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1st MIDE MAP

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KEY WORDS: Tranquility, Nature, Discover, Quite, Privacy, Surround, Space, Simple, Pure, Forest, Stillness, Seek, Zen, Feeling, Meditation, Beauty, Movement, Calm, Reflection, Capture, Sense and Capture.  

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I like the materials this artist uses. I like how she combined different materials in one piece. Her works outcome don't really feel peaceful for me because I think that there are a lot going on in this piece but in terms of materiality, I think it is interesting. 

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Amethyst

calms and centers the mind so that it is receptive to answers that rise up into awareness; enhances visualization; promotes altered states of consciousness


Aquamarine

supports and quiets the mind; promotes contemplative self-awareness


Carnelian

clears extraneous thoughts in meditation; helps keep one focused; aids concentration; helps focus the mind on higher intentions and goals


Charoite

enhances relaxation


Crystal Cluster

enables meditation between two people to gain greater harmony with one another


Fluorite

aids concentration; enables the mind to maintain a meditative and centered space while in the midst of physical activity; helps one grasp higher, more abstract concepts 


Jade

brings serenity; soothes the mind; releases negative thoughts 


Jasper Brown/Orange

aids in concentration; facilitates deep meditation and centering


Labradorite

deepens meditation; raises consciousness; increases visualization


Lapis Lazuli

stimulates the higher faculties of the mind; aids concentration; aids in self-examination and contemplation


Moonstone

promotes receptivity to illumination and wisdom; promotes calmness and peace of mind; helps one to reach higher realms of consciousness; enables one to receive direction from the unconscious mind; induces trances; encourages self-reflection


Prehnite

facilitates relaxation; brings clarity of mind


Quartz

brings mental clarity, focus, and concentration; facilitates wisdom, clarity of thought, and higher consciousness; fosters communication between the conscious mind and the subconscious; activates all levels of consciousness


Sapphire, Blue

brings a deepening of thought; stills and quiets a racing mind; brings about focus and concentration by removing distractions


 

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FINDING PEACEFULNESS 

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My project is about “Finding Peacefulness.” My key words are quietness, space, peacefulness, stillness, tranquility, privacy, purity, simplicity and zen. I want to do something that directly reflects my personality and my interests. I like to spend time alone, with myself. I like to visit forests and parks in my free time. I think nature reflects the peacefulness in my mind. I came up with this theme when I went to Hampstead Heath, my favourite place in London. I feel so peaceful and safe there, surrounded by nature. One dayI went to the swimming pond at 5 p.m. I like the still surface of the water and saw a coot floating on it, creating a beautiful ripple movement. I really like the sense of emptiness and stillness and wanted to capture this feeling through art work.

I want discover my inner sense of feeling when I am alone with nature. This could be done by recording sounds, taking pictures, drawing and collecting found natural materials. I have to find appropriate materials, not only natural ones,  but also materials that can give a sense of simplicity and purity, such as ceramic and glass. I want my final piece to be finished to a high level of quality and craftsmanship. I will carefully consider texture and surface finish in order to convey a sense of peacefulness and purity to the one that wears or sees my jewellery. 

 

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Zen is the Japanese variant of Chán, a school of Mahayana Buddhism which strongly emphasizes dhyana c.q. concentration-meditation. This gives insight into ones true nature, or the emptiness of inherent existence, which opens the way to a liberated way of living.

According to tradition Zen originated in India, when the Buddha held up a flower and Kasyappa smiled. With this smile he showed that he had understood the wordless essence of the dharma. This way the dharma was transmitted to Kasyappa, the second patriarch of Zen.

Buddhism was introduced to China in the first century CE. According to tradition Chán was introduced around 500 CE by Bodhidharma, an Indian monk teaching dhyana. He was the 28th Indian patriarch of Zen, and the first Chinese patriarch.

Mahayana Buddhism teaches sunyata, emptiness, which is also emphasized by Zen. But another important doctrine is the Buddha-nature, the idea that all human beings have the possibility to awaken. All living creatures are supposed to have the Buddha-nature, but don't realize this as long as they are not awakened. The doctrine of an essential nature can easily lead to the idea that there is an unchanging essential nature or reality behind the changing world of appearances.

The difference and reconciliation of these two doctrines is the central theme of the Lankavatara sutra.

Zen emphasizes zazen: meditation as the means to awakening. There are various methods of meditation. In Buddhism two main approaches are used, vipassana (awareness training) and samatha (concentration of the mind). Zen Buddhism emphasizes samatha. The Japanese word 'Zen' is derived from the Chinese word 'Chán', which is derived from dhyana, concentration. The Japanese word 'zazen' means 'sitting meditation'. But Zen meditation ideally is not only concentration, but also awareness: being aware of the continuing changes in our consciousness, of all our sensations and our automatic reactions.

In alteration with zazen, there is walking meditation, Kinhin, in which one walks with full attention.

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ARTISTS

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BRITISH MUSEUM

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FUKAMI SUEHARA

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Fukami has chosen to work in a ceramic medium that is the epitome of perfection - sleek, lucid, jewel-like bluish white porcelain, or seihakuji in Japanese, has captured the hearts of ceramic lovers ever since the Chinese perfected it in the Song dynasty, that is during the 11th-12th centuries and what is known as Jingdezhenwares. Those wares, along with Song-period celadons, are considered  relatively unknown highlights in the history of human artistic endeavours. The third Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimitsu (1358-1408) promoted trade with China and he himself fancied Chinese wares very much.

The Japanese ruling classes and Buddhist temples of that time were fascinated with these expensive imported wares and showed them off like proud parents. Fondness for bluish white porcelain, however, took a downward turn after the tea masters of the 16th century, notably Sen no Rikyu, turned away from opulence and embraced the native stonewares of the Japanese countryside. Bluish white porcelain in Japan has never really recovered its high status until sometime in the last thirty years when a mini-revival, thanks to the late 
Living National Treasure Kaiji Tsukamoto and Fukami, took root again.

Fukami comes from a potting family and had his hands in clay from a very early age. "My family was production potters making Chinese styles, so I grew up in the heart of cultural Kyoto looking at Chinese style wares," Fukami told me. 

Fukami is a perfectionist, a maestro of clay, and finds the challenges of porcelain best suited to his temperament. "Porcelain shows any marks left by the potter's hand and I want to leave the least amount of evidence that my hands ever touched the clay. Instead of the potter's obvious imprint I want to leave the subtle mark of my heart or spirituality," Fukami said.

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Takayuki Sakiyama

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Sakiyama’s carved and rippling surface patterns reinforce the spiraling nature of his double-walled vessels. Form and surface work together to yield objects that are sensuous, bold and seamless. Some vessels appear as if made from sand on the beach, simply created by the current of the receding water. Others appear to undulate and twist in space as if in perpetual motion. His most recent stoneware creations from the series Chōtō- Listening to the Waves, are intended to evoke the power and sublime nature of the ocean and its currents. Intricately carved and finished with his unique sand glaze developed, his works remain true to their origins as functional vessels while conveying a highly sculptural quality.

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KEW GARDENS

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PLANT + PEOPLE exhibition Displaying 500 specimens from the Economic Botany Collection, the exhibition charts some of the vital uses of plants: as food and drink maintaining our health and well-being; their use for clothing and ornament; and as fuels, papers, toys and musical instruments.

This exhibition really inspired me on how people were related to nature. I've learnt a lot about materials and the possibly to create something out of each plants which can be useful when I have to decide about the material of my work.

 

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WATER LILY

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ictoria is a genus of water-lilies, in the plant family Nymphaeaceae, with very large green leaves that lie flat on the water's surface. Victoria amazonica has a leaf that is up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) in diameter, on a stalk up to 8 metres (26 ft) in length. The genus name was given in honour of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Victoria amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. It is depicted in the Guyanese coat of arms. The flowers are white the first night they are open and become pink the second night. They are up to 40 cm in diameter, and are pollinated by scarab beetles.

Another species, Victoria cruziana, in the Parana-Paraguay basin, is only slightly smaller, with the underside of the leaves purple rather than the red of V. amazonica, and covered with a peachlike fuzz lacking in V. amazonica. V. cruziana opens its flowers at dusk.

The first published description of the genus was by John Lindley in 1837, based on specimens returned from British Guiana by Robert Schomburgk. Lindley named the genus after the new Queen, Victoria, and the species Victoria regia. An earlier account of the species, Euryale amazonica Poeppig, in 1832 described an affinity with Euryale ferox. A collection and description was also made by the French botanist Aimé Bonpland in 1825.

The leaf of Victoria is able to support quite a large weight due to the plant's structure, although the leaf itself is quite delicate: so much so that "a straw held 6 inches above and dropped perpendicularly upon it would readily pass through it". To counter the fragile nature of the leaf, the weight needs to be distributed across the surface through mechanical means, such as a sheet of plywood. This allows the leaf to support up to 32 kilograms (71 lb).

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KYOTO GARDEN

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Holland Park is spread across 54 acres of what used to be the grounds of Cope Castle, a large Jacobean mansion hidden in the woods. It was built by Sir Walter Cope in the early 17th century, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer under King James 1. It was renamed Holland House after the Earl of Holland’s wife Lady Rich inherited the property.

Holland House was badly damaged during World War II. One wing was saved and is used as a youth hostel. A remaining section of the front terrace is now used as a distinct backdrop for the park's summertime open-air theatre productions and classical concerts.

Holland Park Kyoto garden was designed and built by an eminent Japanese Garden designer and his team to celebrate the Japan Festival in London in 1992. It was a co-operative project between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce in Japan. 

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STONE MEDITATION 

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Meditation is beneficial to every aspect of your being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Physically, it relaxes the body and relieves tension, which slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure. It relieves stress and quiets the mind, bringing a sense of calm and serenity.

It helps release negative emotions which burden the heart, replacing them with feelings of love, acceptance, and peace. And spiritually, meditation enables one to attain higher states of consciousness allowing access to the higher realms, and brings about a greater sense of awareness in which previously unseen solutions, answers, and insights may rise to the surface.

There are many other reasons why one might meditate, such as to develop the intuition, to learn from the higher senses, to cleanse and purify thoughts and emotions, to travel along one's spiritual path, to help one bring about changes in their life, to gain control over one's thoughts and feelings and how they are expressed, and to delve deep within oneself to discover and explore one's innermost being.

Some people use crystals and stones to assist in obtaining a deep meditative state. For example:

  • calming blue stones, such as aquamarine, blue calcite, and turquoise, will help clear the mind and calm the body. 

  • Purple and clear stones, such as amethyst, clear quartz, and charoite can aid one in reaching higher states of consciousness.

However, any healing stone can be used during meditation.

 

A stone or crystal may be held or worn during meditation in order to absorb its properties. Or it may be placed before you to be used as a focus object to help maintain concentration.  One could be held to or placed on the heart chakra for emotional balance, or the third eye chakra for mental clarity. 

There is no right or wrong way to meditate. However, no matter how you do it, meditation does require two things: an atmosphere of silence, and a way to relax the body and clear the mind, such as through breathing techniques, visualization, or sound repetition (such as "Om"). 

Quartz Crystal Meditation:

 

  1. Lie face up on a bed, floor, or other flat surface. 

  2. Place a smoky quartz crystal on the lower abdomen to ground the experience into physical reality.

  3. Then place a citrine crystal at the navel to relax and purify the body. 

  4. Next, place a rose quartz over the heart to allow negative emotions to flow out of the heart and positive ones to flow into it.

  5. Then place an amethyst crystal on the brow to still the mind. 

  6. And finally, place the pointed end of a clear quartz crystal at the top of the head. Doing so will stimulate the crown chakra, the highest energy point in the body, causing one's higher consciousness centers to vibrate and open. 

  7. Once all of the crystals have been placed in position, close your eyes and visualize in turn the energy of each crystal radiating out of the crystal and then flowing into your body, and into your chakras and aura as well. 

 

Begin with the smoky quartz. Visualize its smoky brown grounding energy flowing into your body and also into the Earth. Feel the energy spread throughout your body. Feel it anchoring you to the Earth. 

Next visualize the golden healing energy of the citrine radiating out of the stone and being absorbed into your body. Feel the energy flow throughout your body, purifying it and relaxing and healing it with its warmth. Feel the tension in your muscles release. Feel how your body is much lighter than it was before. Feel almost as if you are floating on a golden cloud. 

Next, concentrate on the rose quartz. Visualize its loving pink energy flowing around your body, opening up your heart center, and releasing all the negative emotions and feelings that have been weighing you down. As these emotions exit your body, feel the warm and loving energy of the rose quartz flow into it. Feel it spreading throughout your body, spreading a feeling of peace along with it. Feel that the heavy weight that was once on your heart is now gone, and you are now feeling balanced, uplifted and peaceful. Your heart is now feeling as light as your body.

Now visualize the purple energy of the amethyst radiating out of the stone. See it swirling around your head. Feel it traveling down your face, first relaxing your forehead, and then your eyes, your mouth, and your jaw. See the third eye on your brow open and the calming purple energy flow into it. Feel the energy soaking into your head, pushing out all of your thoughts, fears and worries. Feel your mind become calm, still, and serene. Imagine it as a book that is sitting open, the pages blank, ready to be filled with whatever knowledge is received. 

See the crown of your head opening. See the white energy of the quartz crystal begin to flow out of the stone and swirl around you. 

Now just rest and patiently wait, remaining relaxed, ready and open to receive what comes. 

(suggestion: record your voice slowly and softly, speaking the steps of the quartz meditation so that when you do the meditation, you can follow along by listening to it rather than having to memorize it or keep referring to it during the meditation.) 

 

 

 

 

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Christina Bothwell

Materials : clay, oil paint, raku clay, cast glass, found wood, ceramic.

"In my work I am drawn to the processes of birth, death, and renewal. What lies below the surface fascinates me and I try to capture the qualities of the "unseen" that express the sense of wonder that I feel in my daily existence. I am attracted to glass because it can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, it offers an inner space and transmits light. 

My subject matter includes babies, animals, and children as they embody the essence of vulnerability that is the underlying theme in my work. Currently I am exploring metamorphosis as a topic, and have been incorporating figures within figures in my pieces. Within each glass figure there is a smaller figure seen through the surface of the glass. 

I think of these pieces as souls, each being pregnant with their own potential, giving birth to new, improved versions of themselves."

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I went to British Museum for the first day of my research because I didn't know what direction should I go at first. I got so many inspirations from today. I found one of my favourite piece from Japanese room in British Museum. The work is from an artist named Fukami Suehara. I really like the form and the shape of his ceramic works so I started to resarch more about his works  after I got home.

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I love how his works are so simple, but beautiful. The shapes and the forms are so elegant. The materials, ceramic and wood, give me a real feeling of peacefulness. Peacefulness, for me is something that is simple in terms of colours and movements, and his works really are. The shape reminds me of the shape of nature. For example, the movement of wave, water and wind.

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The movements of his works are so fascinating with the moving lines. I also like the material the artist used because it gives the sense of nature and simplicity.

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I went to Kew Garden alone to discover about my peacefulness feeling. I wanted to know how peaceful feels like. My favourite spot was the spot with one chair where I was surround by huge tress and was able to sit alone listen to birds song. I felt so calm and I could hear my breath. It was good to have a time in a day to be with yourself and enjoy the stillness of your mind.

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I got an interest in water lily after I came back from Kew Gardens. I like the protective shape of water lily and how it floats on still water. I can imagine me sitting in the middle of a water lily leaf and floating slowly on clear water through the green shady jungle. I just feel good and peaceful when looking at them.

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It was good to have an opportunity to visit Japanese garden in London. I like how the garden was simply decorated. I enjoyed sitting  and listen to the small waterfall sound and the music of birds while watching the fish swimming in the pond. 

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In my opinion, stone meditation is one of the most relaxing treatment because they use stones (nature material) to meditate people. I felt that it can give people the sense of purity because stones are the organic material. I also like the way they give the importance to the materiality and temperature of the stones because people can sense it though their skin. This was really connected to my project because I need to concern about the materials and how to convey the peacefulness feeling to people though material by just touching. Also I like the fact that stones weight, sometimes when I hold something with a little bit of weight it can give me the sense of holding and touching which can lead to peacefulness.

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