Saturday, July 30, 2011

anatomy of a temari: part one

bell box with note and brass rings, before being sealed shut

The Bell Box

At the core of my temari is a "bell box"—a very small box crafted from heavy-weight watercolor paper—containing special items. Routinely I include a small note and brass rings in the bell box. A nod to my work in chain maille, the brass jumprings in the bell box create a subtle, pleasing rattle when the finished temari is gently shaken. Bell box rattles are traditional.

I also include a handwritten note with a meaningful thought or quotation, poem or haiku, or lyric. Every temari I have made, starting with the very first, has a handwritten note inside. Temari are often given as gifts, signs of deep friendship and loyalty; adding a note with a personal message or particular quotation — even small significant items like shells, beach glass, or pebbles — makes the gift all the more special.

As temari can be used as objects of focus for meditation, contemplation, or deep reflection, the note might be a quote, poem, or phrase on which one can meditate.

The photo above shows an overhead view of an unsealed bell box with the note and seven rings.

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