Hi everyone! I am EJP of EJPcreations. The items I make utilize design elements from a bygone time, to create modern, urban body ornaments. I am a mad scientist of a woman specializing in creating tiaras, necklaces, and fascinators, with a noir, and gothic flair. All adornments have a hint of vampire elegance, a dash of Steampunk bravado, and plenty of Neo-Victorian sensibilities. Here is my little blog to showcase some of my creations, the things that inspire me, as well as a scrapbook of curiosities that I have picked up in my wanderings across the web. ~ Please Enjoy …
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Irezumi (入れ墨, 入墨, 紋身, 刺花, 剳青, 黥 or 刺青) is a Japanese word that refers to the insertion of ink under the skin to leave a permanent, usually decorative mark; a form of tattooing.
The word can be written in several ways, each with slightly different connotations. The most common way of writing irezumi is with the Chinese characters 入れ墨 or 入墨, literally meaning to "insert ink". The characters 紋身 (also pronounced bunshin) suggest "decorating the body". 剳青 is more esoteric, being written with the characters for "stay" or "remain" and "blue" or "green", and probably refers to the appearance of the main shading ink under the skin. 黥 (meaning "tattooing") is rarely used, and the characters 刺青 combine the meanings "pierce", "stab", or "prick", and "blue" or "green", referring to the traditionalJapanese method of tattooing by hand.
Tattooing for spiritual and decorative purposes in Japan is thought to extend back to at least the Jōmon or paleolithic period (approximately 10,000 BC). Some scholars have suggested that the distinctive cord-marked patterns observed on the faces and bodies of figures dated to that period represent tattoos, but this claim is by no means unanimous. There are similarities,however, between such markings and the tattoo traditions observed in other contemporaneous cultures.
In the following Yayoi period (c. 300 BC–300 AD) tattoo designs were observed and remarked upon by Chinese visitors. Such designs were thought to have spiritual significance as well as functioning as a status symbol.
Starting in the Kofun period (300–600 AD) tattoos began to assume negative connotations. Instead of being used for ritual orstatus purposes, tattooed marks began to be placed on criminals as a punishment (this was mirrored in ancient Rome, whereslaves were known to have been tattooed with mottoes such as "I am a slave who has run away from his master").
Until the Edo period (1600–1868 AD) the role of tattoos in Japanese society fluctuated. Tattooed marks were still used as punishment, but minor fads for decorative tattoos—some featuring designs that would be completed only when lovers' hands were joined—also came and went. It was in the Edo period, however, that Japanese decorative tattooing began to develop into the advanced art form it is known as today.
The impetus for the development of the art were the development of the art of woodblock printing and the release of the popular Chinese novel Suikoden, a tale of rebel courage and manly bravery illustrated with lavish woodblock prints showing men in heroic scenes, their bodies decorated with dragons and other mythical beasts, flowers, ferocious tigers and religious images. The novel was an immediate success, and demand for the type of tattoos seen in its illustrations was simultaneous.Woodblock artists began tattooing. They used many of the same tools for imprinting designs in human flesh as they did to create their woodblock prints, including chisels, gouges and, most importantly, unique ink known as Nara ink, or
Nara black, the ink that famously turns blue-green under the skin.
There is academic debate over who wore these elaborate tattoos. Some scholars say that it was the lower classes who wore—and flaunted—such tattoos. Others claim that wealthy merchants, barred by law from flaunting their wealth, wore expensive irezumi under their clothes. It is known for certain that irezumi became associated with firemen, dashing figures of bravery and roguish sex-appeal who wore them as a form of spiritual protection (and, no doubt, for their beauty as well).
At the beginning of the Meiji period the Japanese government, wanting to protect its image and make a good impression on the West, outlawed tattoos, and irezumi took on connotations of criminality. Nevertheless, fascinated foreigners went to Japan seeking the skills of tattoo artists, and traditional tattooing continued underground.
Tattooing was legalized by the occupation forces in 1945, but has retained its image of criminality. For many years, traditional Japanese tattoos were associated with the yakuza, Japan's notorious mafia, and manybusinesses in Japan (such as public baths, fitness centers and hot springs) still ban customers with tattoos. (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irezumi)
I have just had an epiphany! I have about eight fashion pictures that I have loved FOREVER. Each time I have switched computer those images have been transfer as well. They are just some of my favorite outfits on the planet. The mixture of 20's and 50's fashion sense mixed with a Chinese and African accessories just steals my heart. Well in researching one of the pictures I just realised that they are all from the same designer, John Galliano, andpretty much from the same show. January 1997 Christian Dior. They all are all so different looking, it amazes me. I wish I had every one of them.
Monday, February 21, 2011
This is probably my favorite plastic toy to come out in a while. Of course it is sold out, but still my loves for it goes on. Introducing Yume the little Geish Girl by Plastikmat. Toysrevil Blog has posted an amazing write up on her, where there is also a great interview with her creator. Here is her story via the Toysreavil blog post...
"Depicted as a little girl destined to become a geisha, a gloomy prospect in her mind, she often looks a little sad. But as any child, she keeps her share of innocence and dream. She imagines a world of her own, with friends making her able to evade her fears of the the real world competition and superficiality. Her main ally in this dream, the Dragon, characterizes her need for freedom."
BTW: Yume has her own blog
I just love Black Eye Suzie art dolls. They are so expressive and delicate. The one pictured has to be my favorite, with her little parasol and pensive look. She also has a great blog. Some very interesting posts on her actually constructing her dolls. Her doll construction fascinates me. There head, hands and feet are individually sculpted from paperclay (no molds). Some of her earlier bodies were made of fiberfill and cotton fabric over a wire armature. Lately they look like paper clay forms strung together with ball joints. Their faces are hand-painted with water colours, with handmade eyes. Such pretty little elegant creatures.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Just a little primer on the creatures that Lovecraft created...
Azathoth - a being of boundless power and size who mindlessly reigns at the center of infinity
Dagon - a god who fathered a race of creatures known as the Deep Ones, who appear to be part man, part fish. Dagon was not a Lovecraftian creation - he was the main deity of the Philistines
Hastur - a malevolent deity, sometimes called "he who must not be named," because he was known to pop up whenever anyone said his name, usually in a really bad mood
Nyarlathotep - aka the Crawling Chaos, the soul and messenger of the Other Gods (beings whose power dwarfs even that of the Great Old Ones), he has infinite shapes and forms and seems to have a malicious sense of humor
Shoggoths - created by the Elder Things to act as slaves, these creatures could assume any shape with their gooey bodies. A shoggoth is a shape-shifting creature originally created by the Elder Things as slaves.
Yog-Sothoth - the all-in-one god, who envelops all of existence and time, mentioned extensively in the mystical book the "Necronomicon"
( From: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/ arts/literature/cthulhu2.htm )
"In 1997, the United States Navy detected a mysterious sound deep in the Pacific Ocean. Underwater microphones originally intended to detect Soviet submarines during the Cold War recorded a very low, loud, repeating sound somewhere near S 50°, W 100°. When you digitally speed up the sound (which, when unaltered, lasts longer than a minute), it sounds like "bloop." The noise is similar to a whale's song, but biologists point out it would take a whale larger than any known to man to make a noise like the Bloop. Some Lovecraft fans suggest the noise comes from Cthulhu, possibly as he snores deep within the walls of R'lyeh. " ( From: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com /arts/literature/cthulhu2.htm)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Kitsune (狐?, IPA: [kitsɯne] ( listen)) is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.
It is widely agreed that many fox myths in Japan can be traced to China, Korea, or India. Chinese folk tales tell of fox spirits (called Huli-jing) that may have up to nine tails, or kumiho as they are known in Korea. Many of the earliest surviving stories are recorded in the Konjaku Monogatari, an 11th-century collection of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese narratives.
There is debate whether the kitsune myths originated entirely from foreign sources or are in part an indigenous Japanese concept dating as far back as the fifth century BC. Japanese folklorist Kiyoshi Nozaki argues that the Japanese regarded kitsune positively as early as the 4th century A.D.; the only things imported from China or Korea were the kitsune's negative attributes. He states that, according to a 16th-century book of records called theNihon Ryakki, foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan, and he contends that indigenous legends about the creatures arose as a result. Inari scholar Karen Smyers notes that the idea of the fox as seductress and the connection of the fox myths to Buddhism were introduced into Japanese folklore through similar Chinese stories, but she maintains that some fox stories contain elements unique to Japan.
Kitsune are believed to possess superior intelligence, long life, and magical powers. They are a type of yōkai, or spiritual entity,and the word kitsune is often translated as fox spirit. However, this does not mean that kitsune are ghosts, nor that theyare fundamentally different from regular foxes. Because the word spirit is used to reflect a state of knowledge or enlightenment, all long-lived foxes gain supernatural abilities
There are two common classifications of kitsune. The zenko (善狐?, literally good foxes) are benevolent, celestial foxes associated with the god Inari; they are sometimes simply called Inari foxes. On the other hand, the yako (野狐?, literally field foxes, also called nogitsune) tend to be mischievous or even malicious. Local traditions add further types. For example, a ninko is an invisible fox spirit that human beings can only perceive when it possesses them. Another tradition classifies kitsune into one of thirteen types defined by which supernatural abilities the kitsune possesses.
Physically, kitsune are noted for having as many as nine tails. Generally, a greater number of tails indicates an older and more powerful fox; in fact, some folktales say that a fox will only grow additional tails after it has lived 100 years. One, five, seven, and nine tails are the most common numbers in folk stories. When a kitsune gains its ninth tail, its fur becomes white or gold. These kyūbi no kitsune (九尾の狐?, nine-tailed foxes) gain the abilities to see and hear anything happening anywhere in the world. Other tales attribute them infinite wisdom (omniscience). ( From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune )