Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feb. 2012, part 3 - A Japanese gofun doll, new stuff, and fame.

We got to see two lovely old dolls at our February meeting!  The dolls' owner sent them to the club in order to find out more about them.  She was in great luck, as our resident museum curator Mary Jane just happened to be in attendance.
Two lovely old dolls
Both dolls are old enough to be considered 'vintage'.   The Mexican doll on the left was most likely made sometime in 1940's or 1950's, possibly for the tourist trade.  Check out the sequined eagle on her skirt above!
 vintage Mexican doll
The Mexican doll was lightweight and made of thin material.  Her painted face is still very sweet.

The next doll was amazing.  We would all have loved to take it home.  Mary Jane told us that it was a Japanese doll from the 1930's.  The doll is carved of wood with a cloth body, and the face and hands are covered in 'gofun', which is ground oyster shell that is mixed with glue.
Japanese gofun doll of the 1930s
I did some research, and found out later that it is a yamato-ningyo doll, which is a child spirit doll popular in Japan from the early 1900s.   The doll would have been sold unclothed, and the clothing made for it at home.  This doll's costume has been damaged, and the arms aren't attached, but the face is still beautiful.  My picture cannot capture the delicacy of the expression, or the purity of the oyster-shell finish.  The weight of the doll and the richness of the silk costume made this a very tactile doll, delightful to hold.

 I wonder if this child doll once wore sandals?

Here are two more links about the gofun process:
Shimakyu: The face made by Tohso-Gofun-Gihou
Nihonga Notes: Gofun (oyster shell white)

Some other great stuff from February's meeting:
Martha is one step closer to fame -- she brought a copy of her magazine cover debut.  Congratulations!  INto Art is a local Brown County, Indiana quarterly that covers fine arts and crafts.  Martha is an artist at a Nashville gallery.

New member Jenny E. brought an art pillow.  Jenny's style is a little different for our club, which is exciting; it will be fun for us all to work together and see what ideas we borrow from one another.
Finally, new member Rebecca fashioned a stylish chapeau with some of her finds from the 'studio overflow' that another member brought to share.

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