a big gushy thank you to erin prais-hintz for thinking of this brilliant new challenge. i loved it thoroughly!
welcome to one of the longer stays on your journey: japan!
japan has always deeply fascinated me, and i'm so excited to share this love with you. japanese art especially moves me.
their calligraphic art is called ukiyo-e and is inspired by the buddhist's path to enlightenment. it's characterized by a strong upward movement, which is, in fact, what ukiyo-e means. i find the landscapes especially inspiring. in fact, i have a ukiyo-e tattoo on my arm. it's a waterfall, maple in autumn, mountains, river, koi, stylized flowers, and a lotus. i breathe deeply and pause when i see ukiyo-e. that, to me, is one step on the path to enlightenment.
historically speaking, japan has been full of upheaval. emperors, sho-gun, and wars with neighboring countries, which ultimately led them to declare their borders closed. it wasn't until 1853, when an american ambassador went in and spoke eloquently of the modern era and the technological advancements happening all over the world that japan finally became part of the modern era. japan fever swept the world as it's beautiful art began to be exported. and japan took to the world, embracing technology and other modern influences. now you will find ancient japanese customs alongside skyscrapers, high-speed trains, and amazing technological advancements.
recently japan has received several hard hits, from earthquakes and tsunamis to financial difficulties due to the worldwide recession. we must keep this amazing country in our thoughts and prayers.
i chose to focus on the interesting juxtapostion of ancient/modern, using cherry blossoms and architecture as my jumping off place.
i so love that they hold a cherry blossom festival every spring! isn't that sweet? and the gift they gave to america of cherry trees, planted in d.c., just really moves me. my deepest inspiration is nature. oh, this magnificent earth that God created for us!
in honor of spring, cherry blossoms, and the path to enlightment, i made this simple necklace.
i really hope i was able to convey my love of and respect for japan. i wanted to keep it simple, to reflect the feeling i get when i look at ukiyo-e. that lightness of being.
i wanted to use only things that i have right now, so i dug through my
this lovely enameled copper paddle is from kim of numinousity beads by kimberly rogers. kim lives up in my neck of the woods, and we're just a stone's throw away from each other at the farmer's market, so i get to see her luscious beads and amazing jewelry all the time! tempting, so tempting. the lucite cherry blossom is not exactly from *my* stash. it's from my sister's stash. she has an extensive collection of lucite blossoms and when i cried about my lack of a cherry blossom, she donated it to the cause. have i ever mentioned how much i adore my beloved sister? she's actually in the challenge of travel and you'll visit her here later on in your extended stay in ireland.
here i used pink lampwork beads by doris stumpf that i received all the way from germany in a bead exchange hosted by the lovely lori anderson. it was in honor of the pantone color palette of this summer. the ivory beads are carved bone. i used blackwire from the hardware store throughout for more of that ancient/modern tension.
here's another peek. i got the chain from michael's. it's the industrial chic line. and isn't the toggle just right?
i was so pleased to find such amazingly appropriate treasures right in my stash! and my sister's stash. i love shopping at home!
i so love how this necklace turned out and really enjoyed immersing myself in the experience. i hope you leave this stop in japan a little further along your own path towards enlightment.
keep journeying! please visit the rest of this wonderful world-wide tour!