In an earlier blog, May 23, 2016, I wrote about the story behind the story of Blue-Eyed Doll. The lovely people I introduced to you, Richard and Kinuko, are again the subject of this story. Near the end of the trip last month that involved the Ambassador Doll in the Springfield, Massachusetts, museum, we were driving toward Roanoke, Virginia. I found Richard and Kinuko on White Pages on my cell phone and called them. GPS Gladys got us to their home. I gave them their signed hard cover book, then discovered they already had one on their coffee table they’d purchased from Amazon. They were so happy about the book and excited to see me and meet my husband. Richard showed us Kinuko’s lastest published book of Haiku, published in Japanese. Then Kinuko showed us what she’s been learning to do. It’s called bonseki.
Bonseki is an ancient Japanese art, or perhaps we’d consider it a craft. Using fine white sand, pebbles and little rocks, she creates miniature landscapes on black lacquer trays. The landscape design is painted in sand with a bird feather. These are like three dimensional scenes that seem to move as nature would. Several different grades of white sand with different sized grains create that suggestion. Perspective is important for realism while the dark stones and light sand against the smooth black surface makes a strong image, but one not intended to last. Glue isn’t part of this craft. Each bonseki landscape is meant for only a brief display as a decoration or ornament. It’s a meditative creation of beauty to be enjoyed just for its beauty. They aren’t sold, or even gifted. (A little tricky to wrap.)
Mount Fuji seems to be a popular subject, but also waterfalls, and ocean scenes. I was fascinated by the use of the bird’s feather to create this. I’ve discovered a You Tube on bonseki, and some posted on Pinterest if you are interested to learn more.
I can’t imagine what my next adventure will turn up. This is why I enjoy so very much, the opportunity to get out and meet my readers. They are all so unique and wonderful, and they have such interesting things to share. I love learning new stuff.