Yes, that is what it was to say the least.....a cultural experience. Over the past couple of months, I have been exploring the Japanese culture on the internet. It would have been a wonderful trip to have had the opportunity to explore it in person since I think the Japanese culture is very rich with many wonderful traditions, historical places and beautiful faces.
I know you must be asking yourselves....why in the world was I exploring the Japanese culture? Well, for the International Art Doll Registry contest for the month of September! The theme for this months entry was "Geisha"! What an exciting way to really learn about a culture than to go fact finding on the traditions of such a beautiful and talented being. In all my roaming, I not only discovered how to make the kimono, but how to tie on an obi, put on the face make-up and how to tie up the hair. Albeit, working in such a small scale of 14.5" was difficult to achieve these details in exact as per the tradition for my doll, but, I hope that I hope that the little details is enough to capture the essence of The Geisha.
I spent many hours in creating this doll. Two days on just creating the costume, another two days on her hair as well. Which, I tried something new; it is all wefted and I had to go the the extra steps of straightening it. Tibetan lambs wool is naturally curly. What a chore that was I tell ya! :-D Then, struggling with locks of hair that really needed to be double in length...what a nightmare! The hair company I had ordered from initially....well, it turns out that the hair was on back order! After waiting 2 weeks for the hair arrive...I finally called them to see what was taking so long and I was told it was on back order. Can you believe??? Talk about frustration. Soooo, I had to go to plan 2. Which was the tibetan lambs wool.
At any rate, after having painted her face 3 times over, I finally decided to stay with what was the final outcome. Initally, she was going to come accessorized with a shamisen. I decided against that, and thought it better to go with an umbrella. After searching for nearly a month for one of those little "mixed drink umbrellas", I finally obtained one from the local Japanese steak house. Go figure! haha Only to rush home and discover that it is toooooo small!!! OMG!! Oh well, so now off to plan 2...or is this 4. Well, I decided to make my own umbrella. Surely, I can make one that looks similar to the design of the drink umbrella right? Well, that worked out alright, but it wasn't perfect enough for me. So, off to plan, wait...is this 5? probably. LOL So, I decided to make her little fans instead. :-D
So, in the end, we ended up with my version of The Geisha, complete with her kimono, an obi, hair ornaments, and her fans!
I hope you like her! She was definitely a challenge but she was well worth it. I am satisfied with the outcome and hope she has a good chance at winning this months contest with the IADR. Wish her luck!