Michio Ihara YouTube Video

Nice video of Michio Ihara’s work set to great music.   Dear Internet,  I love you!


Michio Ihara

from: http://www.rockefellercenter.com/art-and-history/art/light-and-movement/

I came across an article in the Japan Times this morning about Michio Ihara.  His quote from the article was very interesting:

“Asked if traditional Japanese designs inspire him, Ihara said he has ‘always consciously tried not to bring Japan to the surface’ of his mind, so if viewers detect Japan in his works, it is only because it exists in him ‘naturally.'”  Is this the equivalent of “you can take the girl out of the Bronx but you can’t take the Bronx out of the girl”?  except more tastefully said, I suppose!  I’m from Queens, myself, so I know what that’s all about!

Back to art…

If you have been to the International Building at Rockefeller Center, you may have seen Michio Ihara’s beautiful wall installation called Light and Movement.  His work can be found in many public buildings and spaces around the world.


From the Rockefeller Center website:

“Nelson Rockefeller, a great patron of modern art, commissioned this sculpture in 1978 to update and enhance the lobby area of the International Building.  Although each element is unique alone, together the ten units are a single work of art, creating a haze of light that lessens the cold steel and stone of the modern lobby and entrance.  It involves nearly sixteen hundred rectangular metal leaves with gold patinas individually attached to vertical stainless-steel cables.  The sculptures embody the essentials of reflected light and movement, two qualities typical of Ihara’s work.”

Ihara has a new sculpture in Central Boston called, “Wind, Wind, Wind” which he says, “When the sun shines on this, it creates a very good effect.” (from Japan Times article)


Beautiful pieces that are worth a visit next time you are in NYC or Boston!  Send us a picture if you’re there!

Mr. Sumo Cup

I have this teacup on my desk.  It was a sample from a while ago that we never carried (even though I really really wanted to).  It’s actually a known fact around here that whenever we look at samples to add to our product line, I usually give something the kiss of death when I proclaim it to be a future best seller.  I used to think I was good at it but clearly, I am not.


ImageBut Mr. Sumo has been on my desk for years and every time I look at him, it makes me smile.  It could be the expression on his face.  It could be the way he’s holding his hands up as if he’s saying, “Whoa, now!  Take it easy!” It could be that he’s wearing a fundoshi (diaper/loin cloth-like panties he has to wear to work) which could make anyone giggle.  Or it might quite possibly be my odd attraction to all things made to look like sumo.  Actual sumo themselves don’t do anything for me.  Things made to look like sumo, that cracks me up.   Is that wrong?

So I’ve decided that perhaps Mr. Sumo needs to make it off my desk once in a while cause let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger.  I’m a little torn since he is my only sample and if something should ever happen to him, I might actually cry.  So I have to be careful.  Wish me luck.

My ulterior motive is that if I can get enough people to say how much they love Mr. Sumo, I might be able to convince Bob to invest in a mold to bring him back to life.   It seems the original factory that made this cup is either no longer around or has disposed of the mold.  So we have to start from scratch if I really want him.  And since my track record of predicting the best sellers is atrocious, I need some real people to agree with me.  I figure, if I put him in pretty situations and Instagram him (username: miyacompany) and then also Pinterest him, he may look like a superstar. 


Here he is standing in front of a K. Nishijima print of a Kyoto street that I bought for Bob in Tokyo.  He misses home…  But then he reconsiders, saying, “whoa, now!  take it easy!  Sure, I miss Japan and all, but don’t pack me up and put me back on that boat all the way back!  That’s cray cray!!”  Okay, he probably wouldn’t use the term “cray cray” but it’s definitely what he’s thinking. 

Keep an eye out for Mr. Sumo Cup!  And let me know if you like him! 


Haha no Hi

It is almost “Haha no hi!” (read “ha ha no hee”)

No, this isn’t a flashback to Lamaze class.  “Haha no hi” means “Mother’s Day” in Japanese.  It’s celebrated on the second Sunday in May, as it is in the U.S.  And just as in the rest of the world on Mother’s Day, the kids try to do something nice for the moms.  Usually in the form of carnations.   So, since there may be a shortage of carnations if you have not yet reserved some for this Sunday, I found a really beautiful alternative to the real thing.

I found this at:  FoldingTrees.com


You will need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • 2 large paper clips
  • Pipe cleaners (chenille stems) or floral wire
  • Coloured marker pen
  • Optional: floral wire, floral tape, wire cutters

For complete instructions, please go to FoldingTrees.com by clicking on the image above.

I’m looking forward to trying to make these with my girls.  But if being crafty is not your thing, you might consider a nice covered mug like this:

I think I’ll get my mom & mother-in-law this pretty covered mug. It has a ceramic strainer for steeping loose tea leaves. And a cover so that she can keep her tea hot longer. Which is perfect for when she gets interrupted so many times by my kids (when I drop them off with Grandma for some free babysitting.)  I’m so considerate…

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!