don’t think I’ve ever really made a piece strictly for looking at. It’s a new world for me. I like my pots to do something, but perhaps I should get over that. Anyway, I'm selling these girls off right here.

Speaking of standing around and looking pretty, I’m a little bit in love with this other piece. I’m calling it a “wood altar” because it seems like a place where something ritualistic might happen, a rite of passage. This is also porcelain, and I only glazed the flowers to make sure they would stick to the piece. Again, it’s basically non-functional. I want to make more things like this, but I want it to be thin enough to be translucent. Lately I am very interested in the idea of shadows and translucency. This is a piece I will probably keep for a while, or I may never sell. Sometimes I can hang on to pieces for years, and then the right person will talk me out of it. This piece also looks magical with a candle lit at the bottom.