I was in a bookstore the other day, and saw some alphabet picture erasers, which designs were similar to those I were using when I was a kid.
It gave me an idea to create my own set of alphabet stamps, and “Wouldn’t it be more interesting if I make them a Japanese version instead of English version?”
So with the help of e-dictionary, I got some inspirations of what to draw on each alphabet. That one new thing I had to consider, was whether the drawing will block too much of the letter, as I needed each letter to be shown clearly. Also, there are letters like “Q”, “X” and “V” which do not have a Japanese word to match with. So I simply used some English words which Japanese people often use (by pronouncing the sound of them) instead.
They are now all carved and ready for the handle-gluing process. I hope to display and sell them in coming’s handicraft fair in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong on 20-21 August, 2016.
I had a little struggle thinking of what L should be for, as there is no syllable in Japanese that starts with L. Any words that starts with L in Japanese is a a foreign word, like lens in this case. So is love, live and so on.
This 3D eraser stamp was carved with a piece of thick white eraser a friend had given me months ago. The eraser carving method was similar to wood carving, except you could simply use a cutter or thin carving knife instead.
On the bottom I carved a small Chinese character, “heart”，or “mind”.
Tried out lasercut on wood today. So much fun! Now the question is, how to utilize the machine to do what you want. That needs some practice on the drawing software, or AI to be simple. More challenges!:mrgreen:
I am never tired of kokeshi dolls. They are handmade wooden dolls without limbs, mostly found in Tohoku, Japan.
They are generally 11 types of kokeshis nowadays, and they are very popular among Japanese office ladies now. I am not Japanese but I just never get tired of them. They are not simply “kawaii” to me, but a very soothing face to look at, a calming effect especially after a hectic day. Since I bought them from different parts of Japan, these kokeshi bring back good memories. I have carved these stamps 2 years ago and have used them on a book wrap. The ones in the box are re-make.
When I was in Japan, I loved attending different kinds of flea markets. There were quite some flea markets in Tokyo, where shop owners would sell not only food and fresh greens, but used kimono cloths, toys and dolls. A kokeshi lover, I would always stop by shops which sold second-hand kokeshi dolls.
It sounds crazy, but I had heartache whenever I saw kokeshi dolls being abandoned. I never had enough money and space to buy them all, but I would always observe them and hold them one by one, even lined them up properly to make sure they would be found, bought and taken good care of by their next owner.
It takes a kokeshi master at least ten years to master their skill to make kokeshi dolls. Every kokeshi smile is unique. Learnng to appreciate art is more important than buying it.
This idea of stacking up kokeshi to become Christmas tree came to my mind when I was queuing up at a bus stop to home. You know how it feels when you think of a great idea, and immediately you are scared of it. You worry it’s too time-consuming, too complicated to finish etc. Several times I wanted to put it off. But then I finally sat myself down and started to draft.
This is when it’s 1/3 done. Looks great but more anxiety. The kokeshi facial features are too tiny. I needed to be extra careful not to carve their eyes out.
The top of kokeshi Christmas tree has a non-traditional kokeshi. This is the only one which was not drawn from a real kokeshi. I got the design from my Keep Warm stamp here.
Took 3 days to finish, a total of 10 hours of carving time. Wish you like it!
I just created my first ex-libris. Of course, once again, the design is about kokeshi. I chose my wood carving knife mostly to make this stamp, in order to create a more natural, raw feeling to it. Do you like my ex-libris? =)