Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tree ornaments with a twist

We've always had a Xmas tradition in our family - only unusual ornaments are allowed on the tree! No Santas, Rudolphs, Frosty the Snowman or glittery snow scenes allowed. I guess this all started when we were kids in Mexico. I remember those early trees with with colorful straw garlands and repousee tin ornaments in bright colors and all sorts of shapes - roosters, tucans, parrots and even pigs. The ornament collection grew as we moved on to Panama, the Phillipines and Brazil. The Phillipine tree was the most unusual. Firs and pines were not imported, so our tree consisted of a bare tree branch painted white. Perhaps considered chic today, but weird when you're a ten year old kid.

So, when I decided to make a line of tree ornaments, I naturally looked to the non-traditional. My work this year has been heavily influenced by traditional Asian design elements, so what better subject than geishas and Chinese landscape scenes? I'll soon have a whole series of polymer clay ornaments with image transfers of bijinga (beautiful women) from ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) by printmaker and painter Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806). Stay tuned - they'll be listed in my 1000Markets shop soon!