Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Let the search begin

Hi everybody.

I've been trying to get some ideas flowing for the exhibition. Now we all know that actually making something is the easy part - what takes the time and brain cells is knowing what that something will be! I've been gathering my thoughts and began by searching around the house armed with a camera. I found these lovely Japanese bits and pieces an old friend brought back from her travels as gifts for me. They've been hidden away for far too long and I'm wondering if I can finally make more use of them.

I've even got the original tag from one of the shops where the things were bought.

I've never used the pincushion because it seemed too precious to stick pins in!

Even the carrier bag it all came in could be an inspiration.

Yesterday we got our monthly fix at the local auction house. I was on a mission to seek out something oriental and spotted this ginger jar. No one else seemed interested in bidding for it and I got it for  £5. When I brought it home Laura commented that it looked like something you won at a fairground when they'd run out of goldfish!

It's no great treasure but I'm sure I can do something with these colours and shapes. And looking at all those little raised dots suggests there may have to be beads involved somewhere.

I've spent a lot of time looking at traditional Japanese and Chinese art and what I'm drawn to is the absence of perspective, the stylised simplicity of the subjects, the focus on ornamentation and especially the use of gold leaf.

Today I made paper and laminated chinese fortune cookie wrappers between very fine layers of pulp. I plan to wax some of the papers ready for stitching. They might become a book or a mixed media piece - really don't know yet. Right now there's lots of collecting and preparation of materials going on but no real direction discernible yet. Just got to crack on with it I suppose.


  1. Crikey, I've never seen a ginger jar that's been piped with icing before :) Bit of a bargain at £5 though! I haven't been to a live auction; bit worried I'd get carried away and pay a fortune for something....I've bid on eBay before and once I've put in a bid, I get so miffed if anyone else has the audacity to bid as well; I sit there finger on button, to the last second, ready to conquer all!! Daft besom.

    Looks like you have quite a pile of inspiration Linda and I'd love to see the fortune cookies. :)

  2. Hi Annabel - there's a picture of one still wet laminated paper on my own blog today. I was too impatient to wait for the stack of papers to dry so I just peeled one off the pile. I'll photograph them all tomorrow and let you see how they turn out. At the moment the stack is balanced precariously over the top of a radiator. It's not ideal - they should dry naturally for preference but it's December so I'll do whatever I have to do!
    BTW the ginger jar wasn't all I came home with - auctions are dangerous places where you pay too much for something you simply have to have or you buy all kinds of unnecessary things because they're such a bargain! I'm already a lost cause but you'd do well to keep well away!

  3. Oh wow! Loving all that Japanese inspiration. My son has applied to go over there to teach for a year. Made him a hanten jacket for Christmas...Japan is on my mind, and I just love seeing what you are coming up with! (P.S. Sashiko can be very meditative!)