Friday, December 26, 2008

Colorful OOAK rice paper Geisha Dolls present interesting look at Japanese history

I think I could spend days doing nothing but exploring so many beautiful artist creations up on Etsy! These beautifully detailed geisha dolls created from polymer and colorful rice paper captivated me as soon as I saw them. I have several traditional geisha dolls that I purchased in Kyoto, Japan when I had the wonderful opportunity to visit there as a member of one of the first trade teams for alfalfa products (my husband and I were ranchers in eastern Oregon at the time) in 1982. Although my dolls have the traditional brocade silk kimonos, I loved the kaleidoscope of color and artful folding of the rice paper costumes of these dolls. Each of these dolls is produced as a OOAK made to each buyer's specifications. I also collect historical samurai warrior figures. I wonder if the artist has ever had a request for one of them?

"The 18th and 19th century produced in Japan an art, Ukiyo-e, representing the "floating world" --ephemeral, this was the world of the Kabuki theater, with its favorite actors and their fans, and of the Geisha.

Dolls were certainly loved by the geishas themselves, and were as fashionable as all their other pastimes. The name now given to a doll representing a child, Ichimatsu, comes from the name of an actor, and the first dolls of this type represented a male actor in his checked ("ichimatsu") costume.

As the floating world floated away in the 20th century, doll art still commemorates the beauties and beloved dramatis personae of the Ukiyo.

This is my lovely geisha, inspired by the traditional japanese 'paper dolls' and kimono dolls.

Her head, torso, hands and feet are sculpted of polymer clay. Her body is a wire armature, wrapped in cotton.

The geisha's kimono is entirely created from beautifully printed chiyogami rice paper.

Her face is handpainted, and her hair is made from rolled black velvet. She wears a 'comb' in her hair and a lacquer butterfly. "

A San Francisco artist, BlossomandWillow, works with clay, fabric and beautiful Japanese papers to create her geisha dolls.

"I find the art of Japan and the world of the geisha - what they call 'The Floating World' or 'Flower and Willow World' fascinating and drew the inspiration for my shop from that lovely concept. Here you will find original art and sculpture, as well as fine art supplies, lovely Japanese paper,and authentic vintage kimono and accessories from Japan."
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