When I visited my niece, Marie, in New Zealand a couple of months ago, I noticed that she had an old drawing of mine. In fact it must be my oldest coloured pencil drawing in existence. My mother had bought me a set of 72 Derwent pencils in 1979. I sketched my Polish dolls and gave her the drawing as a thank you present. When I saw the framed drawing this year I was heartened to see that the colours still looked pretty good after 36 years even though the student-grade cartridge paper itself showed signs of its age.
I was given my first Kraków costume when I was four years old. Didn’t I love it! I wore it until it was worn out. Then in 1970 when Mum, Dad and I visited Poland, I was given a second Kraków costume. I still have it – though the shiny bits don’t shine the way they used to and bits of it are missing (but could easily be replaced) such as ribbon to tie the bodice.
My Kraków costume was surely a blessing from a benevolent fairy godmother. It has been instrumental in developing my appreciation of the drama of costume. Its invisible presence is behind every kimono, obi and kanzashi that I draw.
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