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Abandoned Kokeshi Dolls

kokeshi and neko

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.

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Custom Made Stamp

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I got to admit, stamp maniac like me sometimes underestimate the power of stamps. When I receive a stamp order request, I am usually dealing with the person who plans to give the stamp to someone as a gift. As a result, I seldom am able to see the stamp receiver’s reaction when he or she see the stamp. So when I see a happy face in front of me when they see my stamps in handicraft event, I am happy but in fact very surprised by the power of them.

This time I received this project of carving 47 kids with their faces and names on. I have not met any of them, but looking at their pictures already made me happy. When carving, I imagined how they would react when they see the stamp gift. After all, the stamp is very likely to be their ever first name stamp!

I wish what I carve is not merely a product, a decoraton or another toy. For the most part, I wish to present a gift alternative to my customers, who choose to use stamp to show their love and thoughts to their important ones.    And that makes all the difference.

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My First Newspaper Article

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Thanks to Annie from Newspaper AM730, the story of DIY Eraser Stamp is unfolded the very first time to Hong Kong readers.

Annie gave lots of patience and attention to this interview, and I am grateful to be interviewed by her. Looking forward to reading the second part of her article about this
interview next Monday!

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Kokeshi Christmas Tree

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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.

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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.

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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!