When I went to Japan last October, I not only got to have a masterclass with students from around the world from designated cultural property holder, Tomura Kinuyo, but I also crafted a piece to exhibit. For the first international tsumami-zaiku exhibition, I wanted to create something that acknowledged the roots of tsumami-zaiku as a craft, but also acknowledges my personal influences – in this case, the place where I have put down roots: Saskatchewan.

Takarabune are one of the kanzashi motifs that I have never attempted before – but have always wanted to.

Takarabune are legendary ships said to sail from the heavens around New Years. They carry mystical treasures, along with the gods – and are often depicted with cranes and turtles. To add a Saskatchewan twist to this motif, I took a cue from a popular local song – The Last Saskatchewan Pirate by The Arrogant Worms.

In the song, the pirates sail up and down the Saskatchewan river, stealing wheat and barley (and all the other grains) from farms. I thought that a mash-up of a treasure ship (takarabune) and a pirate ship was amusing, especially when the “treasures” turn into things like wheat, flowers, and a little sack of barley.

The flowers are canola, which are one of the province’s most prominent crops, and prairie lilies – the provincial flower of Sasakatchewan.

I am also creating a miniature tricorn to go with this kanzashi – essentially the kanzashi would serve as a hat pin and rest on the brim of the hat. After all, what better way is there to wear a pirate ship kanzashi than on top of a pirate hat?

If you’re interested in learning more about how this piece was made, I actually documented the crafting process for this piece. There are seven short videos, and I released the first one on my Youtube today – which you can find here. 🙂 My Youtube channel also houses all the videos of my trip to Japan, crafting, and unboxing and shopping videos.

Anyhoo, that is all I’ve got for today. Check back again soon for more crafty fun projects!