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Showing posts from December, 2009

Featured: Carved Akita Cedar Wood Japan Family of Toads

Featured Item!  Japan Akita Cedar 3 Frogs Toads
I have a family of 3 carved wooden toads. The wood is Akita Cedar, lightweight and striped. They have little drill holes for nostrils and the two babies have acrylic yellow eyes. The moms eyes are gold metallic paint. The mom does have a glued front toe, but you can't see the repair line with all the woodgrain.

Impressed on the bottom is "Japan". Mama measures 2-1/2" tall x 3-3/4" wide, and the 2 small ones measure 1-1/4" tall x 2" wide.


Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Those Wonderful Wacky Figurines from Japan

We've all seen them. Tiny little porcelain figurines marked on the bottom "Japan". During wartime, Japan exported these figurines by the millions.  For a while, the U.S. forced the Japanese to mark these figurines "occupied".  Many of these figures are now very collectible and depending on the manufacturer, can be worth hundreds of dollars.  And some unfortunately, are not so wanted. 

Most were whimsical and cute in nature. But some were downright wacky in design and color choice. 
Many figures had human-like features like eyebrows, mustaches, eyelashes, and big smiles.

It made no difference if they painted eyes red, or ears a different color than their bodies. Figurines were also made to wear glasses, smoke pipes, read the newspaper, and sit on the toilet!


Kathys Animal Figurines on Etsy

Cloisonne and Enameled Metals

The history of Cloisonne dates back to 1800 BC, in Egypt. During the 13th century BC, the ancient greeks made this art as well. Chinese fired-enamelware dates back as far as the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 and was popularized during China's XuanDe period 1426 to 1435.

Foo Dog, China's Quinlong period (1736-1795) AND Cat box, Japan's Meiji period (1890 to1910)

Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on bronze, copper, and brass. Small, raised metal dividers are soldered onto the main object making many sections. These are known as cloisons, French for partitions. Liquid "glass paste" is painted within the divided areas, the same way stained glass is made. The enamel shrinks from firing in the oven, so the process is repeated several times to fill in the gaps. The finished object is then polished completely revealing the metal dividers.

Antique cloisonne is a collectors piece and very expensive.  Todays cloisonne can be found in pendants, bowls, and home decor i…