Friday, April 6, 2018

Making Stuff - A Miniature Japanese Teahouse, or two...




Every now and then I get a creative bee in my bonnet. It buzzes around in my hair telling me it's time to make something. Really, to build something. I'm always making something (knitting, cards, dinner) but this urge to build is different. It's a feeling in the solar plexis that will not relax until I see the buzzing idea through, or firmly make the decision not to do the project at all.

These Japanese Teahouses have been in my hair now for months, ever since I was given a few remnants of Japanese cotton with tiny designs.

I instantly saw teeny little curtains and a miniscule zafu pillow in a teahouse. From that moment, every time I saw the fabrics, they pulled me into their colors, bring me down into that tiny world, reminding me of Faerie Junction, that wonderful time and space my friends Lea and Jois and I spent in our collective minds while building the faerie village for Hanley Farm in April 2017.

A few days ago, those tiny fabrics practically yelled at me, like, "Dude! Let's do this!"

So I surrendered. I have assembled all the parts for several teahouses (of course - you thought I might just build ONE?). The first will actually be a lantern, with three simple sides and an opening for a tea light. Then, as I advance in my building skills, I'll attempt a  teahouse with an actual interior. If it works out, it will be an essential oil burner, with a tiny ceramic "caldron" in the middle.

Along the right side here are the various parts, in order:

-the fabric and a susi roller I thought might work as a tatami mat
-crafts sticks in the process of being trimmed with scissors
-a 1/24 scale graph
-a little store-bought platform
-skewers, tiny stones wrapped in wire and an umbrella
-the creation of the first platform
-cut craft stick tips (they curled up in the cutting -
they might make good roof shingles)
-and the laid out platform waiting to be glued.

This is all very well and good, but anyone who has followed this blog will ask, "What? I thought you put all your three dimensional projects away in honor of knitting and Studio in a Basket!" So, right. This post is to say, "I surrender."

It's danged uncomfortable to stuff one's creativity down. Don't do it. The spirit of creativity has a way of getting under the skin. In my case, it's a muse I sometimes call Patricia, who dances down the hall and drags me to see moonshine, shadows, light. She sent pictures of teahouses through Facebook, brought into my fingers old books of Japanese designs collecting dust on shelves.

Before I knew it, all this paraphernalia was assembled on my workbench (I only spent $36) and I had three sets of Japanese teahouse plans in a folder on my desktop.

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Making Stuff - A Miniature Japanese Teahouse.


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