Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Love

Present for my mother, a musical temari ball
It's funny how sometimes you keep running into stories that express the same feeling, the same idea, the same quality of human nature. This happened to me four times this past week so I thought I'd better pay attention. Enjoy this moment, be present with it, and learn. The message is that when you make something by hand and thoroughly enjoy the process, you put something of yourself into that creation - your love and good spirit. Be sure you give some of these things to your children and loved ones. You will strengthen your family bond and pass on your love of creativity.

I've been watching the PBS series Craft in America. Have you seen it? The first episode is called "Memory."  This episode profiles several craftsmen and women who explain what their work means to them and their families. I particularly like the story of the family in South Carolina that has been passing on the skill of weaving baskets with native grasses for several generations.

"Unlike fine artists, who perhaps capture a moment in time, and are more concerned with an artistic style and technique, craft artists, through their objects, go beyond telling where we were, making a statement of who we are. Their objects will create memories for us, because the artists give selflessly of their memories in creating the objects. "

Sensei Ozaki wearing Glenna's corsage
I came upon this same thought when I was looking for something online and came across a translation of a newsletter from the Japan Temari Association. This was not part of my search but Sensei's words made me think of the PBS shows that I've been watching.
"A message from the President  of the  Japan Temari Association, Ms. Thoshiko Ozaki.

We are enjoying Temari making from ancient days; now we also can create many modern designs and enjoy stitching them into our Temaris. The pleasure that it gives us when we finish making new Temari is incomparable to anything else in the world, and such a beautiful feeling of achievement saves us from other small worries that are brought to us in our daily lives. As we continue to learn more about Temari making, we must nurture our feelings THAT CAN FEEL BEAUTY in this world, and convey this kind of knowledge to others. Further more, this kind of gesture will help our Temari making to flourish even more in the future. I feel that in every stitch that we weave into our Temari, we are stitching into it various feelings as well as memories, and this is how we create new Temaris. Please treasure such important feelings and memories that go into making Temari to produce your own Temari in the future. Continue to pass on the tradition to the next generation. This is my sincere wish that I like to convey to the members of Temari Association. Thank you.
(translated by Tomiko san)"

Hometown Temari  by Arai
This morning I picked up my new book, the advance copy that my publisher sent me, and flipped to the page about the book Furosato no Temari or Hometown Temari by Tomokazu Arai which was published in Japanese in 1990. The last paragraph (yes, I wrote it so you'd think I would remember) helped me make the connection between the PBS show, Sensei's words, and the words of Mrs. Nori Furuta (below).

From page 8 in Temari Techniques: The author traveled across the country and interviewed temari makers to document how they learned the craft as well as their techniques and designs. Furosato no Temari is filled with photographs of temari and the stories behind them.

From its very beginning, temari has exemplified a mother’s love for her child. In many regions, temari are handed down from generation to generation. The one thing all temari have in common is that they were made by mothers to show love for their children. Mrs. Nori Furuta said, “Every time I hold these temari my mother left for me, I remember my mother. They make me happy but a little sad at the same time since I feel that my mother is still talking to me.”

Yesterday, I got the best mother's day present from my daughter who is away at grad school in Wisconsin. Four times in one week - that same message! I was a bit dismayed when she decided to work in a lab but she assured me that she can be very creative there. She's a very talented gal and could have been an artist or a writer (my motherly pride is showing here). Anyway, she sent me a photo titled "Pretty colors today." Yep, that's my kid. I guess I succeeded in passing on my love of color and creating. I love you, Alison!

Creative chemistry