Wednesday, 15 May 2013

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - DoGoo Contemporary Clay Idols

Dior 1950s. Sparkly, yes. Gorgeous, yes.
And yet I would not buy this.  

I like to share the work of artists I admire. Like most ladies my eye is attracted by a bit of sparkle but I've never been a great beauty and do no justice to ostentatious adornment - and real jewels just do not fit into my lifestyle.  These days to hold my attention and make me part with hard earned monies items need todo more than sparkle. Much more.

What I really love are things which sparkle AND tell a story. This skill is known to a few wordsmiths, painters, and the magic hands that can bring life to a lump of clay. What these artists create are my Objects Of Desire.

I have always been interested in folklore, the telling of it and how it came to be. My dream home would be in a wood. We live close but not quite in among the trees. I need a pale hound to walk beside me while I ramble. I have caught sight of many beasts therein, some real, some imagined. Some timid as this Roe Deer, some clever like a Fox, some fierce like the Wolf.

A Roe Deer in the woods by our cottage

I think that wild things beckon to us because we see something in them which we have lost or hidden deep inside ourselves. I have Native American ancestors whose beliefs enthralled me while growing up. I was alternatively fascinated and frightened by Totem Poles and the ancient carvings of beasts you see all over Europe remind me of them. I like the stories that lie within the images of Totems and Idols.

So it is no surprise that I am attracted to the work of certain fairy tale artists of old, my favourite being Arthur Rackham. Today there are also very gifted artists and illustrators who can spin anew characters of old, or give life to untold tales and characters we may have only dreamed. I admire the work of many,  Ruthie Redden, Jackie Morris, Jessie Lilac, Rima Staines, Joanne May, and Karen Davies, to name just a few.

There is something very romantic and magical about working with your hands whether it be with wood, paints, jewels or clay. Today I am featuring a sculptor,  Midori Takaki of DoGoo Contemporary Clay Idols. She creates items which tell a story and has the discipline required to produce a perfectly shaped traditional bowl or jug and yet she can also give her imagination free flight to create items of fairy tale and mythic origin. On her blog Midori shares wonderful photographs of all the animals who inhabit her life including the dogs Pearl and Topaz and the Hen named Pumpkin.

I especially love this most perfect little milk jug adorned by the rabbit on the handle and a paw mark at the lower end of the handle.

I am enchanted by her interpretation of the story of Red Riding Hood and The Wolf which she has shared with us on her blog. I hope that she will not mind me posting this here.

Red Riding Hood plaque by DoGoo Contemporary Clay Idols

I think what she has written on the profile of her Etsy shop perfectly captures the spirit of her work and explains her strong tie to nature and the world around her which she has great love and respect for.

"I make ceramic figures inspired by nature, fairy tales and myth. I was fascinated by metamorphoses in Greek myth, and love the world of Narnia.

My figures usually have stories behind them. When I make faces, they often start talking to me and they build their own characters from there. Although I make shapes for them, I don't feel I create them. I just help them appear. The deep almost unconscious dialogue that I have with the subjects is the source of my joy of making them.

My work will bring smile to those who see them. That makes me happy.

I also make tableware too. They are inspired by plants, especially flower buds and leaf buds.

I am taking an MA course in Applied and Fine Arts in Canterbury Christ Church University as a part-time student. I used to work as interior designer in Tokyo. I had my first exhibition at Artists' Open Houses in October 2011.

I have studied sociology and anthropology for BA and MA, and interior design at a professional level. My most favourite place to visit is V&A, and the place I have liked to visit most is Hermitage at St. Petersburg.

I live with the husband, three parrots, two dogs, one finch and one chicken in a beautiful old city in Kent.

I love life, feel optimistic and lucky. I am sometimes too imaginative for my social reputation!"

DoGoo Contemporary Clay Idols blog

Midori's Etsy Shop

Red Riding Hood meets a wolf, by Arthur Rackham
My favourite Red illustration which graces a wall in our cottage.

I keep meaning to write a post about Little Red Riding Hood but my love of this tale is so great that I am frightened of not doing it justice. Where to begin? Where to end? While I continue to collect, dissect and mull it over in my mind and eye, Kristin over at Tales Of Faerie has posted this recently about Red Riding Hood and werewolves in Europe, and it offers another bit of information in the unraveling of the story.


  1. I'm with you on this...I much prefer something with a history than something new...beautiful pieces of interesting jewellery that tell a fascinating...thanks for sharing, will pop on over to etsy for a look.

  2. Joanne is so talented, I love that jewellery and the illustration, exquisite. xxx

  3. So wonderful! I am always drawn to a story as well, so these really are quite lovely for the soul and the eyes. ;-)

  4. I love the little cream jug too! It is always so interesting to see and read of things that I might not otherwise find. Thank you- Jane xx

  5. Loving that little bunny pitcher! I would love to see a hedgehog sometime. All the fairy stories make so much sense when you walk through the English woods - it is magical!

  6. Oh wow - thanks for introducing me to these fine and fabulous artists and their creations! Lovely!

    I do hope we continue to keep a sense of awe and wonder at these wild and wonderful things - rather than let fear take over! I am hoping the wolf and the essence of wolves survive through many generations to come! Take care

  7. Thank you so much, Minerva. I am so thrilled! Joanne's fox is so wonderful. I will check her shop now and then. Red riding hood is begin fired right now. : ) Thanks again.

    1. Lovely to meet you Midori through Minerva's blog. I am now following you and I love your work too! ;-)

  8. Dear Minerva,
    thank you for showing us these artists and their mystical work! The Dior is beautiful but remains more on the surface - it decorates, but doesn't draw you in (hope that's the word).

  9. I too prefer to buy artisan jewellery, and I'm just going over to look at Joanne's Etsy shop. . .thanks for the link

  10. Such whimsical jewelry! She is very talented!

  11. Thank you Minerva for such a wonderful post! Your write up is sensitive and so kind to all of us artists featured here. I am moved by your kind words and the other comments.
    I always appreciate the support and loyalty of online friends!
    Love the rabbit jug, the Red Riding Hood plaque and of course the Arthur Rackham illustration.
    It was such fun to catch up with you on Tuesday. I am sure there will be more adventures for us in the near future! ;-)
    P.S. I will create my blog post on Sunday. Sorting out the photos has taken a long time!

  12. Thank you so much for your visit Minerva and for the introduction to Joannes beautiful work which sounds right up my street. I am off to dive into her magical woodland world.
    Happy weekend.

  13. Good morning miss black kitty! So lovely to see you quietly stroll into my world over here! Thank you for visiting and I LOVE JOANNE MAY'S WORK! I have been fortunate to have her come to visit me! I agree that there are so many great artists in our midst, just so close to us that to give back to them for their hard and gorgeous work is a joy. I have several pieces in my home and jewel collection that were wrought by such talented hands!

    CELEBRATE the artist within you, beside you. Many thanks for your comment, and enjoy a perfect day. Anita

  14. Thanks for calling in on me - do call again. In the meantime
    I am off to visit that lady who makes those fantastic pendants.

  15. I'm certain I've mentioned my love for Mrs. Black in the past. I had one myself, on my sidebar, and a Mr. Black as well (Mr. & Mrs. B for short). There is something quite special about black kitties.

    I share your love for Little Red Riding Hood and Arthur Rackham illustrations. Beautiful print to have in your home. My oldest (now 27) was LRRH for Halloween when she was about 2 or 3 years old.

    How lovely to have deer visit your cottage. You truly live in a mystical and magical place.

    Thank you for your sweet comments on my Mother Mary garden statue :)

    Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage


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