As most of you know by now, I grew up in England and have spent my adult life in France. I was born and bred in the north, in Yorkshire, a cold and beautiful land of drystone walls, bracken and heather, and have adopted the sunny Languedoc Roussillion region in the south, the Mediterranean, the garrigue and the Camargue. My husband is from Montpellier, my children too, and we all speak French, English and our own hybrid Franglais from time to time. C'est le métissage, two countries, two cultures, two languages and a richness, diversity and open-mindedness that I am pleased to offer our children.
No wonder then that I've fallen in love with these Breton "Breizh Kokeshi" dolls by French artist/painter/illustrator/writer Anh Gloux. Born in Noumea to Sino-Vietnamese and Breton parents, Anh Gloux spent her first few months of life in a boat, has sailed various vessels and directed the Museum of Fishing in Concarneau, Brittany, for 12 years. Her wooden Kokeshi dolls, originating from northern Japan, are all dressed in traditional Breton costumes, thus celebrating eastern and western traditions.
Anh has designed a wonderful series of paper dolls in a similar vein, each one wearing a traditional Breton costume.
I'm sure these cut-out dolls provide hours of entertainment, teaching children dexterity, the art of paper-modelling and the beauty of traditional French costumes and customs.
Anh's dolls and other "Kannadous" paper models are available from her Pluie de Sel édition site. She also makes fun, colourful cards and card mobiles
as well as painting these fabulous Breton-inspired works, guaranteed to make you smile all year long.
Anh's publications and art are also available from Aux Quat'Sardines, an excellent Breton address for maritime and Britanny-related art work, if you ever have the pleasure of visiting those parts.