Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Treasures from Tatebayashi

Fiona and I have just returned home from our art-culture exchange trip to Tatebayashi Japan. I really can't believe the week went so quickly - I must have been having fun. It was a great trip made special by our friends in Tatebayashi (and Tokyo) - too many to mention and they know who I mean.

©2013 Barry Smith - The portable anvil got a really good work out at the Citizens' Festival (made 30 or more leaves with and for people as well as a few other foldformed pieces)
There were so many rewarding official and social events and art activities - art highlights included: the Tatebayashi Citizens' Festival where the five Australian artists got to demonstrate our art; our day workshop with the school children in Ichikai; and a morning spent with Haryu san a master copper beating metal artist. So many treasured experiences.

But other treasures are those that I was able to purchase from a local and quite traditional hardware store (an Aladdin's cave!!!). I went to this hardware store 4 years ago on our last visit and was keen to get more stocks - fortunately our friend Hiro remembered where it was and kindly took Fiona and I there.

Hammers - yum!!

Awls - really strong and sharp - used the one second from the left to make holes in copper and brass leaves as people at the festival wanted to turn them into pendants. Cathy, friend and interpreter, skilfully made jump rings out of slithers of sheet metal.

Copper and brass nails and rivets - scrumptious.

Heaps of gloves - no excuses for dirty fingers.

Unpacking our bags when we arrived home was like opening a tardis - I could not believe we fitted so much into such a small case and kept the weight under 25kgs. And of course there was all Fiona's paper, rulers and other bits she had purchased.  And we had to bring home the hammers, anvil, pens etc etc that we had taken over to use in the festival demonstration.

There will be a little more of Tatebayshi in my metal work in the future as I use the treasures above.


  1. Wonderful... I just love Japanese tools, looks like you are well stocked now!

  2. VA - you are correct - I am well stocked - no excusers for creating!!! Go well. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.